Only Word Check uses the preferred Australian English spelling. Other sites use American or British English. Check your spelling using Australian English spelling.

Word Check - Australian Dictionary
Now with spelling suggestions and a link to definitions.


Wednesday, December 25, 2013

The preferred Australian English spelling dictionary now available for Apple's MacBook Air and Mac computers using OS X.

If you're not happy with the spelling suggestions made by Apple's built-in Australian dictionary you're not alone. Most people don't like American spelling suggestions (which are secondary spelling variations in Australia).

Previous dictionary products I've supplied for Mac users have only worked with Microsoft Office products Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, but not Outlook. Outlook use Apple's built-in dictionary and not Microsoft's dictionary. Now Outlook users on the Mac can have the preferred Australian spelling.

You can find the preferred Australian English spelling dictionary for Mac OS X at http://www.australian-dictionary.com.au/mac/

Kelvin Eldridge 
www.Australian-Dictionary.com.au
Ph: 0415 910 703

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Is it New Year's Eve or New Years Eve?

I recently noticed the Christmas opening hours advertising at the Ringwood Shopping Centre (Eastland) didn't quite seem correct. The advertising was missing the apostrophe. According to the Macquarie and Oxford dictionaries the spelling is "New Year's Eve".


I wondered if any other shopping centres had made the same mistake. It turns out Chadstone Shopping Centre also neglected to insert the apostrophe. The following is from Chadstone's website.

In the past I've made similar mistakes with apostrophes and noticed many others also make the same mistake. So if you find yourself putting in, or missing an apostrophe, don't be too hard on yourself. It is a very common error.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.Australian-Dictionary.com.au

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Is it camomile or chamomile?

This is one of those words which differ according to which dictionary you use. If you use the Oxford dictionary the spelling is camomile. If you use the Macquarie dictionary the spelling is chamomile.

Both spelling variations are acceptable to Microsoft Office.

A check of the usage of chamomile versus camomile on Australian sites using Search Australia 45,400 to 9,310, which supports the spelling in the Macquarie dictionary.

Until now the preferred Australian spelling has been suggested as being the Oxford spelling. This is now being updated to chamomile based on this review.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.Australian-Dictionary.com.au
 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Internet Explorer 10/11 does not check the spelling of capitalised words.

Microsoft have had years to perfect spellchecking on their products, yet it seems each new product somehow doesn't take advantage of the previous. Microsoft took a long time to catch up with other leading browsers in terms of spellchecking and could have easily passed the other contenders.

However, Microsoft hasn't implemented the usual features you'd expect to find in a good spellchecker. You have the ability to enable or disable the highlighting of misspelt words and autocorrect. You also have the ability to provide your own list of words to exclude, include and autocorrect. If you check the spellchecking options for Microsoft Word you'll find a whole range of other options.

I provide files for Internet Explorer which provides the preferred Australian English spelling. The word 'mom', which is normally included in the dictionary, is then marked as a spelling error. The problem however is the spellcheck does not appear to check capitalised words. The word 'MOM' for example does not appear as a spelling error and that isn't correct for Australia.

Hopefully Microsoft will correct this oversight in the future.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.Australian-Dictionary.com.au    

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

An interesting article on words which are used today differently from what they originally meant

I thought this article was interesting. I’ve heard people argue over the meaning of decimate and how newsreaders use the word incorrectly, but in reality, whilst the word had a particular meaning in the past, usage means it now is used in a different way. I thought others may enjoy the article.

Explained: The words you are not using correctly... Read More

- Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Call 0415 910 703 for help with your computer problem.
Servicing Templestowe, Doncaster, Eltham and the surrounding area.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Is it coathanger or coat hanger?

The spelling of the word "coathanger" was quite a surprise and is an example of how word processing programs such as Microsoft Office, are damaging the language and misleading people on how they should spell a word.

The problem is how word processors are generally designed. If a word doesn't exist in the dictionary the word processor will offer suggestions. One suggestion is, if the word can be broken into two words separated by a space, then the two single words are suggested.

In Microsoft Office the word "coathanger" is not present and thus "coat hanger" is suggested, which is not correct according to the leading authoritative dictionary resources used in Australia. A similar situation exists for the word "spellcheck" where "spell check" which is not correct is suggested. People often become so used to the misspelling they end up believing it is the correct spelling.

When I found this issue I had to double check both the Oxford and Macquarie dictionaries, and both include the spelling "coathanger".

If you check Australian usage using Search Australia, you'll find approximately 4,000 occurrences of "coathanger" and approximately 13,000 occurrences of "coat hanger". This is a staggeringly high percentage of people incorrectly spelling the word and shows just how dependent we are on our word processors.

The preferred Australian English spelling files for Microsoft Office and Internet Explorer will soon fix this issue as well as thousands of other existing issues with the Microsoft spellchecker.

It is possible that both the Oxford and Macquarie dictionaries are wrong and the Microsoft Office spellchecker is correct. This however is unlikely.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.Australian-Dictionary.com.au  

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Is it analogue or analog?

