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

FREE Word Check
Australian Dictionary

Now with spelling suggestions and links to definitions.

Monday, October 21, 2019

Microsoft Outlook does not correctly spellcheck flavor when in the subject field.

Recently I was sending an email using Microsoft Outlook and to my surprise, the incorrect spelling flavor was not picked up as a spelling error. In fact the correct spelling flavour was marked as a spelling error in the subject field.

If typing flavour in the body of the email message the spelling was correctly handled as the correct spelling for Australia and flavor was correctly marked as a spelling error.

It really is hard to believe after so many decades of Microsoft Outlook being available, there's still errors in the code. In this case the spelling language was set to Australian English. The body of the message is spellchecked correctly, but the subject field is checking the text entered against American English.

To get around this issue and check the spelling correctly, copy the subject text into the body of the email, check the text is spelt correctly, then cut and paste the text into the subject field. That way you know you're getting the text spellchecked using the selected language.

Kelvin Eldridge
The preferred Australian English spelling.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Nearest train station site reorganised to show nearest first when reaching the site, then all if selected.

The Nearest Train Station web app is a series of pages to show the nearest train stations, tram stops and Vline train stations. However, when I first created this site the first map people saw was to show all train stations. Since the name of the site is Nearest Train Station, showing all train stations first didn't quite sit right.

With a bit of time available I restructured the site so the first page people now see is the five nearest train stations. If people wish to see all the train stations they can now select the all option in the menu, or the Train, Tram or Vline options in the menus. The nearest five train stations, tram stops, or Vline stations can be shown by selecting the nearest five once you've selected Train, Tram or Vline.

I hope this change makes it faster for people to find the nearest train station to their current location.

Kelvin Eldridge
Nearest Train Station

Friday, October 4, 2019

Is the spelling Afterall or After all?

Recently, whilst checking a Microsoft Word document, the word Afterall with the initial letter capitalised did not come up as a spelling error, whereas afterall without the initial capital, was shown as a spelling error. How could this be?

The compound word afterall is a common misspelling of after all. The Australian Oxford dictionary confirms the spelling is after all.

A check of Google for sites in Australia (sites ending in .au) returns 321,000 results for afterall and 19.6 million results for after all, which shows most people spell the word correctly. So why isn't Microsoft Word marking the word Afterall as a spelling error?

It may simply be the Microsoft Word dictionary is in error. Another possible reason is a check of the internet shows Afterall is used by a number of organisations as part of their name. As part of an organisation's name, Afterall can be capitalised.

In this situation, how the word Afterall is being used, is after all the only way to know if the word should be capitalised or not. If Afterall is not part of an organisation's name, it is a spelling error.

Kelvin Eldridge
The preferred Australian English spelling.

Monday, September 9, 2019

Is the spelling checkbook, check book, check-book, chequebook, cheque book or cheque-book?

It's been a long time since I've written a cheque. Remember ripping out those cheques. But how do you spell the thing you ripped the cheques out off?

The easy task is we can eliminate checkbook (and any variation) as checkbook is listed in the Macquarie Dictionary as the US spelling. The Australian Oxford dictionary lists cheque book and the hyphenated variation as in cheque-book journalism. The Macquarie Dictionary has the entry chequebook and chequebook journalism. Two dictionaries with two different spelling variations.

If we perform a search on the NAB, Westpac, Commbank and ANZ sites, our four main banks nearly always use cheque book.

A search of Google restricting sites those ending in .au for cheque book and chequebook gives  36,00 and 31,900 respectively. Using the plural cheque books and chequebooks gives 12,000 and 6,320 respectively. If we search for cheque book journalism and chequebook journalism the results returned are 508 and 74 respectively. Of the 508 results for cheque book journalism around 30% used the hyphen, as in cheque-book journalism. Finally, if we use chequebook diplomacy and cheque book diplomacy we get 70 results and 44 results respectively.

Certainly this is not an easy one. The banking industry appears to mostly use cheque book as two words. The results returned from Google for sites ending in .au also indicates cheque book is the preferred spelling. When used as an adjective with the word journalism, the most common usage was cheque book without the hyphen.

