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I love technology, but not as much as spell-check

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Hastings, 55033
Hastings Star Gazette
651-437-5911 customer support
Hastings Minnesota 745 Spiral Boulevard 55033

I might be the beginning of a new evolutionary strain of human beings. This strain, which will most likely originate from my offspring, will become so reliant on technology that people will not be able to function normally without electronic devices. Without technology, future generations of Ganjes will be unable to accomplish the simplest tasks and, ultimately, if denied access to gadgets, electrodes and gigabytes, they will cease to exist.

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Someday, my children and my children's children will be so reliant on computers, they won't be able to navigate the grocery store without a global positioning device. So far, I can still locate the Lean Pockets, but last time I tried, it took me two passes down the frozen-foods aisle to find them.

I say this at great cost to myself, because, unbeknownst to scientists trying to crack the human genetic code, this natural selection has begun at my desk in Hastings' Industrial Park. The new knowledge will help mankind. I will most likely be shipped off to some laboratory at a Big Ten research University and forced to live off of Cheetos and Mountain Dew while being forced to finish complicated puzzles with only Google and the Internet Movie Database for help.

I say it is of great cost to myself because my life is so entwined with technological aids that my mind has deteriorated. While I might be able to Mapquest the White House in under 13 seconds, I am unable to perform effectively one of the main tasks given to an editor -- that is, spelling.

Oh, the shame. Spell-check is my crutch and my lifeline. Without it, I couldn't perform my job. Its advent has caused my mind to debilitate to such an extreme that I don't even remember if 'i' goes before 'e' even after 'c.' Does it?

I know it doesn't. That is, I think I know. I vaguely remember the lesson taught in grade school, along with so many others that deciphered the impossible complexity of the English language. But it is exactly those nuggets of knowledge passed onto me by teachers with names like Mrs. Wise, Miss Meyer and Mrs. Halverson, that were tossed to the scrap heap in my mind when word processing programs came standard with everybody's buddy, spell check.

Do you think you know better? Ask yourself, "Is it hemorrhage or hemmorhage? Embarrass or embarass? Ecstasy or ecstacy?"

In the end, however, does it matter? Most of you don't deal with words. I do. But I also know that I forever will have spell-check as my guide. Gone are the days of searching in the depths of our brains about how in the world to spell a place like the Caribbean. (Or is it, the Carribean?)

Now I can free up space in the RAM of my brain. It will leave a little extra room for important stuff like tricks to remember all of my password PINs for things like my bank account, computer, e-mail, department store and credit card.

Is this progress? Maybe, but not on an evolutionary scale. My children will still need opposable thumbs even if their minds atrophy phrases like, "Sometimes 'Y.'" (By the way, when? When do we use 'y' as a vowel? It's like they left it open in case they needed an extra vowel in the future.)

My loss of knowledge, however, is certainly not going to affect anyone else. It will only affect me and my self esteem. Unless, of course, my spell-check goes on the fritz and the paper is filled with headlines like, "Soildiers acheive managable fairwell." Then we'll know evolution is not working.

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