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

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Now with spelling suggestions and links to definitions.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Small variations in spelling can significantly impact how a reader may perceive your writing.

I get alerts sent to me covering a range of topics. One alert contained a link to this article on the spelling of definitely. Overall it is a good article and worth a read. However when I started to read the article I immediately thought it was perhaps a republication of an article published in America.

Now you may ask why I would think that?

The answer is there are a couple of clues that I frequently see in writing by American journalists. The spelling spell-check and misspelled. Both of these spellings are typically American. In Australia the preferred spellings are spellcheck and misspelt.

Once I see an article I think is American I usually discard it, or at least treat it with a lower degree of confidence. There are large number of differences, and if someone hasn't taken the time to edit the article for an Australian audience, I think it can do more harm than good. The repeated use of American spelling makes it harder to remember the correct or preferred Australian English spelling.

Much to my surprise the author of this article is an Australian. They have however spent some time in Greece. I remember when I was in Greece I walked out of the hotel in Delphi to see the spelling Jewelry, which is the American spelling and incorrect in Australia. So perhaps there's more of a bias towards the American spelling in Greece. I don't know, but it does seem to be a strange coincidence.

If you are writing articles make sure you target the spelling to the preferred spelling of the audience. Don't let the spelling get in the way of the information you wish to share.

Kelvin Eldridge
The preferred Australian English spelling.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

South Australian spelling test search uncovers something unexpected

Today I thought I'd check out the South Australian spelling test by searching Google. What I found however wasn't good. I found the following document on a Northern Territory government site. The document was written in 2007.

I opened the document and started to read the first paragraph. I didn't even reach the end of the first sentence and there it was. The dreaded apostrophe error. The use of an apostrophe to indicate a possessive when no apostrophe was required since it is simply a plural.

As I scrolled I noticed another common error. The abbreviated form of example written as Eg instead of E.g. At that point I simply stopped reading. There are eight teachers who have put their name on this document and yet not one picked up the error in the first sentence.

Sometimes I wonder what chance do our children have when those who are teaching them aren't as thorough as they could be.

I personally struggle with the use of apostrophes and one reason is I see incorrect usage every day. The incorrect usage makes it much harder to work out which is correct and which is incorrect. Perhaps it's time to try to reduce the incorrect use of apostrophes.

Kelvin Eldridge

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Google Chrome and the Opera browser can now use the preferred Australian English spelling on Apple Mac OS X computers.

For some time I've provided an Australian Dictionary for Apple's OS X users on the page Unlike the Australian dictionary included with Apple's OS X, the dictionary I've created only includes the preferred spelling and not the many secondary spelling variations. The preferred spelling is the spelling most people consider to be correct for a word, whereas the majority of people would consider the alternate or secondary spelling variation to be incorrect.

Recently however I stumbled across something rather interesting. Most of the time I use Safari and have installed my own dictionary files so I can use the preferred spelling. I also have Opera installed as a second browser for testing purposes. For some reason I decided to check the dictionary being used. Quite to my surprise I found Opera appeared to be using my dictionary. A quick test and yes Opera was indeed using my dictionary. On Windows the Opera browser would use the American or British dictionary. When Opera said they were going to use my open source work I asked what they were going to do in return. As a result they chose not to use my dictionary. I appreciated that because unlike Firefox and Google Chrome that just used my work and gave nothing in return, at least Opera chose not to use my work and to me I was good with that.

I then started thinking, I wonder which dictionary Google Chrome uses. I downloaded and installed Google Chrome. Again to my surprise Google Chrome under OS X doesn't use dictionaries it provides, but uses the dictionaries made available through Apple's operating system. Since my dictionary is defined as the default native dictionary under OS X, that meant Google Chrome was also using my dictionary. That makes me very happy. All users of Google Chrome need to do is to obtain the preferred Australian English spelling dictionary from myself, make it the default, and then Chrome users under OS X can take advantage of my work.

