The Impotence of Proofreading

Oh, how we rely on technology… Everything’s good here, right?

Eye halve a spelling chequer
It came with my pea sea
It plainly marques four my revue
Miss steaks eye kin knot sea.

Eye strike a quay and type a word
And weight four it two say
Weather eye am wrong oar write
It shows me strait a weigh.

As soon as a mist ache is maid
It nose bee fore two long
And eye can put the error rite
It’s rare lea ever wrong.

Eye have run this poem threw it
I am shore your pleased two no
It’s letter perfect awl the weigh
My chequer tolled me sew.

by Martha Snow*

I searched for the origin of the poem and most links led back here, where he takes no credit for it either. Ms Snow, thanks for your poem!


5 thoughts on “The Impotence of Proofreading

  1. This story is over 5000 times around the internet, I figured most computer users have seen it. It’s not by Martha Snow; a quick google gave me a version from 1996,!msg/nl.taal/_n0_8IdV588/x6hEsXQyI2UJ and earlier versions or parts dating back to 1992. Google groups has archived the USENET, an early mailing list system still operating. I began using this in 1985, and I still get the comp.risks digest, which documents bugs and dangers of programs world-wide. This digest is also on The current discussion is on VW software tricks, and you can search for past disasters, like voting machines or phone hacks.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Graham! I only started using the internet to email my mom when I went to Uni in 1993. Those were the days when people would put their photos in power point to send you slide shows with their witty comments.


  2. davidkaufher says:

    Brilliant!! . . . It reminds me of “reading” Swissgerman. You have to literally read it out loud in order to understand it.


  3. It’s like the language “Strine” which comes from Downunner. Here are some examples, translated into English: “Eye level arch feed, a frosty, anna feecher, with air chew” is Strine for “I’ll have a large meal, a cold beer, followed by a feature (i.e. sex), and I don’t want you around.”

    Strine is rich in words and phrases taken from other, older tongues. Many of these have, with
    the passage of time, come to possess meanings different from their original ones. Two typical examples are the German words Eiche (Pronounced i-ker; meaning oak-tree) and Ersatz (pronounced air-sats; meaning substitute). Both these are now Strine words, and are used in
    the following manner: `Eiche nardly bleevit’, and `Ersatz are trumps, dear, yegottny?

    More on


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