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.


Friday, December 24, 2010

MyAnswers: Is it misspelt or misspelled?

The following MyAnswers solution 2052 is now available:

Is it misspelt or misspelled?



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Kelvin Eldridge
www.MyAnswers.biz

MyAnswers: Is it focused or focussed?

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Is it focused or focussed?



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Kelvin Eldridge
www.MyAnswers.biz

MyAnswers: Is it email or e-mail?

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Is it email or e-mail?



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Kelvin Eldridge
www.MyAnswers.biz

MyAnswers: Is it airconditioner, air-conditioner, or air conditioner?

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Is it airconditioner, air-conditioner, or air conditioner?



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Kelvin Eldridge
www.MyAnswers.biz

MyAnswers: Is it web site or website?

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Is it web site or website?



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Kelvin Eldridge
www.MyAnswers.biz

MyAnswers: Is it software licence or software license?

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Is it software licence or software license?



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Kelvin Eldridge
www.MyAnswers.biz

MyAnswers: Is it Internet or internet?

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Is it Internet or internet?



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Kelvin Eldridge
www.MyAnswers.biz

MyAnswers: Is it dialogue or dialog?

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Is it dialogue or dialog?



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Kelvin Eldridge
www.MyAnswers.biz

MyAnswers: Is it ones or one's?

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Is it ones or one's?



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Kelvin Eldridge
www.MyAnswers.biz

MyAnswers: What are your thoughts with cooperation versus co-operation?

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What are your thoughts with cooperation versus co-operation?



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Kelvin Eldridge
www.MyAnswers.biz

MyAnswers: Is it its or it's?

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Is it its or it's?



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Kelvin Eldridge
www.MyAnswers.biz

MyAnswers: Is it spelt or spelled?

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Is it spelt or spelled?



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Kelvin Eldridge
www.MyAnswers.biz

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Word Check hints and tips

This blog entry aims to provide a collection of hints and tips for using Word Check. Word Check is an online service which enables you to check if you are using the preferred Australian English spelling of a word. Word Check is based on the Kelvin version of the Australian English spellcheck dictionary (also known as Kelvin's dictionary).

Kelvin's dictionary aims to:
  • Include only the preferred spelling of Australian words. Where there are two or three ways to spell the same word, only the preferred spelling is included.
  • In general, American spelt words are not included. For example mom is not included, as mum is the preferred spelling in Australia. The word ranch however is included, as it is not considered a non-preferred spelling variation of an Australian English word.
  • Archaic and obsolete words are not included.
  • Many words which should have a space, such as "ice cream", are included.
  • Many words which should have a hyphen are included.
Word Check is still evolving and many hundreds of hours of work on the Kelvin dictionary are still required before it reaches the general release stage. Word Check has been released early, as even now, it is providing a very useful tool for Australians and those wishing to write for an Australian audience.

Word Check is not a spellchecker. It should be kept in mind most spellchecking programs and word processing programs, are not as accurate as Word Check. They introduce errors in their implementation. For example, enter the word non-non in most writing programs, and you will find non-non is a correctly spelt word, which is obviously not correct. Word Check only contains correctly spelt words (subject of course to our own errors and omissions). By limiting Word Check to a single word, words which contain spaces or hyphens are included in the Kelvin dictionary and are now correctly handled. In a program performing spellchecking, hyphenated words and words with spaces (such as deja vu, which allows typing vu as a word) are often mishandled.

Please feel free to suggest words, or to challenge existing words (in a nice way of course). The Kelvin dictionary is a growing and evolving resource. As I find evidence of word usage change in Australia backed by an authoritative reference, the Kelvin dictionary will be updated.

Word Check can easily be added to your browser as a search engine, so you can use the search field in your browser to check a word. In Opera and Internet Explorer it is fairly easy to add Word Check so you can highlight a word on a web page, check the word and then check the meaning of the word.

I accept Word Check is not yet comprehensive enough to be live and I apologise in advance for any inconvenience. If you feel a word should be spelt in a certain way and it is not being found, the word may not have yet reached the dictionary.
Please enjoy the fruits of my labour.

