Vocabulary

Facebook spell checker

Facebook spell checker (Photo credit: murkmad)

The way to grow your vocabulary is to look up the meaning and spelling of words that are new to you. I recently added three new words: simony, squinch (invented in Iran), and ligature (having to do with fonts). I’ll not define them here; if you are interested in learning, look them up. You’ll remember them better that way.

I think that spell checkers are generally a good thing in that they catch my careless errors and they make much of the web easier to read. Spell checkers are often poor on grammar; they ensure that the wrong choice of words is correctly spelled. I see “reign” and “rein” frequently misused on blogs criticizing the President. And spell checkers are not as good as a dictionary as learning tools. I often use Google for spelling and definitions, but I prefer Encarta Dictionary tools because it also pronounces the word out loud. There is no need to struggle with phonetics.

Spell checker

Both WordPress‘ blog editor and Microsoft Word have built-in spell checkers. Some people don’t bother to use them to the detriment of their readers. I refuse to read articles that are not spell checked. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if someone invented a utility that could be included in all word processors that checked for the truth of what was being written? Word processing would be done while attached to the web and faster computer processors would allow for real-time fact checking. No document could be saved or articles posted on web sites that had not been truth checked. It would certainly be a relief for those of us concerned with the truth, and it would put some sites out of business.