Love how Google suggests the right spelling when you type in a search? You're not alone. "Over the past five years, Web browsers have become better at spelling than most humans," writes Will Oremus in Slate. Browsers are even better than Microsoft Word's spell-check, because they "don’t just catch errors; they prevent you from making them in the first place." Now, finally, Google Docs is applying that kind of contextual spell-checking to its word-processing program.
So, "just as long division has become all but obsolete, could autocomplete make spelling a lost art—something for kids to learn in elementary school, never to use again?" Probably not, Oremus argues, because computers can't always know whether you want compliment, say, or complement. And you, the writer, must at least get close to the right spelling. "Spell-check programs will probably never make spelling as easy as a calculator makes arithmetic. But at least now they can put two and two together."