- Kelvin Eldridge

TIPS:
  • Word Check does not offer a list of suggested words.
  • Word Check in many instances is more accurate than a spellchecker as it allows you to check against the list of actual words, which can include spaces, hyphens, periods and apostrophes.
  • Word Check doesn't allow you to create words using prefixes and suffixes which may not be actual usage. For example typing non-non as a word is often valid when using a spellchecker, as the word non has been included in the spellchecker, as have many other partial words. This does mean many more correct variations need to be identified and entered into the Kelvin dictionary.
  • Word Check is case sensitive. Enter the word as you would write it. For example Anzac can also be ANZAC, but it is never anzac. Type in Australia and not australia. If you type in australia without the first letter being capitalised, the result will be Not Found.
  • In general enter words in lower case and with the letters correctly capitalised. For example enter Melbourne and not melbourne. Entering melbourne will result in the message Not Found.
  • If you enter a word in all capitals, as would be used in a heading, the word will be compared with the words in the dictionary converted to capitals. You should avoid entering words in capitals so you can determine the correct capitalisation. You shouldn't assume that if you now use the word which was in capitals in lower case it will be correct. For example AUSTRALIA will be found, but australia will not be found.
  • There is quite a bit of confusion as to whether some words should be a single word, a hyphenated word, or contain a space between two or more words. Word Check aims to provide the correct variation. Try all three variations to determine the correct spelling. For example "ice cream" is the preferred spelling, but to determine which is the preferred spelling, you may wish to try "icecream" and "ice-cream". This is not an easy area, since in many instances, the two or more words will only be in the dictionary as separate entries that you can test separately.
  • You may wish to check the meaning of a word. Many words which are very similar, only differ by one letter, yet mean very different things, such as meter and metre, or confirmation and conformation.
  • Word Check aims to provide the correct spelling variations for a word, including possessives and plurals. These are not readily available in other dictionaries and can often be the hardest to determine as being correct. For example Word Check includes: dog, dogs, dog's and dogs'.
NOTE: 11 June 2013

Obtain the password

A password is required to use Word Check and is provided to everyone who purchases one of the dictionary files.

If you haven't purchased a dictionary file I've also created a Search Australia search engine. If you take the time to check out Search Australia, as a thank you, you can access Word Check and the password will be set for you.

In Search Australia enter the letter w by itself, click on search and you'll go to Word Check with the password set. Then you can enter the word you wish to check. You can also enter w, then a space and then the word and save the extra step. Remember this needs to be done on the first screen of Search Australia which can be found at http://www.justlocal.com.au/search/australia/.

Thank you for checking out Search Australia.

Outlook Express British and Australian English spelling

Many people still use Outlook Express as their email client and really it makes sense. Whilst as a product development stopped years ago, it was only very recently that Windows XP computers stopped selling and Windows XP comes with Outlook Express. At one stage I read over 60 million netbooks were sold and most of those would have been purchased in the last couple of years and ran Windows XP. The computer I'm using is a netbook which runs Windows XP. There really was no choice because Vista would have been a terrible experience because of performance and Windows 7 didn't exist.

My logs show about 50% of people are still using Windows XP. There is however a problem As people upgrade Microsoft Office to 2007 or 2010 the spellchecker stops working in Outlook Express and Microsoft don't provide a solution. They could if they wanted to but choose not to. When the upgrade is performed the only option they have is to spellcheck using French and that doesn't really suit many people.

To help those in this situation I provide a solution to add British English spelling to Outlook Express. For those who have an earlier copy of Office and can extract the required file, they can even have Australian spelling. I explain in the documentation I provide how this can be done.

So if you have Outlook Express and your spellchecker is no longer working as a result of upgrading to Office 2007 or 2010, or never had spellchecker because you didn't have a Microsoft product like Word or Words installed, the software I provide will provide American or British spelling, and with access to the right files, Australian English spelling.

This means you can continue to use Outlook Express until you are ready to move to another email client.

You can find the Outlook Express spelling solution using the following link.

Kelvin Eldridge
http://www.onlineconnections.com.au/

The Preferred Australian English Spelling For Microsoft Office

The Microsoft Office spellchecker is a very good product, and I suspect you might be thinking, "what's the but", and yes there's a but.

There are thousands of words in the Microsoft dictionary which can be spelt two and perhaps more ways. Whilst the variations are generally considered correct, most people consider the secondary spelling variations to be incorrect and that can detract from your writing. Worse though, is if you include material you've copied and paste you could easily introduce inconsistent spelling into your document, where you use the two different spelling variations and that is always considered incorrect. For example to use both organise and organize in the one document is considered incorrect, but is quite possible with Microsoft Office. Many people also flip flop between ise and ize spelling variations in a document not really knowing which spelling variation they should use and going on gut feel. This detracts from the quality of their document or writing which reduces the impact of the message the writing aims to get across.

If you've ever sat in a Microsoft seminar to see them use the spelling license for their software in Australia, you'll realise how important spelling is. The message Microsoft sends to an Australian audience is they don't care enough to localise their product, or even the presenters slides for the audience and that severly reduces their perceived sincerity.