Based on these results, for Australian usage, the preferred spelling appears to be cheque book as two words and when used as an adjective, the spelling may not need to be hyphenated. Although this does make me wonder if it's because using hyphens is often a problem for people. Normally, going forward we'd probably expect to see chequebook become the preferred spelling, however since cheque books are being used less and less, there's a good chance cheque books may become a thing of the past.

Kelvin Eldridge
The preferred Australian English spelling.

Monday, August 5, 2019

Is the spelling free standing, free-standing, or freestanding?

Looking for kitchen appliances recently, the results returned In Google showed the use of free standing, freestanding, and free-standing, sometimes even in the one result. It is often said if there's multiple ways to spell a word, you should be consistent with the spelling you choose.

The Australian spelling dictionary aims to provide the single spelling preferred in Australia, but sometimes, as in this case, it can be quite difficult to identify the single preferred spelling. A search of Google for sites from Australia (sites ending in .au) returns 5.41 million results for free standing and 6.37 million for freestanding. Because of the way search engines work, searching for free-standing with the hyphen, usually doesn't return something we can have confidence in, as a hyphen is often treated as a word delimiter. Hyphens are also regularly used in the website URL  (address) and these results will be returned by Google as well.

The Macquarie dictionary has the entry freestanding, but not free-standing. The Oxford Australian dictionary has free-standing, but not freestanding. Microsoft Word is no help at all as it will suggest freestanding and free-standing with the same meaning, and both free and standing are legitimate words in their own right.

It appears this may be a situation where the spelling is evolving. Often when there's two words used as an adjective, the words will be hyphenated. However, as time goes on the hyphenated words drop the hyphen and the result is a single word. With freestanding exceeding free standing (and free-standing), this would indicate the preferred Australian spelling may now be freestanding, with the hyphenated version free-standing a secondary variation. The use of free standing as a two word adjective - when used in the sense of self-supporting, unconnected, independent – which is very common, would also not be the preferred spelling.

Kelvin Eldridge
The preferred Australian English spelling dictionary

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Is the spelling help desk or helpdesk?

A very common situation is whether or not two words should be separated by a space, or joined together as a compound word. The term help desk/helpdesk is one such situation.

A check on the internet of Australian sites (limiting sites to end in .au using Google) returns 12.6 million results for help desk and 379,000 for helpdesk. However, most people aren’t aware of how to limit results to just include sites ending in .au, so if they did the same test without restricting the results, they would get 66.8 million and 73 million respectively. The reverse of the usage in Australia. This is a perfect example of why it isn’t wise to just accept the information you receive from Google, without understanding more about the results you’re seeing.

Microsoft Word accepts both helpdesk and help desk equally, meaning writers using Microsoft Word are often unaware they’re using a secondary spelling variation.

If you check the Macquarie and the Australian Oxford dictionaries, both list help desk as the primary entry and helpdesk as an also entry.

The primary spelling in Australia is therefore help desk, with a space between the two words.

Kelvin Eldridge
The preferred Australian English spelling.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Is the spelling breakeven, break even, or break-even?

It's very common where a word can be used as a compound word, two separate words, or with the two words hyphenated. Sometimes all three can be correct based on your usage, but at other times one or more may be a secondary spelling, or may be incorrect usage.

If we check breakeven, break even and break-even using Google, and limiting sites to sites ending in .au, the number of results returned are: 67,400, 156,000 and 161,000 respectively. The Australian Oxford Dictionary only lists break even. The Macquarie Dictionary lists both break even and break-even. Neither dictionary lists breakeven which indicates breakeven as a compound word may not be correct. Those using Microsoft Word should take care as Word accepts breakeven as a valid spelling.

The Macquarie Dictionary describes break-even as a noun derived from the phrasal verb break even, thus break even is a phrasal verb.  E.g. Usage as a phrasal verb. The company aims to break even by year end. Usage as a noun. The company may never reach break-even. In addition break-even can be used as an adjective. The company needs to know their break-even point.

Whether break-even or break even is used depends on your usage. At least in Australia, breakeven as a compound word, should most likely be considered to be an error.

Kelvin Eldridge