My dictionary work under OS X is still a work in progress, but having said that, it covers an estimated 98% of words most people use. I can be a bit of a perfectionist, so when I feel the time is right I'll release my work as production ready.

Apple Mac users now have three browsers they can select from that can use the preferred Australian English spelling. I've been a long time supporter of Microsoft Windows, but this is one area where Apple from my perspective is better. Microsoft does not provide the ability to use your own dictionary and my current approach under Windows whilst very good, still relies on identifying errors or issues and then providing files to correct those issues.

Personally I find Apple's Safari browser to be suitable for most of my browsing needs whilst using the Apple MacBook Air, so I don't need to use Google Chrome or Opera much at this point in time. However never say never, because you never know when a feature of one of the other browsers becomes exceptionally useful.

If you'd like to use the preferred Australian English spelling then feel free to visit my page ( and check out my work for Apple Macs.

Kelvin Eldridge
The preferred Australian English spelling dictionary.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Spelling and grammar errors can be easily spotted on many signs such as this one in the Eltham Village Shopping Centre.

I was visiting the Eltham Village Shopping Centre on the weekend. As I walked down the ramp from the top car park I noticed the advertising posters. I generally don't pay much attention to the posters, but the hairdresser's poster caught my attention and not in a particularly good way.

Can you spot the spelling and grammar errors?

As I walked into the shopping centre I looked up and saw the Centre Management sign. Yes another spelling error.

I thought that's not good. I thought, what's on the other side of the sign?

The word centre was now spelt correctly on the other side of the sign. How do graphic designers and printers get one side of a sign correct on one side and don't have the spelling the same on both sides? To me that doesn't make sense.

You may also notice the spelling carparks, which is a secondary spelling. The preferred spelling in Australia is car parks.

Whilst I tend to consider these spelling issues minor, I know for me, seeing spelling errors like this around me all the time can make it hard to remember the correct spelling and grammar. Often the incorrect usage of the apostrophe makes me doubt that I know the correct usage. We learn through usage and example and I often feel such poor examples cannot be helping those who are learning our language, such as the young and for those with English as a second language.

Can you spot the errors in the above signs?

Kelvin Eldridge
The best spelling for Australians.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Is the spelling car park or carpark?

Every day I see how a word is spelt and it literally stops me when I'm reading the article. I think, "that's not how I'd spell the word", and then I start to think about the spelling rather than the content of the article. Has that happened to you?

In this case it was a truly tragic situation of a man dying after falling three floors in a Westfield car park. This headline read "Man dies after falling from third level of Westfield shopping centre carpark". My first concern was for someone local as I live near Westfield Doncaster, but in this case it was Westfield Parramatta. How weird I thought. Even such a powerful and emotional headline trips me up with what I consider is probably a secondary spelling. The spelling had got in the way of the message.

So which is the correct spelling? The preferred spelling in Australia is using two words or car park. The single word variation carpark is a secondary spelling variation.

To check the ratio of usage in Australia I now use my search engine ( which only includes sites with domains ending in .au and selected Australian sites. I enclose each spelling variation in double quotes which then returns the number of pages found by Google. In this case the numbers were:

car park - 1.9 million
carpark - 484,000

The Macquarie dictionary has car park as the header word (the entry) and carpark in that entry as an Also spelling. That is, carpark is a secondary spelling. The Oxford dictionary does not have a separate headword and only includes car park as part of the definition for car. The Oxford does not list carpark as a spelling.

The problem with dictionaries is they document usage which doesn't help us to know what most people would normally consider to be the correct spelling. Both spelling variations are considered correct by the dictionaries, as years ago dictionaries across the world decided to stop be prescriptive (telling us how to spell) to being descriptive (documenting how we spell). That doesn't really help people who simply wish to use the best spelling option.

If you were writing for an audience you could expect 80% would be expecting the spelling car park and around 20% carpark. In my opinion it is best to write using the spelling the majority of people use and that way it is considered correct by the majority of people. Far easier to argue your case if someone then challenges your spelling, who may themselves prefer the secondary spelling.