Until today I had no doubt the preferred spelling in Australia between analogue and analog would be analogue. But today I noticed the government promoting the Digital TV switch over where they are promoting the conversion from 'analog' to 'digital' TV. If you click on this Digital TV link you'll see the government ad.

When I check both com.au and gov.au sites for the usage of analogue and analog, there is a much greater use of the spelling 'analog'. But when I check all .au sites the spelling 'analogue' is slightly ahead. This is quite significant and requires further research.

Normally the words such as dialogue, catalogue would be considered to be the Australian English spelling, and dialog, catalog, would be the American spelling. The Australian spelling is the same as the British spelling. The British spelling is 'analogue' and the American spelling is 'analog'. So it comes as some surprise to me that in Australia 'analog' is a common spelling.

After reviewing the spelling I found the result to be rather interesting. In Australia the spelling analog is often used as an adjective (analog TV, analog computer). The word analog appears frequently in the electronics field.

I decided to use Search Australia (which limits searches to domains ending in .au) and performed various searches using both spelling variations. Usage varies considerably, but analog appears to be mainly used as an adjective with electronics. On the other hand, with 'analogue/analog clock' the main spelling is 'analogue'.

This does make me wonder that since America has heavily influence our electronic purchases, whether or not this has resulted in the American spelling gaining greater acceptance in one area.

At this stage I can't provide a definitive answer as to which is the preferred spelling. For me personally, the preferred spelling would be 'analogue'. My reason is that for most purposes this appears as the preferred spelling except when used as an adjective with electronics. There may be some cases where it would be appropriate to adjust the spelling (such as in electronics) where consistency may be preferable.   I'll leave it up to others to decide their preference.


Kelvin Eldridge
www.Australian-Dictionary.com.au 

Friday, November 8, 2013

The Counselor - Now showing with American spelling.

Perhaps because of my interest with the preferred Australian English spelling, when I see movies using American spelling it puts me off the movie. I do think however there is a lesson to be learnt here. Your spelling can and does have an impact on your audience.

I could not possibly imagine an Australian movie being released in America where the spelling wasn't appropriate for America.

My main concern with movies such as 'The Counselor' using American spelling is the confusion it can create. Spelling is hard enough as it is, but when well publicised movies use an incorrect spelling in Australia, that spelling becomes recognised by many Australians who then incorrectly think it is the correct spelling.

I now wonder how many movies shown in Australia both past and present, use or used American spelling. I wonder if it was 'The Colour Purple', or 'The Color Purple'?

One thing I did find interesting is the trailer used by Vue Movie Cinemas in England uses the spelling 'The Counsellor' in the title and credits. For England it appears there has been some effort to use the correct local spelling, but no such effort has been made for Australia. I personally don't think that is good enough.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.Australian-Dictionary.com.au

UPDATE: I've noticed the correct spelling now appearing in Australia for the trailler for Village Cinemas, yet their site is using the spelling 'counselor'. The general rule when there are two different spelling variations available is it isn't good to use inconsistent spelling.

Monday, September 23, 2013

European Commission Directorate-General for Translation - English Style Guide

I find it interesting that people from all over the world use the preferred Australian English spelling in their local region. The reason is often the same as that which applies to us in Australia. The Microsoft spellchecker does not provide the preferred spelling, but simply allows multiple spelling variations (e.g. organise and organize), where both are considered correct. However, even though both are considered correct, there is usually a preferred spelling.

Sometimes I get feedback from users which I find others may be interested in. Joseph from France passed on a link to European Commission Directorate-General for Translation - English Style Guide, which I found contained a considerable amount of useful information. It seems I still have a great deal to learn about the English language and I find examples in style guides can be very useful.

Keep in mind the style guide is for the European community, and there as some differences from the preferred Australian English spelling, such as 'spelled' and not 'spelt'. So if you find a spelling which doesn't quite look right to you, check the spelling using Word Check.

Thank you Joseph for your support and sharing the information on the Style Guide.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.Australian-Dictionary.com.au

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Is the preferred Australian spelling e-zine or ezine?

This one is actually too close to call with total confidence. The usage of both in Australia is very similar.

Using Search Australia which only returns results for domain ending in .au, the number of results returned are:

e-zine: 11,300
ezine: 12,900

According to the Macquarie dictionary ezine is the preferred spelling with e-zine a secondary spelling. According to the Oxford dictionary the spelling is e-zine. The Oxford does not suggest a secondary spelling.

It does appear where there is no confusion when including or not including the hyphenation, there would be a preference towards ezine. For example in Australia the preference is email and not e-mail.

In this case, given ezine is used nearly 10 per cent more in Australia, and the Macquarie and the Oxford differ, I'd have to go with the Macquarie. As a result ezine will be added to the preferred Australian English spelling dictionary.

Kelvin Eldridge
Online Connections
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Call 0415 910 703 for computer support.
Servicing Templestowe, Doncaster, Eltham and the surrounding area.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Internet Explorer 10 spellchecker does not check words with upper case spelling.

I'd like to advise clients of my dictionary files that Internet Explorer 10 does not currently provide the ability to spellcheck words in upper case. That is, all words spelt using upper case will appear to be correct. The only current workaround I can currently think of for this is if you want to check the spelling of a word, first type the word in lower case and then retype the word in upper case.

