OK I have probably found this in that I had a missing 'of' in a ReleaseCOMObject elsewhere and therefore released self which happened to be the Word application object

So I guess the error was correct it just wasn't obvious as to what the problem was

It does make for slightly 'awkward' code if you dynamically create the COM object then you shouldn't destroy it within the code block you created it in but in the OnCOMQuit event when Word etc itself exits

If there was a propriety to say ignore any COM event errors then you could destroy it in the usual way and avoid the error 98's but I guess someone would reasonably argue you should always catch all events even if you are not interested in them