For the task, I had given my students a list of ancient humans - Homo naledi, Homo floresiensis, Homo neanderthalensis, and so forth - and I asked them to choose one, do the necessary research, and write a report of their findings. I insisted the report be typed, and advised students to proofread and spell check their work before submitting it.
A week later, I began marking the submitted essays. About halfway through the pile of stapled papers, I came across a rather perplexing essay title: The History of Homoerotic Man. Intrigued and bemused, I flipped past the cover page and confronted the following introduction (as best as I can remember, minus the original spelling and grammar errors):
Fossil findings say homoerotic man lived in Africa one or two million years ago. He probably lived in Africa because it was hot. Since it was hot, homoerotic man did not wear clothes, only some animal furs here and there. Homoerotic means upright, so homoerotic man was one of the first to get erect and stay erect. He was also one of the first to walk on two feet. Walking on two feet meant homoerotic could really get around. Homoerotic man liked to hunt and gather berries. He sometimes did this with other homoerotic men. Homoerotic man was also one of the first ancient humans to use tools on a regular basis. Most of his tools were used for hunting, but archeologists think homoerotic man used some of his tools for other things too . . .
Yes, I'm sure he did.
After I recovered from the laughter that had consumed me, I took a moment to consider what had led to this most unfortunate, yet hilarious, history essay. It didn't take me long to figure it out. The kid had spell checked his work as I had instructed him to do, but instead of carefully analyzing the suggestions spell check had made, the student had thoughtlessly agreed to everything by clicking the correct all button.
Word's spell check program had not recognized "Homo erectus man" (I think the kid crammed the terms Upright man and Homo erectus together to come up with that) as a valid term and had suggested homoerotic man as an alternative; and as far as my student was concerned, that was A-okay.
The rest is history.