Word’s problem with a possessive Donna

Office for Mere Mortals helps people around the world get more from Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook. Delivered once a week. free.

A strange anomaly in the latest Word 2003 and Word 2007 — all to do with a possessive Donna.

” At some point “recently” (like within the past year?) the last name Donna, when you add a possessive, Office 2007 spell checker thinks it is spelled wrong. Try it with

Donna’s book.

How did Microsoft screw that up? ” – Robert A.

This is an interesting anomaly that’s crept into the dictionary update for both Word 2003 and Word 2007. Here’s a sample set of names as they appear in Word 2007 with Service Pack 1 (US English dictionary):

Since the problem appears with the name ‘Donna’ a die-hard West Wing fan can’t help thinking of Donna Moss (played by Janel Moloney) and the other sample names suggest themselves.

Word 2007 SP1 - the possessive form of The West Wing cast image from Word

As you can see, the name Donna itself is OK in the dictionary as are all the other names and their possessive forms. But add the ” ‘s ” to the word Donna and up pops the red squiggly line.

Are there other names that show a similar behaviour?

The ” Donna’s ” anomaly appears in Word 2003 with Service Pack 3 and Word 2007 with Service Pack 1 (ie the most recent updates). Word 2003 SP2 and the original Word 2007 have no problem with a possessive Donna.

Not a big problem – more of a curiosity than anything else. What is it about the word “donna’s” that doesn’t match in the dictionary?   Why Donna ?

Want More?

Office Watch has the latest news and tips about Microsoft Office. Independent since 1996. Delivered once a week.