In addition Microsoft Office includes words which are incorrect for Australian usage. The most obvious example is mom.

To overcome these issues I've provided an Exclude file you can install which will mark over 2,400 words as incorrectly spelt. The words are either words which shouldn't be in the Microsoft spellcheck dictionary or they are a secondary spelling variation.

If you prefer consistent spelling in your documents, if you prefer to use the preferred Australian English spelling in your documents and emails, if you really value your audience, then my Microsoft Exclude file is a great investment for you.

You can obtain the Microsoft Exclude file using this link.

Kelvin Eldridge
http://www.onlineconnections.com.au/

Word Check provides an easy tool to check the preferred Australian English spelling of a word.

Word Check provides access to my latest work in providing the preferred Australian English spelling. My work when complete will provide the following:
  • Australian English spelling. Not British or American.
  • Check words with spaces such as deja vu.
  • Confirm if a word should be hyphenated such as email and not e-mail.
  • Confirm you are using the preferred Australian spelling such as mosquitoes and not mosquitos.
  • Avoid using American spelling.
  • Avoid using archaic and obsolete words.
  • Easily check the plural of a word.
  • Easily check the correct prefix and suffix usage.
Currently Australians do not have access to a tool which provides the preferred Australian English spelling.
My preferred Australian English spelling work is an ongoing development effort requiring many hundreds of hours of research. I've released Word Check at this stage to enable people to benefit from my work.

You can find Word Check via this link, Australian English Word Check.

I trust you will find Word Check to be a handy online facility.

Kelvin Eldridge
http://www.OnlineConnections.com.au/

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Welcome to my Australian Dictionary blog

Hi,

I've been building dictionaries since 2003 and my work is now the basis of dictionaries used by projects such as Google Chrome, Firefox and OpenOffice.org. A couple of years ago I decided since there really wasn't any involvement by others short of taking my work, that I'd start again. To provide the dictionary I'd always wanted but didn't realise it didn't exist. I wanted a dictionary which provided the preferred Australian English spelling.

Now most people don't even realise this is a problem. The most common statement people make is they don't like American spelling. Getting rid of the "ize" spelling variations was easy, but it was just the beginning. The problem was my early work was based on a UK dictionary. I culled over 30,000 words from the UK dictionary before starting to rebuild it. My main tool was the Microsoft spellchecker. Whatever limitations the Microsoft spellchecker contained wouldn't have picked up the errors and I've since identified the Microsoft spellchecker contains over 2,400 words which aren't the preferred spelling. I find many words which should be in the dictionary and many that need to be included. The only way I could ensure a quality product was to start again.

So start again I did about two years ago. This time however, so others didn't just take the work and contribute nothing in return, my work became closed source and copyright. My belief is if people value what I do then a fair exchange of energy shows it is of value. The first product of this work is available online as Word Check. Word Check already contains nearly 60,000 words. Progress is slow as the work is very labour intensive. A single word can take hours to review. Ultimately for me, if something is worth doing, it is worth doing to the best of my ability.

So far I've released three products as a result of my dictionary work. Word Check, which is an online tool enabling people to check if they're using the preferred Australian English spelling of a word. The second product is a patch for Outlook Express to provide Australians with at least a UK dictionary, but if they have an older copy of Word or Office, the ability to use Australian English spelling. The patch doesn't use my word list. The third product is a file which provides Microsoft Office users with the preferred Australian English spelling. Any Australian user of Microsoft Office products would benefit from using this work, but usually they aren't even aware they need it. Others know from their writing because they use inconsistent spelling. Others know because they often appear to be using American English. It does affect how others see them through their written word, whether it be in a resume, a report, or a web site. People do notice, but the writer is usually never aware. For example type in mom into a Word document and you'll see no spelling error. The obvious words such as organize or summarize are easy to recognise, but a copy and paste from another source, or a merge of documents can easily lead to inconsistency with both spelling variations contained within a single document. There are many other words which slip under the radar. None of us would consider writing to-day as was done in the past, but a great number write co-operate without realising the preferred style has changed over time. Our habits from school show others a lot more than we realise. My work helps those who are interested in nudging their written work to the next level. A better level.

I will be using this blog to share interesting aspects of words in our language. I'm not a language expert. I make plenty of grammatical and punctuation mistakes like everyone else. What I do, is to take each word and systematically check the word against authoritative resources and determine the preferred Australian English spelling when there is more than a single spelling variation.

I hope you enjoy my journey as I explore the Australian English spelling. My aim on this journey is to provide Australians with the preferred Australian English spelling.

Kelvin Eldridge
The Preferred Australian English spelling