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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Article on when to hyphenate words

The use of hyphens was pretty much of a mystery to me, but more recently due to the Australian English dictionary work, they make a lot more sense. One contributor to my now obsolete open source work many years ago provided a list of hyphenated words which I included in the dictionary. With later versions of the dictionary I completely removed the list of hyphenated words and only included those hyphenated words which were documented in the authoritative Australian dictionaries. Those questionable hyphenations are still more than likely included in Firefox and Google Chrome browsers plus many open source projects, but not in Internet Explorer 10.

When using a word processor the problem is you can hyphenate anything and it will be treated as correct. For example: “I purchased a pre-dog for Christmas.” There is no error flagged by the word processor and a pre-dog doesn’t really make much sense, it should of course be a puppy.

In the online tool I call Word Check (www.Australian-Dictionary.com.au), I provide the documented hyphenated words to assist people when they are trying to determine if a word is normally hyphenated or not. However ultimately to use hyphens correctly requires a better understanding of the rules of grammar.

Thank you to Renée Purdie of Rising Star Designs and Communications (www.risingstardesigns.com.au) for providing the following links to articles which people may find interesting. My goal with writing is to gradually improve. I don’t ever expect my writing to be perfect, but it doesn’t hurt to improve my writing skills over time and Renée’s feedback over the years has helped me quite a bit.

http://grammar.about.com/od/c/g/compadjterm.htm

I’ll always remember as a result of communicating with Renée how my spelling changed. I previously used the spelling “co-operate” as that is how I believe I was taught in school, but now realise the style has changed and the hyphen is no longer present. Thanks Renée.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.Australian-Dictionary.com.au
Creator and maintainer of the preferred Australian English spelling dictionary.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Internet Explorer 10 - The preferred Australian English spelling now available

I’m pretty excited to announce I’m now making available the preferred Australian English spelling file for Internet Explorer 10 running on Windows 8.

Internet Explorer 10 has Australian English spellchecking built in, but like Microsoft’s Office products, the spellchecker accepts thousands of secondary spelling variations such as words with “ize”, American spelt words such as “mom” and some errors. The preferred Australian English spelling file corrects these issues.

If written communication matters to you the preferred Australian English spelling file is a must have. If you’re a student, applying for jobs, or write reports or sales material, the preferred Australian English spelling file is a must have.

You can find the preferred Australian English spelling file for Internet Explorer 10 at www.Australian-Dictionary.com.au.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
The creator of the preferred Australian English spelling dictionary.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

New site for The Preferred Australian English spellcheck dictionary

Recently Google changed their algorithm which significantly impacted the position of the Australian English spellcheck dictionary in the Google search results. From number one position to nowhere to be found. In essence traffic to the site dropped 80% overnight. This should be a warning for anyone who puts a lot of time and money into obtaining a position in Google. All your time, energy and money could be wasted overnight by decisions Google makes in terms of generating traffic to your site.

The preferred Australian English spellcheck dictionary is the only free service available to Australians to assist them with using the preferred Australian English spelling. Over a thousand people a week used the site and Google simply changed their algorithm making the page almost impossible to find. The original page will remain (www.justlocal.com.au/clients/oooau), but in addition, you can now find the main page at www.Australian-Dictionary.com.au.

 

The site www.Australian-Dictionary.com.au will become the main site for my dictionary work.

 

You can still find the main page if searching (“Australian Dictionary”) using Bing, where the site is positioned in first position and in Yahoo where the site is positioned second. My apologies for any inconvenience. What Google does is outside of my control.

I hope you find my work to be of assistance.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au   

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Misogyny. Did the Prime Minister perhaps use the wrong word. Why did Macquarie dictionary say they were going to change the meaning?

The word misogyny has certainly received a lot of airtime recently. I personally didn’t know what the word meant and when I ask others, they didn’t know either. Macquarie has decided to broaden the meaning of the word but you have to ask the question why?

If I check the Oxford online, British and American language editions, there is no broader meaning. If I check the Merriam Webster online for American use there is no broader definition there either. Just that misogyny is the hatred of women.

Could it be in the thrust and pary of politics perhaps Julia used a word that wasn’t most appropriate.

