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, September 24, 2012

Are spellcheckers making invalid spelling suggestions? E.g. spell check for spellcheck.

A flaw of nearly all modern programs which include a spellchecker, including Firefox, Google Chrome,, Microsoft Office and others, is if they don’t know a word they’ll make suggestions by splitting the word into two words.

For me the most obvious example of this I see regularly on the internet is the word “spellcheck”. If you type “spellcheck” into almost any program which includes a spellchecker you’ll get a number of suggestions. One of the suggestions is “spell check” and thus a very large number of people incorrectly end up using the words “spell check” in their document.

As far as I can determine for America (using the Merriam-Webster online dictionary), the word is hyphenated as in “spell-check”. For Australia the word “spellcheck” is valid and is a backformation from spellchecker, according to the Fifth Edition of the Macquarie Dictionary. The word “spellcheck” is also documented in The Australian Oxford Dictionary, Second Edition.

The preferred Australian English dictionary I’ve created (and still working on) includes the correct spelling “spellcheck”. If you are not sure if you are using the correct spelling, or the preferred Australian English spelling of a word, check the word using Word Check.

A feature of Word Check is you can check the meaning of words using the online Oxford Dictionary (there is no free online Australian English dictionary which provides the meaning of words). In this case when checking “spellcheck” using the online Oxford Dictionary, which provides British + World English and US English, the information returned for US English I’d suggest is not correct. As mentioned above, in US English the word is hyphenated whilst the online Oxford Dictionary suggests it should be a single word.

Kelvin Eldridge
Creator of the preferred Australian English dictionary.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Favourite or Favorite?

When using your browser you could be forgiven for thinking the spelling should be “favourite”. The problem is the user interface for a lot of software used in Australia uses American English spelling. Over time, because we see the spelling so often, we start to believe the spelling is correct.

You can often download a UK version of a browser which can be better, but it may still not be the best for Australia. Unfortunately, except for the Opera browser where I previously provided an Australian English spelling user interface, it is not possible to easily change the spelling used in the user interface.

For the time being, the best approach is to remain confident in your spelling ability and know the spelling is “favourite”.

If you are in doubt whether or not the spelling of a word is the preferred Australian English spelling, you can use the online tool I provide called Word Check.

Kelvin Eldridge
Creator of the preferred Australian English spelling dictionary.


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Is it practice or practise?

As I was driving to get onto the Greensborough ring road, I saw a billboard which had the statement, "PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT". I thought, "surely that can't be right".

I decided to do some research and as it turns out it is right, but not for the obvious reason. Most people could easily believe it should be "practise makes perfect". If you practise your driving you will become perfect.

In MyAnswers solution 2246 I share my insight into the words practice and practise.

The Australian dictionary related solutions in MyAnswers are available free on request to all clients and those supporting my dictionary work by either contribution or purchasing one of the low cost dictionary products I produce.

Kelvin Eldridge