Auto-checker Instant Decision Failure (AIDF)

germAuto-checker Instant Decision Failure (AIDF) is caused when an author uses a built in spell checker to search for mistakes, and does not take the time to read through their work for mistakes the auto-checker ignores, such as homonyms.

Here is a list of homonyms which infected a recent patient of mine:

thrown, throne
threw, through, thorough
to, two, too
yay, yeah, yea
red, read, reed
no, know

Homonyms are not the only cause of AIDF. There are many words with similar meanings which require an author to know their vocabulary. Here are some examples I found infecting the same patient mentioned earlier:

farther, further
assure, ensure
affect, effect

shredderIf an author relies solely on a spell checker and/or grammar checker as their editor, these mistakes are usually missed. In a novel, a typo or spelling error is like a stone out of place on a road; it can cause the reader to trip. One or two such mistakes are expected in full length novels, and most readers are forgiving enough to keep going.
But when the number of mistakes reaches one or two per page, it sends a message to the reader that the author is careless. In today’s publishing environment, there are a slew of eBooks being ‘published’ which are infected with AIDF. This is especially a problem for young readers, who are relying on their reading to teach them proper grammar and spelling. While AIDF is only one of a long list of infections which cause poor spelling and grammar, it is one the author is responsible to fix.

ambulanceThe cure is two-fold. First, an author should read through their work before publishing. Second, every manuscript should be critiqued by people who know proper grammar and spelling. If you are self-publishing just to brag about your book, this level of review will reduce the infection to a level your close friends and family can tolerate.
However, if you want more than fifty people to read your book and pay you for the privilege, your manuscript needs a deeper treatment to remove the infection entirely. Your best friend or cousin usually don’t have the skills necessary to find these mistakes for you. So unless you know a professional editor who is willing to edit your manuscript as a favor, I recommend finding and hiring a professional. If you are lucky enough to get a traditional publishing contract, the publisher will use their in-house editors to check over your manuscript. But if you are self-publishing, or using a hybrid publisher, you’ll need to invest some money into your writing business.

That probably brings up lots of questions which I’ll be happy to answer, if you ask them in the comments section below. Until then, here are a couple of lists, to show you how pervasive AIDF can be.

Long list of homonyms/homophones provided by http://www.enchantedlearning.com/english/homonyms/


