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When I type this in an email:

The pot boiled some time after I stopped watching it.

Outlook 2013 flags "some time" with a squiggly blue line, and suggests that I change it to "sometime". I have grammar checking turned off. If I turn off spelling suggestions the blue squiggly line disappears, but this is not a spelling error. (Spelling errors are normally highlighted with a red squiggly line.) It does not give me an "add to dictionary" option, and the same words can appear in other locations without getting the underline. For example:

I stopped watching some time before the pot boiled.

This does not get a blue squiggle. I think Outlook seems to be flagging it any time it sees the words "some time after".

I like to keep the spell-check enabled, because it's useful and the few false positives it generates can be fixed permanently by adding words to the dictionary. I don't like the grammar check because it is distracting and unpredictable - that's why I keep it turned off.

  • What does the blue squiggly line mean?
  • Can I disable this feature while keeping the spell-check enabled?
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1  
try putting 'for' in front of 'some time'. sometime is an adverb, but 'some time' is a noun, and needs a preposition. in this case, the spelling rule has built in grammar rules, which cannot be disabled discretely. –  Frank Thomas Apr 30 at 16:40
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@FrankThomas That could change the meaning, though. "The pot boiled some time after …" suggests that it started to boil after Weeble stopped watching. "The pot boiled for some time after…" suggests that Weeble saw it boiling, left, and it continued to boil. –  Joshua Taylor Apr 30 at 21:03
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@JoshuaTaylor - well, they could use "at" instead of "for". –  Damien_The_Unbeliever May 1 at 7:51

3 Answers 3

up vote 13 down vote accepted

This is controlled by the setting for "Frequently confused words", which is the option below grammar checking (File-Option-Mail-Editor Options). Disabling this will not disable normal spell-check.

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Aha! I had disabled that option, but I was doing so in the options menu of the main Outlook window while the mail was still open. If I instead navigate there from the edit window it seems to work. –  Weeble Apr 30 at 17:02

The blue squiggly can mean a number of things;

Word flags potential grammar, style, and contextual mistakes with a blue squiggly line under the word, term, or phrase as you work in your document.

There are options how to use spell checking with or without grammar checking, either automatically or not, in File > Options > Proofing. You can also choose to hide the errors in the document.

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Just to give more context to the problem, the blue squiggle highlighting contextual spell checking. It is to check for the cases where both the "spelling" and "Grammer" i.e. part of the speech is correct, but the context of the word is incorrect.

As an example:

Don't loose the pen in the office.

The word here must be lose, not loose.

Having said that, here's an authoritative link to how to turn the feature on, or off. http://blogs.msdn.com/b/naturallanguage/archive/2006/06/30/how-to-turn-on-contextual-spelling-in-2007-office-word.aspx

And this is one of the most illustrative articles on the feature: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/jensenh/archive/2006/06/13/629124.aspx

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