Kelvin Eldridge
Making it easier to Australians to know the preferred Australian English spelling.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

David Jones is a little inconsistent with their use of Wi-Fi.

I was checking the modern usage of apostrophe on retail sites and I came across the following David Jones page for their free Wi-Fi.

What caught my attention is the number of inconsistencies in such a short space. If we look at the graphic we see WIFI and INSTORE.

Now if we move to the two paragraphs of text that follow we see a number of inconsistencies.

Notice the first paragraph has the correct use of Wi-Fi whereas the second paragraph and the graphic use the incorrect form WiFi. The word instore is one of three possible forms but the preferred form in Australia is in-store.

Perhaps using a retailers site wasn't as good an idea as I first thought. Certainly does not give me confidence that appropriate care has been taken with the site. To me that's a pity as quality brands are often leaders which we can follow and use as references.

Kelvin Eldridge

Friday, October 24, 2014

I thought this article on Mrs Daffern's research through the CSU's School of Education in Albury Wodonga was an interesting read so decided to share.

Mrs Daffern's research, through the CSU's School of Education in Albury Wodonga, is examining how children learn to spell so that educators can improve how this important skill is taught.... read more
The preferred Australian English spelling.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Apostrophe use. If there's one things you'll see that's very common, it is the incorrect use of the apostrophe.

Apostrophe use. What can I say. Every day you'll probably see the apostrophe used incorrectly. I've used it incorrectly many times and I'm sure you probably have too. You'll see misuse of the apostrophe on signs and in written work all around you.

My work is about the preferred Australian English spelling. The apostrophe appears in my work in the form of possessives, plurals and telescoped words. Sometimes even though this seems simple it isn't.

To help those struggling with the apostrophe you may wish to check out the following article from the Macquarie dictionary site.

My favourite example is when I realised that everyone I asked seemed to say Princes Highway incorrectly. Everyone including myself would say Princess Highway. Home come I kept thinking. The reason is convention. The apostrophe in Princes has been dropped due to convention. If you don't know the convention (and many people including myself didn't), then you can see how this can lead people to mispronounce the word. Once you know however, it all makes sense.

Now if you're having trouble with an apostrophe and would like to ask a question, I'm not your man. I only do words;-)

Kelvin Eldridge
The preferred Australian English spelling.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Does bad spelling annoy you?

Because of my interest in the preferred Australian English spelling, I receive alerts about articles on spelling. One popped into my email recently with the subject, "Does bad spelling annoy you?" I recognised the site as it was a survey site I'd reviewed earlier in the year. This was a question posted by a member of the group and from what I can see, is usually done simply for a bit of fun.

For a bit of fun I decided to post the same question and selection of answers to a business group I participate in that is administered by the Victorian government. The group is in theory composed of business people. The survey group I'm not sure of, but it would be a cross section of the population. The survey group are unlikely to be business people as when they do a survey, the reward is equivalent to $2-$2.50 per hour. The survey people are more likely people who have time on their hands and do it for a bit of fun, socialising and perhaps a desire to contribute. We can't rule out all workers, because someone who has time on their hands at work, with access to a computer, could effectively add 10% to their income whilst being paid to work. So nothing is certain except the group are members of the survey site.

A conclusion from the two different sample groups we can reach is that business people are more concerned about spelling than the survey group at 88% to 73%. Interestingly as well, more people don't care about good spelling in the survey group than the business group at 20% to 10%.

The survey site answers were:

Respondents: 59

Yes: 73%
No: 7%
Don't care: 20%

Male: 32%
Female: 68%

Under 18: 4%
18-39: 32%
35-54: 37%
55+: 27%

The business Facebook group

Respondents: 59

Yes: 88%
No: 1%
Don't care: 10%
(Total not 100% due to rounding down in each answer.)