ad/add
allowed/aloud
ant/aunt
ate/eight
ball/bawl
band/banned
bear/bare
be/bee
billed/build
blew/blue
board/bored
boy/buoy
brake/break
by/bye/buy
beach/beech
bolder/boulder
bread/bred
brouse/brows
capital/capitol
caret/carrot/carat/karat
cell/sell
cent/scent/sent
census/senses
cereal/serial
chews/choose
choral/coral
chute/shoot
clothes/close
colonel/kernel
creak/creek
crews/cruise
cymbal/symbol
days/daze
dear/deer
dew/do/due
die/dye
disc/disk
discreet/discrete
discussed/disgust
doe/dough
doughs/doze
earn/urn
ewe/you
eye/I
fare/fair
feat/feet
find/fined
fir/fur
flea/flee
flew/flu/flue
flower/flour
for/four/fore
forth/fourth
foul/fowl
frees/freeze
gneiss/nice
gnu/knew/new
gored/gourd
gorilla/guerrilla
grays/graze
grate/great
guessed/guest
gym/Jim
hale/hail
hall/haul
hare/hair
heal/heel/he’ll
heard/herd
hew/hue
hi/high
higher/hire
him/hymm
hair/hare
hoarse/horse
hole/whole
hour/our
idle/idol
idle/idol/idyl
in/inn
incite/insight
its/it’s
jam/jamb
jeans/genes
knead/need/kneed
knight/night
knows/nose/no’s
lead/led
leased/least
lessen/lesson
lie/lye
links/lynx
load/lode/lowed
loan/lone
locks/lox
loot/lute
maid/made
mail/male
maize/maze
meet/meat
medal/meddle
mince/mints
miner/minor
missed/mist
mooed/mood
morning/mourning
muscle/mussel
mussed/must
nays/neighs
no/know
none/nun
nose/knows/no’s
not/knot/naught
one/won
or/oar/ore
overdo/overdue
paced/paste
pail/pale
pain/pane
pair/pare/pear
pain/pane
passed/past
patience/patients
pause/paws
peace/piece
peak/peek/pique
peal/peel
pedal/peddle
peer/pier
pi/pie
plain/plane
plum/plumb
praise/prays/preys
presence/presents
principal/principle
prince/prints
quarts/quartz
quince/quints
rain/reign/rein
raise/rays/raze
rap/wrap
read/reed
read/red
real/reel
reek/wreak
rest/wrest
review/revue
right/rite/write
ring/wring
road/rode/rowed
roe/row
role/roll
root/route
rose/rows
rote/wrote
roux/rue
rye/wry
sacks/sax
sail/sale
sawed/sod
scene/seen
sea/see
seam/seem
seas/sees/seize
serf/surf
serge/surge
sew/so/sow
shoe/shoo
side/sighed
sighs/size
sign/sine
sight/site/cite
slay/sleigh
soar/sore
soared/sword
sole/soul
son/sun
some/sum
spade/spayed
staid/stayed
stair/stare
stake/steak
stationary/stationery
steal/steel
straight/strait
suede/swayed
summary/summery
sundae/Sunday
tacks/tax
tail/tale
taut/taught
tea/tee
teas/tease/tees
tents/tense
tern/turn
there/their/they’re
threw/through
throne/thrown
thyme/time
tide/tied
tighten/titan
to/too/two
toad/toed/towed
toe/tow
told/tolled
tracked/tract
trussed/trust
use/ewes
vein/vane
verses/versus
vial/vile
vice/vise
wade/weighed
wail/whale
waist/waste
wait/weight
waive/wave
Wales/whales
war/wore
ware/wear/where
warn/worn
wax/whacks
way/weigh/whey
we/wee
weather/whether
we’d/weed
weld/welled
we’ll/wheel
wen/when
we’ve/weave
weak/week
which/witch
whirled/world
whirred/word
whine/wine
whoa/woe
who’s/whose
wood/would
worst/wurst
yoke/yolk
you’ll/yule
your/you’re/yore

Here is a long list of words with similar meanings. These challenge authors to know their vocabulary. Thank you, http://www.enhancemyvocabulary.com/similar-words.html for posting this list.

