While writing an essay on Moby Dick last week, LSA sophomore Nia Zander butchered a word so brutally not even Spell Check could save it.
Zander was in the middle of a topic sentence when the word in question, an unrecognizable hodgepodge of vowels and apostrophes, was branded with the spell check software’s signature red squiggle.
“When I saw that red line, I right clicked on the word,” Zander recounted, “but as soon as I saw ‘no spelling suggestions,’ I knew I was fucked, because there’s no way in Hell I know how to spell ‘silhouetted.’”
Despite both Zander’s and the grammar software’s most determined efforts, Spell Check failed to throw Zander any lifeboat.
“At first I was pretty cool about it,” Zander said. “I took deep breaths and was just like, ‘you got this, Nia. Spell it out.’ I tried throwing an ‘h’ and ‘t’ in the mix, just to get the word close enough that it would offer some suggestions, but that didn’t do the trick either.”
Zander eventually began typing in other forms of gibberish, just to confirm that her Spell Check function was still working. After finding that it was, Zander began to panic.“I was starting to think ‘silhouetted’ was just a word I made up in my head,” she said.
In an effort to think outside the box, Zander allegedly searched the web for the proper spelling of silhouette, but was met with a page asking her if she had meant ‘silent’ or ‘soliloquy.’
“Nia was getting pretty worked up about it,” said Zander’s housemate and fellow sophomore Lexa Jones, “so I told her to look the word up in the dictionary. She said that would just make things worse, since she wasn’t sure if it started with an ‘s,’ a ‘z,’ or a soft ‘c.’”
At press time, Zander was trying to find synonyms for silhouette online, but was experiencing difficulty spelling ‘synonym.’ She ultimately decided to cut the entire sentence containing the word out of her essay.