Posted in English

FLiPping Heck

The Knights Who Say Ni
Found on someone’s Pinterest. No idea who owns it. Too good not to use.

I’ve been repeating a lot of silly errors lately, often just typos that don’t get caught by my usual method: pasting my Portuguese texts into Google Translate to see if it can correctly translate them back into English. Google Translate is quite forgiving of “gralhas” (typos) so if you wrote “ni” instead of “no” because you are a medieval Knight and that’s your favourite word and autocorrect has changed it for you, Google Translate will probably correctly guess what you meant, and the error will slip through.

One of the correctors on the subreddit suggested I incorporate FLiP into my routine. It’s a spelling and syntax validator. I’ve had a play and concluded it definitely has its uses. It has a pretty big gotcha though. In fact, I thought it was wrong about a couple of AO spellings. It prompted me to change the spelling of Ótimo to the older Óptimo, for example. Well, I like the old version so I’m not too bothered, but it’s the wrong advice.

When it did the same with the word “corre(c)ção” I really started giving it side-eye. Considering corre(c)ções are its raison d’etre, that would be a pretty big error. It turned out there was a good reason though. Can you spot my mistake?

Yeah, it defaults to the old spellings and i hadn’t noticed there was a box to tick right there at the top that makes it use the newer ones. So make sure you remember that!

Like any computer program, it’s not immune to errors though. Today’s text includes the phrase “os capítulos que se seguem” (“the following chapters”). Computer said no, advising me to say “the chapters that blind themselves” instead.

Still though, like most online tools, it has its uses. It’s probably best to treat it like a GPS navigation system: follow its directions most of the time but not when it’s telling you to drive off a pier into the sea to get to Calais.


Just a data nerd

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