Only Word Check uses the preferred Australian English spelling. Other sites use American or British English. Check your spelling using Australian English spelling.

Word Check - Australian Dictionary
Now with spelling suggestions and a link to definitions.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Is it centimetre or centimeter?

Even though I've been maintaining the preferred Australian English spelling dictionary now for around 13 years, I still get a surprise every now and then. Recently I created an inches to cm calculator ( and whilst searching the internet, I noticed the spelling centimeters, as well as the usual spelling centimetres on Australian sites. I couldn't help but wonder why so many people would be spelling the word incorrectly.

What I found actually surprised me, but in hindsight, perhaps I shouldn't have been so surprised. I'd never noticed the spelling centimeter before, but that's not unusual. Often we don't notice things even thought they are there.

It turned out the American spelling of the distance related words, metre, centimetre, millimetre are meter, centimeter and millimeter respectively. That was a surprise. However in hindsight, given the American spelling of centre is center, where the re is er, it makes sense this spelling may apply to other words, as it does in this case.

The spelling in Australia is thus centimetre.

Kelvin Eldridge

Monday, September 19, 2016

Australian English dictionary for macOS Sierra

The release date for macOS Sierra appears to have been announced for Tuesday September 20th 2016. Once I've downloaded the operating system I'll test and update the instructions for the Australian English dictionary files I provide for Mac users.

Note this will not include any changes in the dictionary files, just an update to the documentation.

The Australian English dictionary files I produce for Microsoft Office provide the preferred Australian English spelling and removes thousands of secondary spellings, American spellings and errors. A native dictionary is also available for Mac users and once tested, will be available for use under macOS Sierra.

Stay tuned.....

Kelvin Eldridge

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Version 4.2A of the Australian English dictionary files now available.

The new version of the Australian English dictionary files is 4.2A. This is only a refresh of the documentation.

For those with version 4.2 there's no need to consider version 4.2A. The documentation has been updated to include the latest versions of Windows, Microsoft Edge, Mac OS X and Office. The only change to the files is the removal of two words from the Mac OS X native dictionary.

The pages on the web site have been updated to also include the latest versions of the software.

Kelvin Eldridge

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Census site uses inquiry instead of enquiry.

As soon as I opened the Census site I noticed something that flagged a concern. It was the word inquiry.

What I've found in the past is if companies aren't diligent with their public presence in terms of spelling, it often provides a deeper hint about the company. In this case it is the Australian government.

When the Census failed in what so far has to be the largest public failure of the government's public online presence, I couldn't help wonder if that hint was a sign of things to come.

In Australia we use two different spelling variations for the very similar words inquiry and enquiry. The spelling inquiry is used in reference to the more formal legal situation such as a government inquiry. The spelling enquiry is used when we make an enquiry about something. In America there's only the single spelling inquiry.

I'd like to admit that spelling inquiry/enquiry has caught me out over the years. I have a science/IT background and without knowing it, the spelling inquiry became the way I spelt enquiry. It was only as a result of my interest in the preferred Australian English spelling dictionary that I became aware of the difference usage of inquiry and enquiry. I was more than happy to adjust my usage once I'd realised I was using the incorrect spelling. We continue to learn and hone our skills as we journey through life.

Kelvin Eldridge

Monday, December 21, 2015

American spelling ever present in our computer software.

As I was setting up the Bulk Billing Doctors Melbourne site and did a search for "bulk billing doctors Melbourne", I was reminded that it's not just the software we use on our computers the contains American spelling, it's also the online services we use.

If you do a search for "bulk billing doctors Melbourne", you'll notice the section Google shows that lists businesses. Not the ads or the organic search results, but the section which often includes a map. In this section you'll notice review ratings along with the term Medical Center. Yes the American spelling.

I've noticed this in other online services, such as LinkedIn, where you'll find the occasional American spelling.

Whilst it may be easily tricked and forget the Australian spelling, just remind yourself you're using software or services that have been developed and supplied by American companies. The companies should take the time and effort to localise their software or service, but their efforts in those areas is often lacking. We're just not important enough to them.

If you do get confused then keep in mind you can use Word Check to check if you're using the preferred Australian English spelling. Word Check is available at

Kelvin Eldridge
The preferred Australian English spelling.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Did you know Outlook web apps uses the spellchecker in your browser?

I get notified of spelling related articles on the internet. I found this article interesting as I wasn't aware that Microsoft's Outlook web apps use the browser's spellchecker. I'd never thought about it really. Older browsers didn't have spellchecking and online services typically used their own spellcheckers. Even as I type this I can see the check spelling option of Blogger, but my testing does indicate the browser is performing the spellcheck as you type function.

(NOTE: Being a little pedantic, but the article contains an error. They've been very good to be careful with their wording, but at the start of the second paragraph missed "Spell checking" which should be "Spellchecking". It's an easy error to make as that is one created by their spellchecker.)

Back on topic. That now means spellchecking is only as good as the dictionary you have installed and the standard dictionary contains many issues and errors. I've identified over two and half thousand with Microsoft products. Those using Google Chrome and Firefox will have even more because they use my obsolete open source work.

The best spellchecking experience for Australians is available using my add-in files for Microsoft Office, Internet Explorer and Apple Mac OSX (which covers native applications such as Safari, Apple mail and other applications, but weird as it may sound, is used by Microsoft Outlook). The Mac OSX native dictionary is still a work in progress but even at this stage is very good.

If you're interested in the best spellchecking experience you can find more information at

Kelvin Eldridge

Monday, July 13, 2015

When using software and online services keep in mind there's quite a lot of American spelling.

Every day as I use my computer and online services I see American spelling. I open the MacBook Air and see words such as color, maximize and center. Open up Microsoft Windows and I'll see words such as favorites and maximize.

Recently the following message popped up in Google using the spelling "spelled" instead of "spelt".

The problem I find is many of these incorrect spelling variations start to be considered the norm, or confuse people. The spelling "spell check" is often considered to be correct by many since the spellchecker changes the spelling from "spellcheck" to "spell check". Since the word processor makes the change it must be right, right? The answer is no, it is wrong.

The tools we use every day to assist us with our writing are full of American spelling variations and errors. It's important to keep this in mind so the tools don't negatively impact your writing. The preferred Australian English spelling tools I create improve the tools for the content you create, but we're not able to improve the user interface at this stage. Australia represents around 1-3% of the global market which isn't a large slice, so we need to keep in mind where we're positioned on the global stage.

As I find software or techniques to provide a better experience for Australians, I'll share that information via this blog.

Kelvin Eldridge