Male: 37%
Female: 63%

For those who are interested, over the years I've asked various people about the importance of spelling. When I asked a few primary teachers the answer was not important. When I asked a year 11/12 teacher the response was not that important as it is worth only a few marks. My observation of tertiary is people are being marked more on spelling as there's been feedback on people losing marks.

The year 11/12 response concerns me. A few marks at the higher end could make a significant difference as to the course a person gets entry to. I understand the primary teachers response because the focus appears to be on overall learning to not focusing as much on the detail, which I suspect improves over time, but that's just my opinion without foundation.

The response to this type of survey will vary considerably according to the survey group, but it does show overall, that people do place some level of importance on good spelling. In the business world it becomes more important.

I do however wonder how much difference it does make in the real world. Would you not buy those avocados because the sign said avocado's, and would poor spelling in a real estate ad stop your from buying that million dollar property? I suspect the answer is no, it would make no difference. However if you received a quote or a resume with bad spelling then that could have an impact. It really depends greatly on the situation. To be annoyed is one thing, but to act differently is another.

Kelvin Eldridge
Creator of the preferred Australian English spelling dictionary.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Dictionary Australian - The preferred Australian English spelling for Microsoft Office, Internet Explorer and Mac OSX.

Dictionary Australian - Give that people search for dictionary Australian in Google I felt I should at least make it easy for those people to find the preferred Australian spelling files for Microsoft Office, Internet Explorer and Mac OSX.

If spelling matters to you then please take a little time to review and see how my work can assist your written work. My work is a result of the past 11 years of producing dictionary files and as a result I've uncovered many issues in Microsoft Office, Internet Explorer and Mac OSX which is reducing the quality of your written work. Often you'll think something is a little strange but then think your software knows best. It often doesn't and as such is creating bad spelling habits you should be aware of.

Once you become aware you'll never look back.

Kelvin Eldridge

Monday, August 4, 2014

Spell check is an incorrect spelling and here's why it happens.

The spelling of the word spell check in Australia is spellcheck and in America it is spell-check. That is, one word in Australia and hyphenated in America.

Why then do so many people insert a space between the words spell and check?

The reason is very simple. The word spellcheck is not included in the dictionary which comes with the software people use. When people type the word spellcheck the spellchecker tries to find suitable suggestions and since the words spell and check are both valid, a suggestion that is made is spell check with a space between the two words.

People across the world now believe the spelling is spell check, but in fact their word processor has misled them and they are now making a spelling error.

The preferred Australian English spelling files I provide corrects this and thousands of other spelling issues that occur when using Microsoft Office products. The same issues occur with other software, but least I can provide spelling files which correct the issues.

Kelvin Eldridge

Thursday, July 31, 2014 article - The 16 foods people spell wrong all the time

I thought this was an interesting article which appeared online today. How many of the food related words do you struggle with. I have to admit it took a trip to English before I finally realised the correct way to say Worcestershire. So obvious once your realise.

Here are 17 words people spell wrong all the time. Please, for the love of all things culinary, correct the error of your ways if you find a word here that you spell more

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

If the apostrophe gives you problems as it does many, this page on the Macquarie site may be quite useful.

You would think the apostrophe being such a simple character would be easy to use. As it turns out, it isn't and there's quite some effort required to use it properly. Look around you and most days you'll be able to see the apostrophe being used incorrectly.

On the Macquarie dictionary site I found the following guide to punctuation and felt this was a worthwhile resource to share with others.

Word Check which can be found on the Australian Dictionary site I maintain, can be quite useful as many possessives and contractions are included, but quite a few of the subtle uses of the apostrophe are not be found in a dictionary.

Keep in mind you need to not only consider the correct usage, but also convention. For example in Melbourne we have a bridge which crosses the Yarra in the city. I've always pronounced the name of the bridge as Princess Bridge. I find when I ask people in Melbourne most people pronounce the name of the bridge the same way. The actual name is Princes Bridge. To me that made no sense. It was only recently that I found out that by convention the apostrophe is not included. Logically it should be Prince's Bridge, but by convention it is Princes Bridge.

