Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Spellchecking with Violence

Like many people I appreciate how my word processor and web browser spell-check what I type.

But what happens when a word has two valid spellings? How do I know which usage is more standard?

(This happened the other day as I was proof-reading a Math 25 activity. It is legitimate to spell the word installment with one or two l's. Which is more standard?)

Perhaps there is a more respectable solution, but the only tool I know is Google Fight. Almost always one variant has vastly more appearances online, showing it is the dominantly used spelling.


Heather said...

Interesting, I usually check because it tells you straight out which is the more accepted spelling. (I usually naturally use the more archaic or the British spelling as I learned to spell frm reading and most of my reading has been pre-1920 and British literature. In fact, I have given up trying to get it right other than making sure it is at least a proper spelling.)

David V.S. said...

Ah, good to know about the alternative.