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Planet Spell Checker

Where Writers Go....

Numpty Gong

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Paul Whybrow

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I'm interested in learning if anyone knows where companies who produce writing software get their spell checkers from.

I'd have thought that to support their product, the spell checker would be of the highest quality, perhaps produced by, and bought from, an expert in dictionaries, such as Oxford, Collins or Chambers. This is hard to credit when I see the words my software queries. It would be easier to believe that spell checkers are based on an outdated children's dictionary acquired for a few pennies at a charity shop.

I use LibreOffice Writer to create my novels, as it's easier for me to understand than MS Word and more importantly is free! It has a thesaurus and an automatic spell checker, which I'm sometimes grateful of, other times irritated by.

Grammarly provides useful support, and I'm particularly glad of its punctuation checker as I tend to suffer from comma-itis! Its spell checker is just as elementary as LibreOffice. Words that I've typed recently, and which have been questioned, include track, moor, wizard, mauve and siphon.

I've added them to the spell checker's dictionary so that it doesn't query their use again. I well understand, why British novelist Will Self declared that the one thing he'd rescue from his burning house would be his laptop—not for the WIP—rather, to preserve his spell checker!

Occasionally, the software cautions me in a humorous way. Just this morning, I was writing about a dangerous guard dog, which my detective protagonist sees prowling the house of criminals he has under surveillance. When it barks, it reminds him of the Hound of The Baskervilles. Spell checker sprang into action, asking me 'Do you mean Hound of The Basketballs?'

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Googling spell checkers provides information on software that individuals can purchase, but do any cyber-savvy Colonists know who supplies makers of writing programmes?
 

Robinne Weiss

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People with small vocabularies, that's for sure. I, too, run across lots of words not in the spell checker. I do my spell check in MS Word, and they don't even have the names of Microsoft's own products in the dictionary. Don't even begin to ask the dictionary for the spelling of words like ocellus, scute, and ommatidium. Even common variations on words in the dictionary are often left out.
 
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Where Writers Go....

Numpty Gong

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