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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Internet Explorer 10/11 does not check the spelling of capitalised words.

Microsoft have had years to perfect spellchecking on their products, yet it seems each new product somehow doesn't take advantage of the previous. Microsoft took a long time to catch up with other leading browsers in terms of spellchecking and could have easily passed the other contenders.

However, Microsoft hasn't implemented the usual features you'd expect to find in a good spellchecker. You have the ability to enable or disable the highlighting of misspelt words and autocorrect. You also have the ability to provide your own list of words to exclude, include and autocorrect. If you check the spellchecking options for Microsoft Word you'll find a whole range of other options.

I provide files for Internet Explorer which provides the preferred Australian English spelling. The word 'mom', which is normally included in the dictionary, is then marked as a spelling error. The problem however is the spellcheck does not appear to check capitalised words. The word 'MOM' for example does not appear as a spelling error and that isn't correct for Australia.

Hopefully Microsoft will correct this oversight in the future.

Kelvin Eldridge    

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

An interesting article on words which are used today differently from what they originally meant

I thought this article was interesting. I’ve heard people argue over the meaning of decimate and how newsreaders use the word incorrectly, but in reality, whilst the word had a particular meaning in the past, usage means it now is used in a different way. I thought others may enjoy the article.

Explained: The words you are not using correctly... Read More

- Kelvin Eldridge
Call 0415 910 703 for help with your computer problem.
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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Is it coathanger or coat hanger?

The spelling of the word "coathanger" was quite a surprise and is an example of how word processing programs such as Microsoft Office, are damaging the language and misleading people on how they should spell a word.

The problem is how word processors are generally designed. If a word doesn't exist in the dictionary the word processor will offer suggestions. One suggestion is, if the word can be broken into two words separated by a space, then the two single words are suggested.

In Microsoft Office the word "coathanger" is not present and thus "coat hanger" is suggested, which is not correct according to the leading authoritative dictionary resources used in Australia. A similar situation exists for the word "spellcheck" where "spell check" which is not correct is suggested. People often become so used to the misspelling they end up believing it is the correct spelling.

When I found this issue I had to double check both the Oxford and Macquarie dictionaries, and both include the spelling "coathanger".

If you check Australian usage using Search Australia, you'll find approximately 4,000 occurrences of "coathanger" and approximately 13,000 occurrences of "coat hanger". This is a staggeringly high percentage of people incorrectly spelling the word and shows just how dependent we are on our word processors.

The preferred Australian English spelling files for Microsoft Office and Internet Explorer will soon fix this issue as well as thousands of other existing issues with the Microsoft spellchecker.

It is possible that both the Oxford and Macquarie dictionaries are wrong and the Microsoft Office spellchecker is correct. This however is unlikely.

Kelvin Eldridge  

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Is it analogue or analog?

Until today I had no doubt the preferred spelling in Australia between analogue and analog would be analogue. But today I noticed the government promoting the Digital TV switch over where they are promoting the conversion from 'analog' to 'digital' TV. If you click on this Digital TV link you'll see the government ad.

When I check both and sites for the usage of analogue and analog, there is a much greater use of the spelling 'analog'. But when I check all .au sites the spelling 'analogue' is slightly ahead. This is quite significant and requires further research.

Normally the words such as dialogue, catalogue would be considered to be the Australian English spelling, and dialog, catalog, would be the American spelling. The Australian spelling is the same as the British spelling. The British spelling is 'analogue' and the American spelling is 'analog'. So it comes as some surprise to me that in Australia 'analog' is a common spelling.

After reviewing the spelling I found the result to be rather interesting. In Australia the spelling analog is often used as an adjective (analog TV, analog computer). The word analog appears frequently in the electronics field.

I decided to use Search Australia (which limits searches to domains ending in .au) and performed various searches using both spelling variations. Usage varies considerably, but analog appears to be mainly used as an adjective with electronics. On the other hand, with 'analogue/analog clock' the main spelling is 'analogue'.

This does make me wonder that since America has heavily influence our electronic purchases, whether or not this has resulted in the American spelling gaining greater acceptance in one area.

At this stage I can't provide a definitive answer as to which is the preferred spelling. For me personally, the preferred spelling would be 'analogue'. My reason is that for most purposes this appears as the preferred spelling except when used as an adjective with electronics. There may be some cases where it would be appropriate to adjust the spelling (such as in electronics) where consistency may be preferable.   I'll leave it up to others to decide their preference.

Kelvin Eldridge 

Friday, November 8, 2013

The Counselor - Now showing with American spelling.

Perhaps because of my interest with the preferred Australian English spelling, when I see movies using American spelling it puts me off the movie. I do think however there is a lesson to be learnt here. Your spelling can and does have an impact on your audience.

I could not possibly imagine an Australian movie being released in America where the spelling wasn't appropriate for America.

My main concern with movies such as 'The Counselor' using American spelling is the confusion it can create. Spelling is hard enough as it is, but when well publicised movies use an incorrect spelling in Australia, that spelling becomes recognised by many Australians who then incorrectly think it is the correct spelling.

I now wonder how many movies shown in Australia both past and present, use or used American spelling. I wonder if it was 'The Colour Purple', or 'The Color Purple'?

One thing I did find interesting is the trailer used by Vue Movie Cinemas in England uses the spelling 'The Counsellor' in the title and credits. For England it appears there has been some effort to use the correct local spelling, but no such effort has been made for Australia. I personally don't think that is good enough.

Kelvin Eldridge

UPDATE: I've noticed the correct spelling now appearing in Australia for the trailler for Village Cinemas, yet their site is using the spelling 'counselor'. The general rule when there are two different spelling variations available is it isn't good to use inconsistent spelling.