If you want to check the meaning (or spelling) of words in Australian English you can use the page I provide http://www.justlocal.com.au/clients/oooau/. If you’d like the check the American English meaning or spelling I now provide a free online American English spellcheck dictionary which provides a link to enable you to look up the meaning of a word at www.american-dictionary.com.

Please enjoy.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
The creator of The Preferred Australian English Spellcheck Dictionary.


 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Australian dictionary online

If you’re looking for a free online Australian dictionary, visit the Preferred Australian English dictionary page. Enter the word you wish to check. The spelling is checked and you’ll be presented with a list of suggestions where you can click on a link and check the meaning for a word.

The preferred Australian English dictionary is the only free online dictionary which provides the preferred Australian English spelling. Don’t fall into the trap of using a free online American dictionary as the local primary school has done. That doesn’t help anyone. Use the preferred Australian English spelling.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Creator of the preferred Australian English dictionary.

 

Reports from people they can't find the free Australian dictionary using Google

Until recently over a thousand people a week were able to search for and find the only Australian dictionary which provided the  preferred Australian English spelling for free. It appears Google may have updated their search algorithm which has caused the site to disappear from their search results.

Unfortunately there is nothing I can do. If even a small percentage of people who used the dictionary provided a link to the page this would let Google know they feel the page is important. My logs unfortunately suggest almost no one bothers to provide a link, but people use the dictionary and disappear. That’s normally OK but unfortunately without giving something back such as a link Google is not able to tell how important the dictionary is to others.

I’ve found Google as a search engine is getting worse and worse. They provide distorted results pushing their own agenda to the top and (maps, local listings, etc.) and more recently people find their own pages and pages they’ve visited closer to the top which makes them think they are doing better in Google results than they are.

I find it quite amazing how Google operates. Over 50,000-100,000 people a year have been using the dictionary I provide and now people can’t find it.

 

If you want to find the dictionary you may wish to use Bing. The page is the second in the results. A better approach is to use JustLocal (www.JustLocal.com.au) where you’ll find the Australian Dictionary plus many of my other tools.

Sorry to everyone for the inconvenience. Unfortunately I can’t control what Google does and you never know when they are going to change things. Best to bookmark the page if you’re using a desktop computer or if you’re using a mobile phone, add an icon to your home screen.

It is always possible the page may return to Google search results. I’ve seen pages disappear and return in Google in the past. With Google you never know what to expect.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Creator and maintainer of the preferred Australian English spelling dictionary.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Are spellcheckers making invalid spelling suggestions? E.g. spell check for spellcheck.

A flaw of nearly all modern programs which include a spellchecker, including Firefox, Google Chrome, OpenOffice.org, Microsoft Office and others, is if they don’t know a word they’ll make suggestions by splitting the word into two words.

For me the most obvious example of this I see regularly on the internet is the word “spellcheck”. If you type “spellcheck” into almost any program which includes a spellchecker you’ll get a number of suggestions. One of the suggestions is “spell check” and thus a very large number of people incorrectly end up using the words “spell check” in their document.

As far as I can determine for America (using the Merriam-Webster online dictionary), the word is hyphenated as in “spell-check”. For Australia the word “spellcheck” is valid and is a backformation from spellchecker, according to the Fifth Edition of the Macquarie Dictionary. The word “spellcheck” is also documented in The Australian Oxford Dictionary, Second Edition.

The preferred Australian English dictionary I’ve created (and still working on) includes the correct spelling “spellcheck”. If you are not sure if you are using the correct spelling, or the preferred Australian English spelling of a word, check the word using Word Check.

A feature of Word Check is you can check the meaning of words using the online Oxford Dictionary (there is no free online Australian English dictionary which provides the meaning of words). In this case when checking “spellcheck” using the online Oxford Dictionary, which provides British + World English and US English, the information returned for US English I’d suggest is not correct. As mentioned above, in US English the word is hyphenated whilst the online Oxford Dictionary suggests it should be a single word.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Creator of the preferred Australian English dictionary.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Favourite or Favorite?

