What's up with the use of (sp?) in semi-formal writing to denote possible misspellings? I was reminded of it by hippieprincess1's post in which she thought she might have misspelled "polyps" (she did, by the way). The thing is, I'm seeing it all over at work, which is really ridiculous. Sarah's livejournal is a very casual place where she documents her life for herself and her friends. That's a pretty specific audience. If you're reading her journal, you don't care about the odd misspelling.
On the other hand, I sometimes run into this sort of thing at work:
When the shipment arrived, I saw that two of the erlinmeir(sp) flasks were broken.How often do you actually speak the phrase "Erlenmeyer flask?" Not very, I imagine. It's probably not reasonable to expect John Q. NotAChemistryMajor to even be familiar with that name, but damn it, if you know the word is probably spelled wrong, why not do thirty seconds of research to prevent yourself looking like a moron? Wasn't there a packing slip available to this person? An internet connection? A dictionary?
How 'bout this one, which is paraphrased from a letter I read yesterday or Monday:
They gave us a headlise(sp) treatment. It did not get rid of all the lise(sp) and we had to delouse(sp) the cat at the vetrinarian(sp).I can't take for granted that the author was using Microsoft Word (which gives you all kinds of fancy visual hints that you're an idiot), but the letter was printed so there must have been some kind of spell-checker available, and this person ignored it. I see that a lot at work, too. Our e-mail program points out --individually -- every word it doesn't recognize when you send out a message. E-mail misspellings are fine when your message is "what ru doing for lunch?", but I'm seeing it more and more in stuff that's going out to the whole building, stuff that's going to external clients...
Am I the only one driven nuts by this?
Incidentally, I'm a reasonably good speler, and I can tell you that "delouse" is, indeed, correct.
Addendum: It occurs to me that the none-too-clever subject of this post might take people a minute to figure out. Did it? Let me know. I'm just curious.