That's right, I've just declared the death of spell check! My last post about the Cupertino Effect should be enough to convince you that relying heavily on spell check is like telling the world you have lost all self respect. If you have read that post and still don't know what I'm talking about then maybe it's time to call it a day.
I'm not saying that spell check needs to go completely. It's a great first defence against common writing errors, however, it just isn't better than a human's attention during the proofreading process.
Ever considered text to speech software for proofreading?
We are living in a technological age surrounded by tools which we are free to use creatively. Text to speech is not new technology, it's been available for years. I have heard of people using text to speech for proofreading before, but it's never really seemed like something I'd be interested in.
I decided to experiment with Ultra Hal Text-to-Speech Reader. This software is for Windows, although I'm sure there are similar packages on the Mac. Please post comments with links to other useful text to speech packages on both Windows and Macs.
My experiment was very revealing. Ultra Hal Text-to-Speech Reader software package comes with the ability to change the voice of the reader, but more importantly you have control to speed up or slow down the rate it reads. The software displays the word it's reading as it reads it. This provides a unique opportunity to listen to your writing and see the words simultaneously.
In summary, I'd urge those struggling to proofread themselves to try a software package like this. It enables a writer to remove themselves from the mindset of the writer, and focus on their content as a reader. We all know the difficulties we have when proofreading our own writing, could this help?
I don't think this will work for everyone, but I do think some people will welcome this concept.