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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Australian Dictionary

Now with spelling suggestions and links to definitions.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

When to use which or that?

Recently a person asked about the use of which and that. Whilst the Australian Dictionary site is about the preferred Australian English spelling of words and not grammar, I had recently read an article I felt useful and worth sharing here.

The following is the link from the Oxford dictionary site.

Kelvin Eldridge
The preferred Australian English spelling.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Is the spelling program or programme?

In the 60s I was taught the spelling was programme. As time went on the main spelling became program, with programme used in some instances, for e.g. theatre programme. A search today for “theatre program" and “theatre programme”, using Google for Australian sites, shows program and programme are used in a ratio of 195:1, so even theatre program has become the preferred spelling. The Macquarie and Oxford dictionaries list program as the primary spelling and programme as a secondary spelling, except for computer program where the spelling is always program.

In Australian government usage there has been flip-flopping. In 1998 John Howard issued an edict for programme to be used. Reportedly in 2007 Kevin Rudd reversed John Howard's edict. In 2013 some government ministers’ departments started using programme, as that was the preferred spelling by Tony Abbot, although no such edict was issued from Tony Abbot’s department. As you can see, a single person’s spelling preference has had an impact on government documents. In the future however, as older politicians move on, it is likely the spelling program, will also become the primary spelling for government documents.

Kelvin Eldridge
The preferred Australian English spelling.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Adding the Word Check bookmarklet to the bookmarks bar.

Recently I received an email from a person having troubles setting up the Word Check bookmarklet on their bookmarks bar. I thought I'd take this opportunity to share some tips and things I found out as a result of the person's question.

First let me explain the Word Check bookmarklet and why it can be handy.

Most of us know what a bookmark is when using the internet. For those who don't, when you visit a website using your browser, you can add a bookmark to the site. Later you can go back to your stored bookmarks, find the bookmark you want and using that bookmark, quickly return to the site. When I research a topic, or even a holiday, I may add quite a few bookmarks to help me quickly revisit the sites I found interesting. I also have bookmarks for sites I regularly visit.

Bookmarks are stored in the browser and are usually accessed via the menus. Browsers also usually have a bar which you can display where you can save your favourite bookmarks. This is called the bookmarks bar. If you use a bookmark frequently, having the bookmark right there in front of you on the bookmark bar can save quite a bit of time. I've also found for people less familiar with technology, having their favourite sites listed on the bookmark bar can improve their experience with the internet.

A bookmark basically holds a web address. Select the bookmark and you'll go to the web address or site. A bookmarklet however is quite different. Bookmarklets are mini programs or scripts software developers can create and make available to others. Bookmarklets come in handy when you do the same task often, because instead of taking a number of steps to do something, by automating what you do, you can take less steps.

Let's take an example.

When Julia Gillard mentioned the word misogynist and it was reported in the media, the word misandry was also mentioned. I didn't know what misandry meant. When I find a word I don't know the meaning I look it up. This means going to a dictionary site, typing the word in and pressing enter. I could also have selected the word and then done a copy and paste.

I use Word Check (a tool I wrote) to check first if the word is a valid or preferred Australian English spelling and then use the links in Word Check to look up the meaning in the Online Oxford or Wikipedia.

I look up words frequently so for me, automating the process helps to save quite a bit of time. This is where a bookmarklet comes in handy. I've written the Word Check bookmarklet which means I can highlight the word (using the mouse to drag across the word, or double click on the word) and then click on the Word Check bookmarklet on my bookmarks bar. The Word Check bookmarklet takes the highlighted word, opens the Word Check page, passes the highlighted word to Word Check and Word Check displays the result. One highlight, one click to check the word and then one more click to get the meaning. Much faster than highlight word, copy word, enter or search for dictionary site, paste in word, press enter.

Now hopefully we're all on the same page with bookmarklets. On the Word Check page ( towards the bottom I've included the link for the Word Check bookmarklet.

In most browsers all you need to do is click on the link and drag and drop the link onto your bookmarks bar to set up the bookmarklet for easy access. The following are more detailed instructions on how to install and test the Word Check bookmarklet on the bookmarks bar in Google Chrome.

1. Show the bookmarks bar as follows.

Click on the three vertical dots at the right
Click Bookmarks
Click Show bookmarks bar

2. On the Word Check page ( drag the bookmarklet link to the bookmarks bar.

As you drag the link (left mouse click and drag) a circle with a cross through it will appear.
As you reach the bookmarks bar the circle will change into a +.
Release the left mouse button to drop the link onto the bookmarks bar.

You should now have a bookmark named Word Check on the bookmarks bar.

To test, highlight any word on the current web page using the mouse, or double click on a word so it is selected.

Now click on Word Check in the bookmarks bar.

This passes the selected word to Word Check. The same as entering the word manually but much easier to drag and drop if you do this a lot.

Now you know what a bookmarklet is and how to install the Word Check bookmarklet in Google Chrome. What could possibly go wrong!

Whilst bookmarklets generally work this way, not all browsers across all operating systems work exactly the same way.

The following is a list of browsers which work this way.

Safari on macOS
Edge on Windows 10
Chrome on Windows 10
Internet Explorer on Windows 7
Chrome on Windows 7

Chrome on macOS does not allow you to drag and drop the link to add the bookmarklet to the bookmarks bar. For Chrome on macOS you'll need to do the following.

1. Right click on the bookmarklet link on the Word Check page (
2. Select Copy Link Address
3. Right click on the bookmarks bar
4. Select Add Page
5. Type in Word Check as the Name
6. Paste into the URL field using Command+V the previously copied link address
7. Click Save

You now have the Word Check bookmarklet saved on the bookmarks bar in Google Chrome.

In the past, and I can't remember which browser it was, one technique I used was to edit an existing bookmark on the bookmarks bar and change the Name and URL to the values for Word Check.

Hopefully this post now provides you with sufficient information if you have issues installing the Word Check bookmarklet.

Kelvin Eldridge