In the African American

Voice Card  -  Volume 16  -  John Card Number 18  -  Tue, Sep 25, 1990 03:40 AM

A sign of the times...

As you may know, some software companies offer socially correct spell checkers. In addition to fixing typos, these dubious programs are supposed to automatically correct chauvinistic phrases and other socially incorrect misstatements. They will change all "Mrs." to "Ms." for example. One such program is available for the Mac.

It seems obvious to me that such quick fixes can never substitute for human judgement, but editors at the Sacramento Bee had to learn this lesson the hard way, according to a friend of mine. Recently, this major California newspaper had to print a curious and embarrassing retraction. It seems that in one of their articles they described the financial status of some corporation or other by saying that such and such had been in the red but now was "in the African American."

The world is a strange place and is growing stranger by the minute. But at least I can still say without fear of contradiction that MY checking account is solidly in the black.