Kelvin Eldridge
Online Connections
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Call 0415 910 703 for computer support.
Servicing Templestowe, Doncaster, Eltham and the surrounding area.

Monday, September 9, 2013

The Neighbors TV show coming to Australia. Surely they could fix the spelling!

I recently saw the American comedy 'The Neighbors' advertised which is coming soon to an Australian TV channel. I don't recall which TV channel. What really concerned me was the spelling of 'Neighbors'.

Most people won't think this is a big deal, but to me this is irresponsible. The TV networks really should reconsider the spelling. If you think it doesn't make a difference I'll share this story from my high school years. The principal took the class and gave a spelling test. I had most of the words correct but missed a few. I then worked out the correct spelling but there was one word the teacher said I'd spelt incorrectly still. I couldn't work out which one.

The word was chaos which I spelt as kaos. Now having grown up with Maxwell Smart anyone will realise that Kaos was a word I'd see most days on TV. After a while it became part of my spelling without me realising. At least now I don't spell chaos incorrectly.

I can't help feel concerned for the younger generation who will now be presented regularly with the spelling 'neighbor'. I wish it wasn't so, but there is little I can do to influence the situation.
 
Actually there is something I can do which is to encourage people to watch the show direct from the USA. That way you can emphasise the spelling is because you're watching a show from the USA. I just tested the hola.org service which enabled me to watch the show on the computer. Connect your computer up to the TV and have some fun watching American shows complete with their variation of the English language. At least watching the show direct from the States may reinforce why there is a spelling difference.

Kelvin Eldridge
Online Connections
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Call 0415 910 703 for computer support.
Servicing Templestowe, Doncaster, Eltham and the surrounding area.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

University of South Australia - Branding and Style Guide errors.

I came across the University of South Australia Branding and Style Guide and thought it may be useful to provide a link for others. The university recognises the importance of branding and style. What did surprise me was the number of small errors on the site which could mostly be picked up by the preferred Australian English dictionary files I provide.

The University of South Australia operates in a competitive tertiary education sector where reputation, name and image are valuable assets.... Read More

The following are the pages on the site and the issues I’ve identified.

http://w3.unisa.edu.au/styleguide/typography/default.asp - etc -> etc.
http://w3.unisa.edu.au/styleguide/photography/guidelines.asp - eg -> e.g., makeup -> make-up
http://w3.unisa.edu.au/styleguide/photography/external.asp - acknowledgment -> acknowledgement
http://w3.unisa.edu.au/styleguide/text/genadvice.asp - spell-checkers -> spellcheckers
http://w3.unisa.edu.au/styleguide/text/addressing.asp - eg -> e.g.
http://w3.unisa.edu.au/styleguide/text/capitalisation.asp - eg -> e.g.
http://w3.unisa.edu.au/styleguide/text/spelling.asp - spell checking -> spellchecking
http://w3.unisa.edu.au/styleguide/text/punctuation.asp - serveral -> several
http://w3.unisa.edu.au/styleguide/text/punctuation.asp - be.g.inning -> beginning
http://w3.unisa.edu.au/styleguide/text/webemail.asp - webpage -> web page
http://w3.unisa.edu.au/styleguide/text/web.asp - percent -> per cent
http://w3.unisa.edu.au/styleguide/text/documents.asp - Familyname -> Family name, Firstname -> First name, Thankyou -> Thank you, absolutey -> absolutely, webpage -> web page
http://w3.unisa.edu.au/styleguide/text/writingprofiles.asp - ie -> i.e.
http://w3.unisa.edu.au/styleguide/materials/default.asp - powerpoint -> PowerPoint
http://w3.unisa.edu.au/styleguide/materials/brochures.asp - eg -> e.g.
http://w3.unisa.edu.au/styleguide/materials/electronic.asp - eg -> e.g.


Apart from the issues mentioned, you may find the UniSA house style to be a useful guide. Perhaps the only guidance I may feel differently is the example with regards to ‘résumé and resume’. My own feeling is the use of accents for ‘resume’ would normally not be required because the context should provide sufficient clues so that they are not needed. Others may feel differently. I don’t claim to be an expert and continue to improve my own use of the preferred Australian English spelling.

- Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Call 0415 910 703 for help with your computer problem.
Servicing Templestowe, Doncaster, Eltham and the surrounding area.

MyAnswers: How to easily remove password protection from a PDF document.

The following MyAnswers solution 2386 is now available:
As I was reading a document from the Monash University Accident Research Centre I noticed quite a few spelling errors which were quite distracting. The document was a PDF which was protected, so I couldn't easily copy and paste the text to check the spelling. I found it amazingly easy to remove the password protection so if you're protecting your PDF documents, think again.

Click here to obtain the solution.

Click here for related solutions.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au/myanswers/
(An Online Connections service.)

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The usage by schools of the word incursion, may be considered incorrect uage by some.

I first heard the term 'incursion' at Templestowe Park Primary School. To me there just seemed to be something wrong with the usage. I now see the usage has continued for over a decade.
 
