Mark Israel posted this in misc.education.language.english. He is the "I" in the following.
I was correcting the English in a report written by my roommate (who is Swiss-German and is here doing postgraduate work in educational psychology). She had written: "Mike prevented William from working by putting his hand over William's keyboard. Mike found this very sparingly and did it again and again."
I asked her, "What do you mean by 'sparingly'?"
She replied that she had originally written "funny," but when she ran the report through the grammar-checker on her computer, it told her that "funny" was trite and suggested "sparingly" as a substitute.
Baffled, I crossed out "sparingly" and wrote "amusing."
The next morning, it hit me: the grammar-checker must have said something like "The word 'funny' is trite. Use sparingly."