What words Microsoft’s Word autocorrect tool spellchecker deem as recognizable and correct can be telling, amusing and maybe even a bit offensive, especially from a religious point of view.
In the Microsoft Word’s current version of 2010 the word Christian is automatically capitalized as well as is the words Presbyterian and Lutheran. However, the words jewish and muslim are not part of Word’s autocorrect version. At least the capitalized versions of these words are available in Word’s spellcheck options.
There isn’t any consistency as to which names get autocorrected. Abraham is considered a misspelled word in 2003, but in 2010 it’s automatically corrected to include an initial cap. Assuming that any name would be capitalized in 2010, whether it’s a religious name or not, how come the name Donald is automatically capitalized while the name david is not.
Microsoft’s Word 2003 considers dreidel to be a misspelled word but when viewing spelling options, the only choices available are the words deride and dreaded. At least in Word 2010, it passes Microsoft’s spelling test, but only if it’s plural. On the other hand, the word creche will be automatically changed to the word crèche with the accented e.
Chanukah, Hanukah Christmas and Passover are now automatically corrected in 2010 to appear capitalized, unlike 2003 when they were considered misspelled without including an initial capital letter. Not so with Easter. In both 2003 and 2010, it’s misspelled.
Schlep and schmuck pass Word 2010′s spelling test, capitalized or not. Perhaps Microsoft hired Yiddish programmers. Especially since the Yiddish word is automatically corrected to include a capital ‘Y’.
It’s difficult to flat out say whether Microsoft is pro one religion and anti another. There aren’t any consistencies as to which words get autocorrected or are considered misspelled. This is probably a good thing for this mega global software company. In this case, inconsistency is a godsend.