Many words can have multiple meanings and I have in the past been quite surprised when I've found a word I thought I knew well, that actually had other meanings I was not aware of. Is this the case with incursion?

The word incursion according to The Australian Oxford Dictionary , Second Edition, means 'an invasion or attack, especially when sudden or brief'.

Now when a bunch of school children all board a tram at once it certainly feels like an incursion, but in this case schools are using the word to mean an excursion which takes place at the school. That is, 'in' is replacing 'ex' to mean of an activity held at the school, as compared with outside of the school.

The online Oxford dictionary makes no reference to incursion with regards to an educational activity. The Australian Oxford Dictionary doesn't make such a reference either. However, the Macquarie dictionary does include the additional meaning for incursion as, 'an educational activity in which an artist, educator, etc., visits a school to give a demonstration, etc., of their specialty'.

Could it be that what was once a simple play on words has become another meaning for the word?

Care should be used when using the word referencing an internal activity, because that usage would normally not be considered correct.

What is interesting, is we now have a generation of students who have grown up using the word and when that happens, and enough people know the alternate meaning for a word, that word and the new meaning becomes part of the vernacular.

Kelvin Eldridge
Online Connections
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Call 0415 910 703 for computer support.
Servicing Templestowe, Doncaster, Eltham and the surrounding area.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Is it shoveller or shoveler?

As I was reviewing words to go into, or to be removed from Microsoft Office and Internet Explorer 10, I noticed shoveller being marked as a spelling error in Microsoft Office applications, but not shoveler.

Initially I thought it was simply another error with Microsoft's dictionary including the American spelling and not the Australian spelling for a word. But this time it turns out to be a little more complicated.

The spelling shoveller does need to be included and will be. A shoveller is someone who shovels, such as a person who shovels snow.

Normally in the situation of an American spelling the result is the single 'l' version of the word is removed, but not in this case. It turns out that shoveler is a type of bird found in America and Eurasia.

I did found one reference in Wikipedia, The shovelers, formerly known as shovellers, are four species of dabbling ducks with long, broad spatula-shaped beak", so it does appear there has also been a change in the British spelling as well. However Wikipedia isn't a good authoritative reference for Australians as I've found many errors over time and Wikipedia doesn't make it easy to identify the preferred Australian English spelling.

The Oxford online (British dictionary) shows the following under origin.

late Middle English (denoting a spoonbill): alteration of earlier shovelard, from shovel, perhaps influenced by mallard

I then used Google UK and limited pages to UK sites. The spelling usage for shoveler duck when compared to shoveller duck is two to one. This supports the greater use of shoveler duck as the preferred spelling in the UK and also for Australians. I did this test to reduce the effect of American spelling on search results.

In summary, both shoveller and shoveler need to be included in the Australian dictionary, but it is important to note the spelling with the single 'l' refers to a duck.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.australian-dictionary.com.au

Friday, July 5, 2013

Bus advertising uses secondary spelling color instead of colour.

We've all seen the advertising on buses but this one particularly caught my attention.

Just another advert except what caught my eye was the spelling "colorist". But then I also noticed the spelling of "color". The spelling of colour without the "u" is considered by many to be the American spelling, but whether it is or isn't, it is a secondary spelling in Australia.


It does however make you wonder why a company that can afford such a large advertising budget would use secondary spelling variations rather than the preferred Australian English spelling. On the company's About page they've used the spelling colour, ("we do not promote do-it-yourself home hair colouring") which does indicate inconsistency.

My concern with advertising signage which doesn't use the preferred spelling is it can cause confusion when people regularly see alternate spelling variations. Buses are regularly used by students and I'd be fairly certain most teachers would mark the spelling "color" as incorrect.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.Australian-Dictionary.com.au
The preferred Australian English spelling.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Is it defense or defence?

As I was walking through Northlands today I remarked how the Wendys shop had gone. In the new shop I noticed the following sign on most windows.




What caught my eye was 'Defense Health'. In America this would be the correct spelling. I wondered if perhaps there was a 'Defense Health' in Australia. It turns out there isn't. It is a spelling error.

The spelling in Australia is 'defence'.

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

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Is the word 'ape' racist?

Recently there has been a lot of media attention with regards to the use of the word 'ape' by a 13 year old girl. I have to first say I'm an amateur lexicographer, so my opinion is simply as an ordinary person and not as some expert on the matter.

I've not heard of the word 'ape' being used with a racist meaning and everyone I've asked have also not heard of such use either. There is no doubt the word was used as an insult and insulting others isn't acceptable behaviour. If there is one thing I've learnt from maintaining the preferred Australian English spelling dictionary is you can't make assumptions. You need to read and research words.

If I check the authoritative references for Australia (the Macquarie and Oxford dictionaries) there is no reference with regards to the word 'ape' being a racist word. The best I could find is the online UK Oxford dictionary which indicates one meaning of the word as 'an unintelligent or clumsy person'. That is an insult but not racist.

Now we have to keep in mind communication isn't one way and what someone says (or does) may not be received that way intended. I now understand from reading additional material why Adam Goodes considered the taunt racist.

