I hate everything about Word’s squiggly blue lines.

I don’t know when the squiggly blue lines started.

I only really began to notice them in the past few months, so I assume it must be some kind of update. And because I’m used to squiggly red lines (spell check) and squiggly green lines (grammar check), I figured this must be something similar. As best I can tell, the squiggly blue lines (which the Internet tells me first originated to indicate a formatting error) are now being used as a style check.

As in: Word thinks I should write differently.

Fuck off, Word.

No, seriously. Spellchecker is mostly great. I mean, my spelling is shit, so when I see that squiggly line, I try to spot my error instead of having Word fix it for me, and I think it’s actually improved my spelling. And I appreciate the grammar checker, but it comes with some deep flaws. I know enough grammar myself (and have the Chicago Manual of Style to back me up if I’m unsure), so when I see Word giving me a squiggly green line I know whether Word is correct or not. And frequently, Word is flat-out wrong. But they’re trying, and maybe it does good for some folk.

But the blue underlines are ridiculous.

It’s like having a particularly anal snob standing over your shoulder while you write, correcting every word choice. “Take out that adverb. Don’t use that phrase. I think what you really mean to say is…”

I didn’t ask for your opinion, Word, go away!

Language is fluid. The more casual the medium, the more freedom we should have to express ourselves. But this style checker nonsense is like saying we should all write in the most stiffly formal tone at all times, and I worry that instead of suggestions people will start interpreting these as rules to be imposed upon the rest of the population.

Stop Big Brothering me, Word. I like the way I write.

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