Spelling mistakes!

Terry Hancock hancock at anansispaceworks.com
Sun Jan 8 14:30:50 EST 2006

On Sun, 8 Jan 2006 08:58:48 -0600
skip at pobox.com wrote:
>     Sybren> And what's up with using Google to check for spelling? I have a
>     Sybren> dictionary for that, works a lot better!
> A couple things:
>     1. It's generally faster than reaching for the
>     dictionary.

But not faster than use a dict server!
Why not just use (e.g.) kdict? That's what I do. It's got to
be at least as accurate as Google, and much more likely to
give me the right answer.

>     2. The hit count for a word and its misspelling gives
>     me some measure of
>        how the rest of the online English-speaking world
>        thinks that word is spelled.

This is useful for words that don't really exist.
Or rather, that do exist, but are not documented. ;-)

>     3. Some recent words like "podcast" aren't in the now
>     ancient dictionary
>        on my shelf.  Other words have gained new meanings
>        since my dictionary was published.

Same comment -- Google is good as a backup, but I'd much
rather use a dictionary to look up words than a search
engine.  Wikipedia is another good resource for newer words,
brand names, jargon, and slang.

BTW, one of the most common programming spelling errors is
"deprecate" versus "depreciate" -- I wonder how many people
actually realize that both words exist, but have entirely
different meanings?

"deprecate" means "to be declared unworthy or no longer to
be used by an authority" and is pronounced de-pre-KATE,
while "depreciate" means "to go down in financial value" and
is pronounced "de-PRE-she-ATE".

An awful lot of people seem to think that "deprecate" is a
misspelling of "depreciate" and then correct the spelling.
But then, they must have a funny idea of what it means when
a software feature is "deprecated".  Maybe they think it's
like the opposite of "appreciate" or something? ("We
don't appreciate your code anymore"). ;-)

I suppose some smart alec is going to argue that "it goes
down in value because an authority declared it unworthy".
Would be about par for the course. ;-)

Terry Hancock (hancock at AnansiSpaceworks.com)
Anansi Spaceworks http://www.AnansiSpaceworks.com

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