Sadly in this case two people were affected. A young 13 year-old girl who was taken away and detained for two hours. which any parent would consider wrong and a real concern it could happen. On the other hand Adam was insulted with what he considered a racist slur. There are no winners in that situation.

This reminds me of how easy it is to offend when it comes to not only language but also hand gestures. The hand gesture we use in Australia to indicate 'it is OK' by creating an 'o' with the forefinger and thumb, is considered in some countries to be a very rude gesture.

The lesson for me is from this day on all Australians need to consider that the word 'ape' can be and is considered a very offensive and racist word and should not be used in such a manner. 

Kelvin Eldridge
Online Connections
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Call 0415 910 703 for computer support.
Servicing Templestowe, Doncaster, Eltham and the surrounding area.

Friday, May 10, 2013

MyAnswers: Nine words added to Word Check.

The following MyAnswers solution 2353 is now available:

Nine words added to Word Check.


Click here to obtain the solution.

Click here for related solutions.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.MyAnswers.biz
(An Online Connections service.)

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Search Australia new features including searching using your choice of Google, Bing or Yahoo, quick access to a JustLocal postcode page and check if you're using the preferred Australian English spelling.

Search Australia was added to JustLocal to give those who wish to search a search engine which focuses on Australian sites and removes many of the directories which have now taken over the internet. I’m pretty happy that if I search for ‘fish and chips’ in a local suburb, if the business has a web presence I can now see their page. Of course many small businesses don’t have a web presence which doesn’t help them or their customers. I’ve shown a number of local businesses how a site I’ve put on the internet for them can generate hundreds of leads a month but in the end they don’t seem to care.

The worst example of not providing up-to-date information is when I went into a fish and chip shop in Doncaster Road. After placing the order via telephone the order was some 15% dearer. Every customer was complaining because like me they were ordering from an out-of-date menu and the business decided to increase their prices without letting them know. Had the business put their menu on the internet I would have known before I ordered and so potentially could everyone else. I’ve never used the business again so an out-of-date menu can and does lose businesses customers. A single page site assists hundreds of customers a year and is easily paid for by a single repeat customer. Small business can’t see if they don’t provide the tools people need they’ll go elsewhere and the bigger companies ARE providing online menus.

But I digress. The real purpose of this post is to let users of JustLocal know of three new features I’ve added to Search Australia, the search engine available on every JustLocal page and also available as an Add-in to Internet Explorer. If you add a single letter at the start of the search phrase you can select your preferred search engine, go to a JustLocal postcode page, or find out if you’re using the preferred Australian English spelling for a word.

1. Type in g, b, or y and go directly to Google, Bing or Yahoo. If you add a space and then your search query (such as ‘g fish and chips templestowe’) you’ll get search results for local fish and chips shops without all the directories. That is hopefully if they have a site you’ll get the actual business’ site.

2. Type in j and you’ll go to JustLocal. Type in j followed by a space and a postcode (such as ‘j 3106’) and you’ll go to the JustLocal postcode page. That’s a pretty convenient method to go direct to your local JustLocal postcode page. Keep in mind if your area isn’t covered you’ll get a place holder page with generic ads. As soon as a business or person in your area takes up the mantle to promote JustLocal in your area the generic page will be replaced with local information.

3. Type in w followed by a word and you’ll go direct to the Word Check page to check if you are using the preferred Australian English spelling for a word. You do need a password to see the answer. All clients of mine are provided with the password. In fact if you use Search Australia from JustLocal and type in ‘dictionary’, you’ll have access to Word Check for a while. A thank you for trying out Search Australia.

On top of removing dozens of directories now cluttering search results when using Google (not Bing or Yahoo) and the ability to enter a single word or couple of words to go to the top searched for sites by millions of users, these new features should make Search Australian even more useful. Clients are welcome to request the list of top site search terms. I don’t currently publish the terms on the internet because of the work involved collating the list so please feel free to ask for a copy to assist you in your searches.

Don’t forget, the most convenient way to use Search Australia is to use the link to add Search Australia as your default search engine in Internet Explorer. Then you can perform a search direct from the address bar in Internet Explorer. If everyone in Australia used Search Australia (heaven forbid as my server wouldn’t hold up to it) if could potentially save many hundreds of millions of searches when people are looking for major Australian companies, a TV guide and even the weather. Search engines want you to end up on their page to make money from advertising. I want you to get quickly to the site you want to get to.

For me the real test of whether or not something I’ve developed is worthwhile is whether I use it myself or not. Search Australia is my preferred search tool. It doesn’t stop me from using Google, and in fact if I want to use Google I simply enter the letter ‘g’ and I go direct to Google. I can quickly decide which search engine I’d prefer and not be stuck with just one. With one or two words I access most of the popular sites such as ANZ, eBay, Gumtree, Freeview (TV guide) etc., so it makes sense to use Search Australia rather than end up hunting through Google results that have become so cluttered. I hope you find Search Australia useful too.

 

 

Kelvin Eldridge

Online Connections

www.OnlineConnections.com.au

Call 0415 910 703 for computer advice and support.