We also have a major highway being the Princes Highway. Next time someone mentioned the name listen carefully. Chances are those around you will be calling it Princess Highway as well. Now you know, you may wish to let them in on the secret.

Kelvin Eldridge

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Australian Dictionary - The preferred Australian English spellcheck dictionary files for MS Office, Internet Explorer and OSX.

Most Australians aren't aware the Australian dictionary used in the leading software applications do not provide the preferred Australian English spelling. The software applications in fact contain multiple spelling variations, which can lead to documents containing the one word spelt differently in the same document and the writer wouldn't necessarily know.

There are  in fact over 2,400 secondary spelling variations contained in Microsoft Office, including words such as organise/organize, focused/focussed and mum/mom. There are also words which are spelt incorrectly such as snorkeler, and the correct spelling snorkeller needs to be added to the dictionary.

The preferred Australian English spelling files correct this shortcoming of MS Office on both Windows and Macs, in Internet Explorer 10/11, and in development is a native dictionary for OSX which works with Outlook 2011 and native applications on the Mac.

For some the preferred Australian English spelling simplifies the language and for others produces documents with less errors. If spelling is an important part of your life or business, consider checking out my work at

Kelvin Eldridge
Creator of the preferred Australian English spelling dictionary.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Word Check is now available on a 12 months subscription.

Until now Word Check has only been available to clients and those purchasing my preferred Australian English spelling files. I've now decided to provide Word Check as a 12 months subscription for $4.95.

Word Check is a great way to check if you're using the preferred Australian English spelling for a word. Word Check provides suggestions should you spell a word incorrectly.

In addition I've provided convenience links so you can check the meaning of Words using both the Oxford and Wiktionary. Whilst you can go direct to these sites, only Word Check assures you that you are using the preferred Australian English spelling. Wiktionary is a good resource but there are quite a few errors that I and others have noticed and it can also be quite difficult to determine the Australian spelling as Australian spelling is generally not considered. With the Oxford site you may also have to retype the word. The Oxford site is not good at handling variations such as plurals and capitals, but if you retype a word the site does. With the Oxford dictionary site it can also be difficult to determine the preferred Australian spelling as Australian spelling is rarely considered.

When you purchase the 12 months subscription the current password is provided. I update a password a number of times a year and the new password will be provided during the subscription. The new password should be entered as soon as your receive it. The old password will be phased out in time.

The amount of $4.95 may be seen by many as a small contribution to assist me with my work, but it really is appreciated. Do keep in mind if you purchase one of the dictionary files you receive the Word Check password for free for the next twelve months as well in the purchase price.

Kelvin Eldridge

Monday, June 16, 2014

Google Chrome Australian dictionary and why my work is no longer open source.

When I first started the dictionary work in 2003, I created the first dictionary in my own time to help a client. The client didn't pay anything for the work as it was my choice to do it and not something the client requested, even though I felt they needed it and would use it for years to come. I then made the dictionary work available as open source as I had a belief that when you help others, others help you.

The real lesson I learnt is a mechanism has to be put into place so people give back and unfortunately the best mechanism I've found so far, is to make my work commercial and to charge a nominal amount for my work.

Here is what happens if you don't put a mechanism in place. Many projects come along, take the work in incorporate it into their project without a second thought, never giving anything back. Businesses do the same and the individuals who use the work, generally for free, never give it a second thought as well.

One of my early attempts to get something in return was to ask for a link back to my site. Links have value and cost nothing to implement but a little time. That didn't work. Here is a copy from my readme file on the Google Chromium project site. As you can see Google Chrome uses my older work (as does Firefox and many other projects) and I see no traffic in my logs from links, thus I can only assume no links were ever put into place.

In the end I decided it was not possible to simply keep giving to others and not to receive anything in return. So if you ever wondered what happened to my open source work hopefully that might help explain things a little.