When using your browser you could be forgiven for thinking the spelling should be “favourite”. The problem is the user interface for a lot of software used in Australia uses American English spelling. Over time, because we see the spelling so often, we start to believe the spelling is correct.

You can often download a UK version of a browser which can be better, but it may still not be the best for Australia. Unfortunately, except for the Opera browser where I previously provided an Australian English spelling user interface, it is not possible to easily change the spelling used in the user interface.

For the time being, the best approach is to remain confident in your spelling ability and know the spelling is “favourite”.

If you are in doubt whether or not the spelling of a word is the preferred Australian English spelling, you can use the online tool I provide called Word Check.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Creator of the preferred Australian English spelling dictionary.


 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Is it practice or practise?


As I was driving to get onto the Greensborough ring road, I saw a billboard which had the statement, "PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT". I thought, "surely that can't be right".

I decided to do some research and as it turns out it is right, but not for the obvious reason. Most people could easily believe it should be "practise makes perfect". If you practise your driving you will become perfect.

In MyAnswers solution 2246 I share my insight into the words practice and practise.

The Australian dictionary related solutions in MyAnswers are available free on request to all clients and those supporting my dictionary work by either contribution or purchasing one of the low cost dictionary products I produce.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Laws specifically passed for London Games so specific words can't be used.

I thought it was interesting to read about the words where laws have been introduced in London to stop people using those words for business promotion during the London Olympics.

Words such as "Olympic", "gold", "silver", "bronze", "sponsors", "summer" and "London" have been banned from business advertisements so as not to give the impression they are connected to the Olympics. Even pubs can't have signs displaying brands of beer that are not official sponsors.... Read More

- Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Call 0415 910 703 for help with your computer problems.
No problem too small.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Is it licenced or licensed?

The words licence and license causes a lot of confusion. I find it interesting when businesses pay a lot of money to have a sign made and the spelling isn't quite correct.




In this case the sign should read "FULLY LICENSED".

Have you seen signs which catch your attention because of the spelling?

Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Call 0415 910 703 if you require help with your computer.
No problem too small.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Australian dictionaries for open source projects

I get the occasional request for dictionaries for open source projects. I just want to let people know I no longer support open source projects.

I had hoped that by helping others, others would assist me. All I found is the open source projects and the users took the material I provided and nearly all gave nothing back. Firefox was the worst example, not only taking the work but also changing the licence against my wishes. Google Chrome was not far behind. A link from Google to my project would have greatly assisted, but instead simply took my work consisting of hundreds of hours of effort and included it in their project.

All projects need to do is to link to the developers’ sites so the developers also gain for their efforts. Instead the projects take the material, include it in their projects where users have no idea of where the material came from and who is putting in the effort.

As a developer/consultant I make a living from developing software and providing computer support. Open source did not provide a means to generate income even though my work ended up  being used by hundreds of thousands of Australians.

I now only focus on producing dictionaries for clients. They are the people who help me pay the bills and I’m very grateful to my clients for their support.

My apologies to anyone for any inconvenience.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au

Monday, June 4, 2012

Make sure your spelling is correct when doing presentations using Microsoft PowerPoint.

Recently I attended a trade show where a number of people gave presentations. One person was a leading business coach and I’d guess they were being paid a very healthy fee to present. As I sat listening to his presentation and reading his slides there it was. A spelling error.

The problem is once you see a spelling error in the presentation your mind immediately wanders from the presentation.

To be fair, this wasn’t completely the presenter’s fault. None of us are perfect spellers and we tend to rely on our spellcheckers to pick up typos and spelling errors. In this case the presenter was obviously using Microsoft software for his presentation, because the spelling error is an error in the Microsoft spellchecker dictionary.

I produce an Exclude file which can be used with Microsoft Office products. The Exclude file helps people to determine if they are using the preferred Australian English spelling. There are thousands of Australian English words which can be spelt two or more ways and Microsoft’s spellchecker dictionary correctly enables people to use their chosen spelling. It is just that most people don’t know there is a preferred Australian English spelling. In addition, there are a number of errors in the Microsoft spellchecker dictionary which are also corrected with the use of the Exclude file.

Given the cost and time involved of preparing for the presentations and travelling to multiple cities across Australia, for just $10 this error could have been avoided.