 

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Alert: Please log off Google services such as Gmail and YouTube when using my sites.

Disturbingly I’m now seeing up to 50 per cent of people reaching my sites who may be logged on to a Google service and so could be tracked at the individual level.

I use Google’s blogger, Analytics and sometimes Google advertising on my sites. If you are logged on to a Google service your activities can be linked to you as an individual. What you are doing on the internet can thus potentially be tracked to you as an individual.

What people don’t know is when you visit a site which has advertising on it, that advertising is often provided by Google. Many sites use Google’s Analytics software to record statistics for their sites. As you move from site to site your activities can potentially be recorded as an individual.

As you read the major daily news sites, as you search for information, when you go to many sites on the internet your activities can be tracked to you as an individual. In addition it is also possible your location is being tracked without your knowledge because often the internet address you use to access the internet is known to be in a certain area.

It is up to each person to decide whether this matters to them or not. If it does matter to you then consider logging out of all Google services (and potentially other services). When you are logged on to services you can be tracked individually and a profile of you and your activities can be created. Some of this information can potentially end up in the wrong hands. The most obvious outcome is you’ll be directly marketed to and could end up paying more for products and services.

We can’t stop the government and companies collecting information, but most people aren’t aware that their activities on the internet can be tracked to them individually. Because more than 90% of Australians use Google for searching, if they are logged on to Google services (my logs are indicating up to 50% of people may be logged onto a Google service when they reach my sites) then your activities across the internet may be being recorded.

Log off online services as soon as you are finished with them. Don’t keep services such as Gmail and YouTube logged on and running in the background. This doesn’t just apply to Google. Any service that you are logged in and has software they’ve created installed on another site could be doing the same. The type of services that come to mind are social networking services. Where a site you visit displays a button from a social networking service you don’t know what that code does and neither do I. The code could be tracking you. By logging off you reduce some of your online activities being tracked.

 

Kelvin Eldridge

Online Connections

www.OnlineConnections.com.au

Call 0415 910 703 for computer advice and support.

 

Monday, April 29, 2013

Victor Harbor is spelt using the American spelling.

Where does a person interested in the preferred Australian English spelling go for a short break? A place in Australia that uses American spelling. Yes. I thought I'd drop into Victor Harbor and see what I could uncover about the strange spelling for an Australian location.

What I did find didn't really give me a definitive answer, but it did show people using the different spellings of 'Harbor' over a period of time from around 1890 through to 1940/50. More recently however it does feel the spelling has settled and standardised on the American spelling.

I visited the Victor Harbor Information Centre and asked the question about the spelling. They've obviously been asked the question many times before as they had an information page titled "Why is Victor Harbor spelt without the 'U'?"

According to the information page "All six (6) Harbors in South Australia are spelt without a 'u'." The harbours listed were: Outer Harbor, Franklin Harbor, Rosetta Harbor, Victor Harbor, Blanche Harbor and Yatala Habor.

The reason given for the spelling being, "It can be surmised from the above spelling of all South Australian Harbour's with the 'u' that it originated probably from a spelling error made by an early Surveyor General of South Australia." (Note the use of the possessive apostrophe is from the information page.)

Personally I'm not convinced that it was necessarily a spelling error. It is hard to guess why something was done in the past using our current frame of reference. The township name was gazetted in 1914 as the 'Municipal Town of Victor Harbor'. Once gazetted that would tend to become the norm for government use. Spelling error perhaps, or could it be spelling preference? Who really knows!

I also decided to check the six listed harbours and found interestingly using Google maps that some appeared to be spelt with 'our' but that it was easy to be confused. If checking the spelling it is best to use the South Australian State Gazetteer using the PlaceNames Online tool. All of the above spellings were confirmed using the Gazetteer. Also interesting is you'll find inconsistent spelling such as the 'Outer Harbour Post Office' where the spelling for the Post Office differs from the spelling for the location.

One of the features of Victor Harbor is Granite Rock which is a lovely walk across a walkway over the water. A plaque on the rocks dated 1924 had the spelling 'Victor Harbour'. I'm sure the spelling caused no end of discussion for locals of the time.

In the end perhaps we just need to consider the spelling of place names have a history and accept the spelling as correct, even if it does vary from the usual convention.

Kelvin Eldridge
Online Connections
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Call 0415 910 703 for computer support.
Servicing Templestowe, Doncaster, Eltham and the surrounding area.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Is it jewelry, jewellery or jewelery?

A while ago I was in Delphi (Greece) and walked outside the hotel and across the road was a big sign on the shop 'Jewelry'. Weird I thought.

The American spelling is 'jewelry' and the Australian spelling (which appears to be the same for the UK) is 'jewellery'.

The spelling 'jewelery' is referenced in Wiktionary as being a legitimate spelling in Britain along with 'jewellery'. So far I've not found an authoritative reference to confirm the spelling 'jewelery' to be a correct spelling in the UK, America or Australia.

Kelvin Eldridge
Online Connections
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
www.Australian-Dictionary.com.au

Friday, April 19, 2013

British English, American English and Australian English site now live.