Kelvin Eldridge
Australian Dictionary

Monday, June 9, 2014

Australian dictionary online has a password which you can get for free.

Many people visit my Australian Dictionary site and attempt to use Word Check. Word Check is my online tool to enable people to see if they're using the preferred Australian English spelling, to provide suggested words if the spelling is incorrect and to look up the meaning of a word using a convenient link.

Word Check is password protected and available for free to users of my dictionary products. To be frank, my testing shows making Word Check available without a password simply means people benefit from my efforts but give nothing back. The sales of my dictionary products do not change with or without the password, so I prefer to use my energy to help those that support me and by adding a password, I'm able to contain the cost of server resources.

I was thinking if you don't with to purchase one of my dictionary tools, but still wish to use Word Check, one way you could help me would be to provide an active link on the internet to my Australian Dictionary page. In return I'd be more than happy to provide the password. If this interests you please contact me.

Kelvin Eldridge

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Is wright a correctly spelt word?

Can wright be right?

I found an example of extremely poor spellchecking on Google Docs (now part of Drive). I've provided a link to the site where I found the information.

For me what initially caught my attention was the spelling 'wright', which didn't seem right. I checked in Microsoft Word and the spelling was accepted as correct. It is correct, but some online sources consider 'wright' to be obsolete. The authoritative dictionary references for Australia (Macquarie and Oxford) both list the word and whilst 'wright' is generally considered to be used in conjunction with another word, 'wright' isn't flagged as obsolete, so 'wright' is a valid spelling. At this stage I'm not including the spelling 'wright' in the preferred Australian English dicitonary as it would be rarely used and could lead people to use the incorrect spelling. Should I find evidence to the contrary I will add the word 'wright' to the dictionary file.

However the bigger issue was the example the person gave which shows the terrible spellchecking by Google's service. Surely this isn't right. This is the example text which is shown in the link.

thiz iz the rong speling for moste ov thiz dokument befor I kant spel wright speling dokument wann yur.

When I type the words three of the words are correct (I'm using my own preferred Australian English spelling dictionary on a MacBook Air). In Microsoft Word four of the words are spelt correctly. In Google Docs 12 of the words are spelt as correct, which means 8 that should be marked as errors aren't.

If this is correct and applies both to the free and paid versions of Google writing products, then I sincerely apologise to anyone I've suggested to use Google's services. I'm hoping it is a trick because the spellchecker appears to be inadequate and I simply can't believe it. If it is a trick then they've got me and I'll feel a bit of an idiot. I can handle that. But if it isn't a trick and Google's spellchecker is woeful, then I've been making poor suggestions for people to use Google Drive/Docs and for me that isn't good enough. If someone has paid access to Google's document app and could test this for me it would really be appreciated.

Thank you in advance.

Kelvin Eldridge
Australian Dictionary

PS. It should be noted that it appears that Google is trying to spellcheck the words and if you go slowly enough more words that are incorrect appear to be marked as incorrect. Certainly weird.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Should it be Mothers Day, Mother's Day or Mothers' Day?

Today is Mother's Day and when I see people using the various forms (Mother's Day, Mothers' Day, Mothers Day, mother's day, etc.), I think to myself what is the correct way to way to write Mother's Day.

Is it a day for one mother (Mother's Day),  a day for all mothers (Mothers' Day), or is it just a given day (Mothers Day)? Should the words be capitalised or does it matter if the words are in lower case?

This article, which is about Father's Day appeared this week helped make things make sense for me. I realised it is an officially declared day and thus it isn't about usage, but how the day has been declared. You'll see from the article Sonora Smart Dodd who proposed the holiday, wanted the spelling to be Fathers' Day.

My advice when wondering about terms like Mother's Day is not to wonder. Look it up in an authoritative reference such as the Macquarie or Oxford. We could argue about the correct placement of the apostrophe until we're blue in the face, so there is little point. Simply look up the word and use the accepted convention.

Now I wonder, when was Mother's Day first proposed?

