Microsoft Gone Wrong

Matt, the submitter of this photo, writes, “this is a great (albeit scary) example of what happens when the grammar checker in Microsoft Word doesn’t take context into consideration. I was working on my Physics project when this gem popped up; unfortunately, it made me laugh and cringe at the same time. The suggestion doesn’t even make sense, either.”

9 Responses to “Microsoft Gone Wrong”


  1. 1 fail June 8, 2008 at 2:15 pm

    english-fail fail: what is omitted at the position of the apostrohpe?

  2. 2 tracy June 8, 2008 at 4:13 pm

    comment fail: i couldn’t resist pointing out that “apostrophe” is spelled wrong.

  3. 3 Tal June 8, 2008 at 4:41 pm

    It’s meant to be possessive- the hearing belonging to one non-specific, hypothetical person.

  4. 4 deMute June 8, 2008 at 5:44 pm

    Just three things with nothing to do with grammar really:
    1) The usually quoted range of human hearing is 20Hz – 20kHz
    2) Middle C (C4) is ~262Hz which is well below 1kHz. 1 to 4kHz is approximately in the same range as C6 to C8 which is two to four octaves higher than Middle C.
    3) You probably want to say ‘sensitivity of one’s hearing’ since ‘power’ in physics is usually used to mean watts or joules per second.

    That’s my two cents/pence, wha’evaπŸ˜‰

  5. 5 R June 9, 2008 at 6:30 am

    It looks like grammar check failed because the user failed and put a space between the apostrophe and the S.πŸ˜›

  6. 6 Rob June 12, 2008 at 9:59 am

    SI prefix fail: kHz should have a lower-case k, not a capital.

  7. 7 Mal June 13, 2008 at 3:37 pm

    Tal is right, the user did not fail, the grammar is correct. (“One does not wish to overstay one’s welcome,” for example.)

    The checker obviously thought the writer meant “one is” so it helpfully responded with a suggestion to change it to “one are.”

    Yes. This is why I force my students to spellcheck their papers but do not allow them to use grammar check.

  8. 8 David June 13, 2008 at 8:38 pm

    Quote from Rob:
    –“SI prefix fail: kHz should have a lower-case k, not a capital.”

    Thank you! I’m glad that there’s someone else in this world who notices things like this.

  9. 9 phillyjen June 24, 2009 at 11:51 am

    This person has a lot of nerve commenting on Microsoft’s error when he doesn’t know how to use a comma correctly.

    (For example, “…higher notes have higher frequencies, and similarly lower notes…” should be “…higher notes have higher frequencies and, similarly, lower notes…”)

    The sentence that has the “error” doesn’t make much sense (and I’ve taken physics — so it’s not the material but the grammar that is the problem for me).


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