For those who are interested the word used was “fulfillment” which is the American spelling. This spelling is allowed if Australians are using Microsoft software, but the correct spelling is “fulfilment”.

 

You can obtain the Microsoft Exclude file from the JustLocal site (www.JustLocal.com.au) or use the direct link http://www.justlocal.com.au/clients/mswordexcl.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Creator and maintainer of the preferred Australian English spelling dictionary.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Computers solutions in the MyAnswers database now available for purchase at a price you decide.

I like trying new approaches and enjoy seeing how people like or don’t like the approach. There is no right or wrong way to do things, just better ways. I always learn something when I try something new.

The MyAnswers database is a database of my notes on problems I’ve solved for clients and the solution to the problem. I use the solutions frequently myself and for assisting my clients. This saves myself and clients a lot of time and given time is money, that means a financial saving for clients.

I created the MyAnswers database so clients could request solutions to problems and use the DIY approach. If people can solve their own problems with a little assistance then why not. Clients can request solutions they are interested in from that MyAnswers database. If the solution doesn’t help them there is nothing to pay. If the solution solves their problem, I now let clients decide for themselves how much they wish to pay.

Check out the solutions at MyAnswers. There are a large range of solutions covering many aspects of IT, and some areas of interest to me. Because of my nature I often investigate things which interest me that aren’t IT related and I’m happy to share what I learn from those investigations as well.

You can find MyAnswers at www.MyAnswers.biz.  Please note the solutions are only available to clients. It is only because of the support of clients that the bills are paid each month. I hope and trust clients take advantage of the MyAnswers service to help them solve their problems themselves and in doing so, increase their knowledge, have some fun and at the same time, save some money.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au

 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Outlook Express French spell check (spelling check) fix for British and Australian users

If you’ve installed Microsoft Office 2007 or Microsoft Office 2010, then you’ll now find the spelling check in Outlook Express only offers French spelling as an option. The options of English (United Kingdom) and English (United States) are no longer available. The other situation is if you’ve set up or purchased a computer and never installed a Microsoft application such as Office or Works, then the Outlook Express spelling check will also not be available.

Both of these situations are easily fixed using a program I’ve written. The program provides American spelling and British spelling. Whilst British spelling is sufficient for Australian users, those who have access to an older version of Office 97 or Word 97, are also provided with instructions on how to obtain the Australian dictionary so they can have Australian English spelling.

You can find the program at http://www.justlocal.com.au/clients/oespellcheck/.

Kelvin Eldridge
http://www.onlineconnections.com.au/

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Should the word "mum" be capitalised sometimes, for example when it is being used in place of the person's name?

Amanda Greenslade of  www.GreensladeCreations.com asked the question,  Should the word "mum" be capitalised sometimes, for example when it is being used in place of the person's name?

I passed the question onto Renée Purdie of www.RisingStarDesigns.com.au who was happy to help and provided the following answer.

If you can substitute a real name in the sentence, you need a capital letter.

For example, in the sentence, ‘Tell Mum I won’t be home for dinner’, Mum is used as a name so you must capitalise it.

If you were saying, ‘My mum always told me never to be late for dinner’, you wouldn’t say, ‘My Clara always told me never to be late for dinner’, so it should not be capitalised.


Thanks to Amanda for the question and Renée for providing an answer.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au

Friday, February 10, 2012

Australian English dictionary support for Google Chrome, Firefox and Thunderbird

A number of people ask me about the dictionary files I produced for open source projects. To clarify the situation, I no longer support open source projects. I found the projects simply took my work and gave nothing back.

Firefox for example took my work, changed the licence against my wishes and then now takes donations leading people to believe they've put the work in. Google just took my work and incorporated it into their Google Chrome Browser and gave nothing back.

As a result I no longer support open source projects. Each of these projects and many others could have equally linked to my site as I made the files available. That would have helped both of us to grow. Instead by taking the work of others when it isn't necessary, they build their own projects at the expense of others.

I'm interest in working with people where we help each other.

I now only provide my work to clients. It is only with the support of clients I can support my family.

Thank you to the clients who support me and appreciate the value I bring to their homes and businesses.

Regards,

Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au