A
ability, capacity
abstain, refrain
abstinence, temperance
accept, except
accept, receive
ache, pain
adhere, cohere
adherence, adhesion
admission, admittance
admit, confess
adverse, averse
advice, counsel
aggravate, irritate
allusion, illusion
allusion, reference
amateur, novice
ambiguous, equivocal
anticipate, expect
appearance, aspect
apprehend, comprehend
ardor, fervor
artist, artisan
ascent, ascension
ascent, assent
ascribe, impute
assembly, assemblage
assent, consent
avenge, revenge
avocation, vocation
aware, conscious
B
balance, remainder
bashful, modest
behavior, conduct
belief, faith
benignant, benign
beside, besides
blanch, whiten
blessing, benediction
blockade, siege
bravery, bravado
bring, fetch
broad, wide
bury, inter
C
can, may
character, reputation
childish, childlike
cite, quote
claim, assert
clothing, costume
comfort, ease
commercial, mercantile
common, mutual
complement, compliment
complement, supplement
complete, finish
composure, equanimity
comprehensible, comprehensive
compulsion, obligation
congratulate, felicitate
consecutive, successive
contemptible, contemptuous
continuation, continuance
corporal, corporeal
correct, rectify
cozy, snug
crawl, creep
credible, creditable
credit, accredit
cure, heal
custom, habit
D
decided, decisive
definite, definitive
demesne, domain
deprecate, depreciate
descent, dissent
discovery, invention
discriminate, distinguish
disinterested, uninterested
disposal, disposition
dissatisfied, discontented
distinct, distinctive
dramatic, theatrical
dry, arid
dumb, mute
durable, lasting
E
earth, world
egoism, egotism
elemental, elementary
emigrate, immigrate
envy, jealousy
equal, equivalent
esteem, respect
evidence, proof
exchange, interchange
exempt, immune
expedite, facilitate
efficiency, efficacy
eldest, oldest
elude, evade
enough, sufficient
equable, equitable
essential, necessary
euphemism, euphuism
exact, precise
excuse, pardon
expect, suppose
F
facsimile, copy
fancy, imagination
feeling, sentiment
fervent, fervid
fluid, liquid
food, feed
force, strength
familiar, intimate
farther, further
feminine, effeminate
fewer, less
foreign, alien
forgive, pardon
G
gayety, cheerfulness
gentle, tame
glance, glimpse
grieve, mourn
genius, talent
genuine, authentic
grateful, thankful
H
hanged, hung
happiness, pleasure
hear, listen
honorable, honorary
human, humane
healthy, healthful
heathen, pagan
horrible, horrid
I
illegible, unreadable
imaginary, imaginative
imperious, imperial
in, into
ingenious, ingenuous
insinuation, innuendo
involve, implicate
irony, sarcasm
irretrievable, irreparable
image, effigy
impending, approaching
imply, infer
inability, disability
intelligent, intellectual
instinct, intuition
irony, sarcasm
J
judicious, judicial
just, equitable
justify, warrant
L
lack, want
languor, lassitude
later, latter
lawful, legal
lax, slack
leave, let
lend, loan
liable, likely
libel, slander
lie, lay
like, love
linger, loiter
look, see
loose, lose
luxurious, luxuriant
M
majority, plurality
marine, maritime
martial, military
moderate, temperate
mood, humor
moral, ethical
moral, religious
mutual, reciprocal
myth, legend
N
natal, native
nautical, naval
near, close
necessaries, necessities
needy, needful
noted, notorious
novice, tyro
O
observance, observation
observe, perceive
obsolete, archaic
omnipresent, ubiquitous
on, upon
oppose, resist
opposite, contrary
oppress, depress
P
palliate, extenuate
passionate, impassioned
pathos, pity
patron, customer
peculiar, unusual
perspicuity, perspicacity
permeate, pervade
permit, allow
perseverance, persistence
pertain, appertain
pictorial, picturesque
pitiable, pitiful
pity, sympathy
pleasant, pleasing
politician, statesman
practicable, practical
precipitous, precipitate
precision, preciseness
prejudice, bias
prelude, overture
pride, vanity
principal, principle
process, procedure
procure, secure
professor, teacher
progress, progression
propitious, auspicious
proposal, proposition
Q
quiet, quiescent
R
raise, rear
raise, rise
ransom, redeem
rare, scarce
reason, understanding
reasonable, rational
recollect, remember
regal, royal
reliable, trustworthy
requirement, requisite
restive, restless
reverse, inverse
ride, drive
rhyme, rhythm
S
sacred, holy
salutation, salute
scanty, sparse
scholar, student
science, art
scrupulous, conscientious
serf, slave
shift, expedient
sick, ill
silent, taciturn
sit, set
skilled, skilful
slender, slim
smart, clever
sociable, social
solicitude, anxiety
stay, stop
stimulus, stimulation
strut, swagger
suppress, repress
T
termination, terminus
theory, hypothesis
tolerate, permit
torment, torture
tradition, legend
truth, veracity
U
unbelief, disbelief
unique, unusual
V
varied, various
variety, diversity
venal, venial
vengeance, revenge
verse, stanza
vindictive, revengeful
visit, visitation
visitant, visitor
W
wander, stray
warn, caution
will, volition
wit, humor
witness, see
womanish, womanlike
worth, value

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