Squiggles are not the short hairy monsters that lived under your bed when you were younger. They are the editing lines that appear under mis-used or mis-spelled words in word processing and e-mail programs.
If you don’t address the problem that caused the Squiggles before transmitting your document or e-mail, those marks will be visible to the recipient. They can be distracting and can cause people to question your attention to detail and your professionalism.
You have several ways to remove the marks. You can accept one of the changes from the list of changes that are suggested by the program. The program will automatically replace your error with the corrected version. You can also tell the program that you want to use the document as written. In both cases, the Squiggly for that error will be removed.
You can review and revise the editing function in Microsoft Word by using the Options tab under the Tools Menu. Changes here will affect how editing is performed in the future. You have wide latitude about how this function works. You can even turn it completely off but if you do that, you need to have a lot of faith in your sentence structure, in your punctuation, in your spelling and in your typing skills.
In the case of spelling errors, you also have the option of adding words to the dictionary so that frequently used words are not marked as errors in the future. For example, WMATA may be used in the future, depending upon the setup of the editor; this word could be marked in error every time you use it. Simply add the word to your custom dictionary and the problem stops. You also have the option to tell the software to accept any word that is all caps.
The Squiggles do not replace the editing that the author must do. Sometimes, the editing software does not mark an error if the error doesn’t fail some standard test. In other words, you should read and re-read your document before transmitting it for errors that may have been missed in the automated editing process.
On second thought, these Squiggles may be the same monsters that used to live under the bed. They have just moved into editing software as an acknowledgment of the computer age. They may still live under the bed and do text editing as their day job. Come to think of it, I haven’t checked beneath the bed lately. Maybe I’ll check tonight just before going to sleep!