Kelvin Eldridge 

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Article in the Wall Street Journal with respect to grammar in real estate listings and effect on sales.

I found a rather interesting article in the Wall Street Journal that I thought was interesting and worth sharing with others.

In essence the research found higher quality writing resulted in above average sale prices. I don't think this is purely down to the spelling and grammar, as it could just as easily reflect on the quality and professionalism of the real estate agent.

Would you list your property with an agent who advertised properties with poorly spelt wording? It would certainly make me think twice.

Here is a link to the article.

Kelvin Eldridge

Monday, April 28, 2014

Why does nearly everyone spell the word spellcheck incorrectly?

I just wrote this comment on another group I participate in and thought I'd also share it here.

I thought I'd share this little known flaw about Microsoft's spellchecker and nearly every spellchecker you're probably using.

 The spelling in Australia is spellcheck and in America it is spell-check.

 Why then do so many people end up writing spellcheck using two words?

The answer is really simple. The dictionary you're using with your spellchecker doesn't include the word spellcheck and it attempts to give you the best suggestion by substituting characters. The space is one such character. Since your spellchecker does not know the word spellcheck, it ends up inserting the space between the two valid words, spell and check, and then offers 'spell check' as a suggestion. Since people don't know better they end up using the two words 'spell check', and because no error appears, they think they've used the correct spelling.

The simple and free way to fix this issue is to add the word spellcheck and variations to your custom dictionary. Alternately, you can get the best spelling for Australians at to fix this and a over two thousand other issues your spellchecker could handle better.

Now you know you have now reason to write 'spell check' as two words. I'll be watching. LOL

At least now you know it isn't your fault, so if someone picks you up on your spelling, you have someone else to blame;-)

I should also say, the people probably using 'spell check' correctly as two words will be witches and warlocks. May all your spells be good spells.

Kelvin Eldridge
The only preferred Australian English spelling dictionary. 

Friday, April 11, 2014

Dictionary meaning - How to use Word Check to check the meaning of a word and to see examples.

Word Check which is available at enables you to check if you are using the preferred Australian English spelling for a word, but it also enables you to check the meaning of a word and often see examples of usage of the word. This is done by providing links which takes you to an external reference.

If the word you've entered is a correct spelling you'll see the Meaning section displays an O and a W which are links. Clicking on the O will take you to the Oxford online dictionary, which is a UK based resource. If you click on W you'll go to Wiktionary. There is currently no online Australian references that can be used to check the meaning of words so using the Oxford and Wiktionary is a compromise, but will often return useful information. By using Word Check first you'll first know whether or not you're using a valid and preferred spelling for a word, and then using the overseas based resources you can check for further information.

Sometimes when you click on the O link you'll find you aren't presented with the word entry in the Oxford. You may need to re-enter the word when you reach the Oxford site. This is often because you've entered a capitalised word or a plural which can't be linked to directly. With Wikpedia keep in mind it is useful, but I don't consider isn't considered authoritative. I've found errors in Wikpedia in the past which is a concern. Also keep in mind when using Wikipedia you'll often find suggestions that may be correct for overseas countries but are not necessarily correct for Australia.

The password is available for Word Check for all purchasers of the Australian dictionary products I provide.

Kelvin Eldridge

Monday, March 31, 2014

Is it "two weeks' notice" or "two weeks notice"?

This came up recently. Is it "two weeks' notice" or "two weeks notice"?

According to the University of South Australia site the apostrophe is included, but according to the Australian Government's style guide it isn't included.

I consider this to be the situation where our language is evolving and the apostrophe is no longer needed. Interestingly Microsoft's grammar checker suggests the apostrophe should be included. If the language has evolved then the suggestion by Microsoft's grammar checker is now wrong and misleading people. I've seen quite a few examples of where the spellcheckers suggest incorrect words so this isn't a total surprise.

What do you think?

Kelvin Eldridge

Sunday, March 9, 2014

President Obama misspells respect. Notice the laughter from the audience.