Recently a number of overseas people have used a copy of my dictionary work and in particular one person was using my Australian English Exclude file for editing British English documents. In order to edit the document they would set the spelling to Australian English, use my Exclude file which would then provide the preferred British English spelling. I'm thankful to this person for letting me how they were using my work as I then built a British English copy of the Exclude file to assist them. It is feedback like this which helps me determine what people need and what could be useful. Whilst creating the copy of the British English Exclude file is done at a loss, it is hoped in time that it will generate enough revenue to pay for itself.

That got me thinking that over the years I have built a number of online services and created a number of word lists. Some of the word lists are open source so I could provide those word list files for a small distribution fee and that would help those wanting a British, American, or Australian English word list files. I could also provide the online tool Word Check for each of the languages. Any feedback from users could then be used to improve the word lists which to me is how open source can work.

To get the ball rolling I've now created the site
www.English-Dictionary.com.au as an umbrella site with links to a range of dictionary resources I've created. Word Check is now available for Australian, British and American English. Word Check is password protected with the password being provided to anyone contributing either by purchasing a dictionary file or providing a link to either of the dictionary sites www.English-Dictionary.com.au or www.Australian-Dictionary.com.au.

My commercial work will still continue as it currently is. The open source material will evolve based on the feedback of others.

There is still quite a bit to be done with the site www.English-Dictionary.com.au, but I felt it is best to launch the site so that others can take advantage of the material rather than wait until everything is done (where really nothing is ever fully done).

Enjoy,


Kelvin Eldridge
Online Connections
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Call 0415 910 703 for computer support.
Servicing Templestowe, Doncaster, Eltham and the surrounding area.

British English Word Check Hints and Tips

This blog entry aims to provide a collection of hints and tips for using the British English version Word Check. British English Word Check is an online service which enables you to check the spelling of a word and if you haven't entered the correct spelling, a list of suggested words will be presented.

Please feel free to suggest words, or to challenge existing words (in a nice way of course). The input you provide will help evolve the British English dictionary word list. The British English word list is open source licensed as LGPL and is available for a small distribution fee.

TIPS:
  • Word Check requires a password. This is available to clients of Online Connections and anyone purchasing a dictionary product.
  • Word Check in many instances is more accurate than a spellchecker as it allows you to check against the list of actual words, which can include spaces, hyphens, periods and apostrophes.
  • Word Check doesn't allow you to create words using prefixes and suffixes which may not be actual usage. For example typing non-non as a word is often valid when using a spellchecker.
  • Word Check is case sensitive. Enter the word as you would write it. For example type in England and not england. If you type in england without the first letter being capitalised, the result will be Not Found.
  • If you wish to look up the meaning of a word don't use plurals or possessives. Use the base word. Also generally use lower case unless the word requires the first letter or all letters as upper case otherwise the word's definition won't be found.
  • In general enter words in lower case and with the letters correctly capitalised. For example enter London and not london. Entering london will result in the message Not Found but a list of suggestions will be provided.
  • If you enter a word in all capitals, as would be used in a heading, the word will be compared with the words in the dictionary converted to capitals. You should avoid entering words in capitals so you can determine the correct capitalisation. You shouldn't assume that if you now use the word which was in capitals in lower case it will be correct. For example LONDON will be found, but london will not be found.
  • There is quite a bit of confusion as to whether some words should be a single word, a hyphenated word, or contain a space between two or more words. Word Check aims to provide the correct variation. Try all three variations to determine the correct spelling. For example "ice cream" is the preferred spelling, but to determine which is the preferred spelling, you may wish to try "icecream" and "ice-cream". Keep in mind there are standard phrases which use hyphens, but when writing you can hyphenate words are required which wouldn't be in the word list. For words you hyphenate through your own choice you may need to check the spelling of the words individually.
  • You may wish to check the meaning of a word and not just the spelling of a word. Many words which are very similar, only differ by one letter, yet can mean very different things, such as meter and metre, or confirmation and conformation.
  • Word Check aims to provide the correct spelling variations for a word, including possessives and plurals. These are not readily available in other dictionaries and can often be the hardest to determine as being correct. For example Word Check includes: dog, dogs and dog's.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Today I was asked if the recent updates I've made to the Australian dictionary files are suitable for Firefox/Thunderbird.

Today I sent an email to the user of my Australian dictionary files. One person asked the following question.

"I use Mozilla Firefox as my browser & Thunderbird for email.  Are the upgrades you've done compatible/suitable for use with these programmes?"

So that others know here is my response.

"Sadly I decided some time ago (about 3-4 years) to stop supporting and promoting open source. After Firefox/Thunderbird incorporated my open source work and then Google did the same in their Chrome browser and both gave nothing back, it really didn’t seem to make much sense. Now I focus on commercial products. To me the irony is all the projects needed to do was to link to my work and everyone would have gained. Instead my work became hidden in the larger projects and nothing came back as a result. I trust you’ll understand."

My focus is now on providing my work to people who use Microsoft software and those who wish to use my online Word Check tool. My dictionary files now cover Microsoft Office on both Windows computers and Mac computers and also Internet Explorer 10. I am always interested in reviewing other programs but it has to be a fair and reasonable and two way.

