The best spelling for Australians
The preferred Australian English spelling for Microsoft Office 2003, 2007, 2010 and 2013 on Windows,
Office 2008 and 2011 on Apple Mac OS X and Internet Explorer 10/11 on Windows 7/8 is now available.

Word Check
Now with spelling suggestions and a link to definitions

Friday, April 11, 2014

Dictionary meaning - How to use Word Check to check the meaning of a word and to see examples.

Word Check which is available at enables you to check if you are using the preferred Australian English spelling for a word, but it also enables you to check the meaning of a word and often see examples of usage of the word. This is done by providing links which takes you to an external reference.

If the word you've entered is a correct spelling you'll see the Meaning section displays an O and a W which are links. Clicking on the O will take you to the Oxford online dictionary, which is a UK based resource. If you click on W you'll go to Wiktionary. There is currently no online Australian references that can be used to check the meaning of words so using the Oxford and Wiktionary is a compromise, but will often return useful information. By using Word Check first you'll first know whether or not you're using a valid and preferred spelling for a word, and then using the overseas based resources you can check for further information.

Sometimes when you click on the O link you'll find you aren't presented with the word entry in the Oxford. You may need to re-enter the word when you reach the Oxford site. This is often because you've entered a capitalised word or a plural which can't be linked to directly. With Wikpedia keep in mind it is useful, but I don't consider isn't considered authoritative. I've found errors in Wikpedia in the past which is a concern. Also keep in mind when using Wikipedia you'll often find suggestions that may be correct for overseas countries but are not necessarily correct for Australia.

The password is available for Word Check for all purchasers of the Australian dictionary products I provide.

Kelvin Eldridge

Monday, March 31, 2014

Is it "two weeks' notice" or "two weeks notice"?

This came up recently. Is it "two weeks' notice" or "two weeks notice"?

According to the University of South Australia site the apostrophe is included, but according to the Australian Government's style guide it isn't included.

I consider this to be the situation where our language is evolving and the apostrophe is no longer needed. Interestingly Microsoft's grammar checker suggests the apostrophe should be included. If the language has evolved then the suggestion by Microsoft's grammar checker is now wrong and misleading people. I've seen quite a few examples of where the spellcheckers suggest incorrect words so this isn't a total surprise.

What do you think?

Kelvin Eldridge

Sunday, March 9, 2014

President Obama misspells respect. Notice the laughter from the audience.

We all make mistakes when spelling, even the president of the United States of America. In referring to Aretha Franklin's famous song, President Obama spelt respect as RSPECT. If you think people don't notice incorrect spelling, perhaps think again. The audience laughs at the fumble by the president. In this case the people are laughing at the president and not with the president.

You can view the video here.

Kelvin Eldridge

Friday, February 7, 2014

Is it driver's licence or drivers licence. McDonald's Amore terms and conditions uses American spelling.

The question of driver's licence or drivers licence comes up often. If you check the internet you'll find government sites using both. VicRoads even has both versions used on its site, but to be fair, the one I found is for a link to the Magistrates' Court.

In the following image, which is from the McDonald's Amore competition terms and conditions, you'll see McDonald's is using the American spelling of license instead of licence. That is clearly an error. However, they also use Australian driver's license, whereas they should be using Australian drivers licence.

In this usage the phrase drivers licence is a generic term which is a descriptive plural noun and not a possessive. Another common example is visitors book. It is driver's licence when referring to a particular person's licence. Personally I find this quite confusing and understand how this makes the language more difficult.

The American spelling is never valid in Australia. The use of driver's licence where drivers licence should have been used however is a very easy mistake to make.

Kelvin Eldridge

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

What is the meaning of WTS I've noticed appearing on online noticeboards where people buy and sell items.

I find the use of acronyms can be confusing to newcomers to a service. The advantage of the acronyms however is they can be placed at the start of the subject for a post and then people can quickly decide whether or not they are interested in reading the post. The common acronyms I've identified are:
WTS - Want to Sell
FS - For Sale
WTB - Want to Buy
WTH - Want to Hire
Hopefully this will make things clearer for people using the online sites. 

Kelvin Eldridge
Call 0415 910 703 for computer support.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Crossword dictionary. Would anyone be interested if I developed a web app to help solve crosswords?

I like to write fairly simple calculators and make them available online for others to use. If you visit you'll see that I've been quite busy writing calculators to do a variety of tasks. In essence, I use these dictionaries myself, so for me they serve a purpose and if others use them too, that's great also.

I envisage the crossword dictionary solver would enable you to enter the number of letters and then enter the letters you already know. If the list of matching words is under a certain number then the list will display.

Before putting too much time into developing a crossword dictionary solver using the preferred Australian English spelling, I thought i'd ask you my readers. Let me know if it would help you by leaving a short comment against this blog post. Thank you in advance for your feedback.  

Kelvin Eldridge 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Is it curb or kerb?

Now here's an interesting headline that had me wondering what the heck it was trying to say.

The word 'curb' in the headline is an incorrect spelling of the word in a UK publication. The headline should read, 'Prez Obama kicks contractor to the kerb for web disaster'.

This news item appeared in The Register site which is a UK site. I couldn't help wonder how come this particular spelling error appeared, when other words such as 'programme' were correct for the UK. (Program is the preferred Australian English spelling.) That made me wonder where the author was located. It turns out the author is based in the States. For the States this is the correct spelling.

The words 'curb' and 'kerb' to me fascinating in that both spelling variations are correct in Australia and America, but we use the opposite spelling in Australia as they do in America.

Perhaps this is also a lesson for Australian organisations and individuals wishing to outsource their written work to people overseas. There are many differences in the English language that have developed over time in different regions. Some differences are very obvious, but some can be quite subtle.

Kelvin Eldridge
Assisting Australians with the preferred Australian English spelling.