I use a lot of “sayings” when I write, like “fixin’ to fix dinner” or “fiddy-cent” that get underlined, and if I run spell check and say the words are okay, the underline goes away.

The other day I got this fun comment on one of my posts: “It’s such a tickety-boo site. fabulous, very intriguing!!!” This comment has two underlines, and I can’t wait to see what spell check is going to say about tickety-boo. Spell check gets very confused with made up words but, being a hard worker and aching to please, it tries with all its might to come up with a plausible suggestion.

For instance, I was excited about reaching 300 posts, and I typed the words “whoo-hoo.” (There goes the red underline again). Since right now I’m noticing these underlines, I just discovered, after all these years, that the red underlines must be misspelled words and the green ones must be grammar or “other” errors, like a missing capitalization, incorrect comma usage, or an unsightly poppy seed caught between my words – and spell check wants to point it out because it’s my friend.

Okay the poppy seed thing is dumb, but spell check doesn’t think so. It didn’t find any errors at all in that whole rambling, except the “whoo-hoo.” So I ask it, “What’s the matter boy, what is it? Did Timmy fall in a well?” My daughter said this to me yesterday in the middle of a conversation, and I was amazed.

“How do you know about Lassie?” I asked.

“Wasn’t that about a dog with a pointed nose?”

“Yes, but you’ve never seen it, have you?”

“Didn’t that dog have a lot of long hair?”

“Yes, Lassie was a collie.”

“Whatever. What’s for supper?”

Who knows where these kids get their information? I’ll have a half dozen girls in the car and an old song comes on the radio and they all start singing along in their loudest voices. The noise is deafening. But what’s really amazing is how they know the words to the songs I used to sing when I was a kid. I can guarantee you I did NOT know the words to any songs my parents knew. My dad used to sing blues songs which I had no interest in whatsoever because I was into rock n roll.

Hmmmm – spell check didn’t underline rock n roll. How does it know that’s a word? “n” is not a word. Maybe spell check is on vacation – down in Tahiti sipping Mai Tai’s and wiggling its toes in the sand, catching some rays.

Whatever the case, I’m going to finish this “whoo-hoo” thing right now so I can move on with my life. I got a red line under “whoo-hoo” and spell check had some suggestions. The first one was “hoo-ha.” I wondered, “How come spell check knows “hoo-ha” but doesn’t know “whoo-hoo?” To me it seems like “whoo-hoo” has been around longer than “hoo-ha.”  Perhaps I’m misspelling “whoo-hoo.” Maybe it’s supposed to be “whoo-who.” Nope, spell check doesn’t like that either. I’m going to see what Google says. Be right back.

Hmmm, quite interesting. Google says it’s supposed to be “woo-hoo” because that’s what Homer Simpson was using, but the bank, “WaMu” adopted “whoo-hoo” and trademarked it as their slogan. Since WaMu is now Chase, I guess that didn’t work out too well.

For the record, spell check doesn’t think “woo-hoo” is a word either, but I’m not complaining. Spell check is my friend, and it’s doing the best it can, and Lord knows I ask a lot from it with my made up words, sentence fragments, and bona-fide typos. To me, spell check is fabulous – it’s simply tickety-boo!