We all make mistakes when spelling, even the president of the United States of America. In referring to Aretha Franklin's famous song, President Obama spelt respect as RSPECT. If you think people don't notice incorrect spelling, perhaps think again. The audience laughs at the fumble by the president. In this case the people are laughing at the president and not with the president.

You can view the video here.

Kelvin Eldridge

Friday, February 7, 2014

Is it driver's licence or drivers licence. McDonald's Amore terms and conditions uses American spelling.

The question of driver's licence or drivers licence comes up often. If you check the internet you'll find government sites using both. VicRoads even has both versions used on its site, but to be fair, the one I found is for a link to the Magistrates' Court.

In the following image, which is from the McDonald's Amore competition terms and conditions, you'll see McDonald's is using the American spelling of license instead of licence. That is clearly an error. However, they also use Australian driver's license, whereas they should be using Australian drivers licence.

In this usage the phrase drivers licence is a generic term which is a descriptive plural noun and not a possessive. Another common example is visitors book. It is driver's licence when referring to a particular person's licence. Personally I find this quite confusing and understand how this makes the language more difficult.

The American spelling is never valid in Australia. The use of driver's licence where drivers licence should have been used however is a very easy mistake to make.

Kelvin Eldridge

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

What is the meaning of WTS I've noticed appearing on online noticeboards where people buy and sell items.

I find the use of acronyms can be confusing to newcomers to a service. The advantage of the acronyms however is they can be placed at the start of the subject for a post and then people can quickly decide whether or not they are interested in reading the post. The common acronyms I've identified are:
WTS - Want to Sell
FS - For Sale
WTB - Want to Buy
WTH - Want to Hire
Hopefully this will make things clearer for people using the online sites. 

Kelvin Eldridge
Call 0415 910 703 for computer support.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Crossword dictionary. Would anyone be interested if I developed a web app to help solve crosswords?

I like to write fairly simple calculators and make them available online for others to use. If you visit you'll see that I've been quite busy writing calculators to do a variety of tasks. In essence, I use these dictionaries myself, so for me they serve a purpose and if others use them too, that's great also.

I envisage the crossword dictionary solver would enable you to enter the number of letters and then enter the letters you already know. If the list of matching words is under a certain number then the list will display.

Before putting too much time into developing a crossword dictionary solver using the preferred Australian English spelling, I thought i'd ask you my readers. Let me know if it would help you by leaving a short comment against this blog post. Thank you in advance for your feedback.  

Kelvin Eldridge 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Is it curb or kerb?

Now here's an interesting headline that had me wondering what the heck it was trying to say.

The word 'curb' in the headline is an incorrect spelling of the word in a UK publication. The headline should read, 'Prez Obama kicks contractor to the kerb for web disaster'.

This news item appeared in The Register site which is a UK site. I couldn't help wonder how come this particular spelling error appeared, when other words such as 'programme' were correct for the UK. (Program is the preferred Australian English spelling.) That made me wonder where the author was located. It turns out the author is based in the States. For the States this is the correct spelling.

The words 'curb' and 'kerb' to me fascinating in that both spelling variations are correct in Australia and America, but we use the opposite spelling in Australia as they do in America.

Perhaps this is also a lesson for Australian organisations and individuals wishing to outsource their written work to people overseas. There are many differences in the English language that have developed over time in different regions. Some differences are very obvious, but some can be quite subtle.

Kelvin Eldridge
Assisting Australians with the preferred Australian English spelling.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Are you using the preferred Australian English spelling?

I recently received an email which prompted me to write a quiz where people could check ten words to see if they're using the preferred Australian English spelling. You can find the quiz at

What I find interesting when people try the quiz is their expression when they feel rather proud they have all the words spelt correctly to find out they only have six or seven spelt according to the preferred Australian English spelling.

Give the quiz a go and check if you're using the preferred Australian English spelling. Thank you Alex for contacting me and sharing your thoughts.

Kelvin Eldridge