Kelvin Eldridge
Online Connections
www.OnlineConnections.com.au

Thursday, April 11, 2013

British and American terms for the British Oxford dictionary site.

I found the page below today on the British Oxford dictionary site which I thought was quite interesting. It is a list of British and equivalent American terms. What I find interesting are the American terms I now use instead of the British, such as eggplant. I wouldn’t even know what a aubergine is. I wonder how many Australians would know what to get if you asked them to pick up an aubergine at the supermarket. Yet on the other hand I’ve never given in to saying aluminum, even though my science teacher in high school used the word all the time.

There are also many cases in which the two varieties of English use different terms to describe the same thing. Here’s a list of various British words and expressions together with their American equivalents.... Read More

One time when I was providing computer support to a young client I remarked, “haven’t you noticed your computer is set to American English”. She asked, “why?” “The spelling is color and not colour”, I remarked. She said, “that is how I spell the word”. I asked, “how come?” She said, “I just do, why?” I said, “I find that strange as it is the American spelling”. She said, “my teacher in secondary school was American, which probably explains why I spell it that way”. Whilst I would never use spelling color, I heard recently the use of color as a spelling is more prevalent in Victoria than other states. I wonder why that would be?

One word which stood out is the British use ‘boiler suit’, the Americans use ‘coveralls’, whereas I would use ‘overalls’. As for ‘bumbag’ the American expression is just not appropriate here. Somehow I don’t think ‘I’m a diamante cowboy’ wouldn’t have been quite as popular as ‘I’m a rhinestone cowboy’. I had no idea the terms were synonymous. Don’t even think about asking an American to meet you on the ‘first floor’ as you’ll end up on different floors. The list certainly makes for a few chuckles.

How many words on the list have become standard use for you?

Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Call 0415 910 703 for help with your computer problem.
Servicing Templestowe, Doncaster, Eltham and the surrounding area.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Is it web site, website or Web site?

The Australian English language is an interesting creature which continues to evolve and change over time. The word I'd like to consider today is 'web site', 'website' or 'Web site'.

According to The Australian Oxford Dictionary Sixth Edition, the primary spelling is 'web site' as two words. The single word spelling 'website' is considered a secondary spelling. If you check the Macquarie Dictionary Fifth Edition the preferred spelling is 'website' as a single word and 'web site' as two words is a secondary spelling variation. When the authoritative references don't agree it can be hard to determine the preferred spelling in Australia, but this does happen more than one might expect.

Many editors refer the 'Style Manual: For Authors, Editors and Printers, 6th Edition' which is an Australian Government publication and what we find is the following in the section relating to computer and internet terms. We find the sentence 'For example, lower case appears to be the predominant usage for web site, which is also often seen as one word.' The only problem with the Style Manual is the sixth edition was published in 2002 (reprinted with corrections in 2003, reprinted in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2010) and whilst the language can change slowly in some areas, some areas change much more quickly.

Using these three resources the weighting would appear to favour 'web site' as two words and that is currently what I use in my dictionary work. The two word variation 'Web site' with the capitalised first letter is not mentioned in the above references. As can be seen by the sentence in the Style Manual the lower case usage has become predominant, so at least we can rule out 'Web site' as the preferred Australia English spelling. However, 'web site' and 'website' need examined further.

Based on various searches of the internet for Australian sites, using different search engines, using a variety of filters, in all cases the predominant usage is 'website'.

I find one of the hardest things we can do with our own use of the language is to change the spelling of a word when we've used the one spelling for so long. In this case my earlier research indicated 'web site' to be the preferred spelling, but now a few years later this isn't the case. For me I have to bite the bullet and adjust my site according. The online service Word Check will be updated today and the dictionary files for Microsoft Office and Internet Explorer will be updated and released as time permits.


Kelvin Eldridge
Online Connections
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Call 0415 910 703 for computer support.
Servicing Templestowe, Doncaster, Eltham and the surrounding area.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Word Check and links to the meaning of words.

This week I received feedback from a person on Word Check. Word Check is designed to provide people with the ability to check if they are using the preferred Australian English spelling. The database contains nearly 60,000 words I've collected and researched.

However, whilst knowing the correct and preferred spelling is good, sometimes having the ability to check if you are using the correct word by looking up the meaning and seeing examples, assists people further. For that reason I provide the ability to check the meaning of words using a third party site. I checked quite a few sites before settling on the site I currently use. Unfortunately it is not perfect. I can't influence the information the site provides and sometimes the site provides unexpected results. However given there isn't another suitable site it is a compromise I'm willing to take as long as people are aware. When clicking on a word to check the meaning please keep in mind you are leaving my site, and whilst the third party site is very good, ultimately you should be aware it is not under my control.

To me it is better to have first checked the spelling of a word and if you are using the preferred Australian English spelling first using Word Check, than to go direct to any other existing dictionary site on the internet. No other site I've found will provide the preferred Australian English spelling and often people aren't aware the site they are using contains American spelling, British spelling, or even deliberate misspellings which whilst designed to direct people to the correct spelling, may not be totally clear that is their intent.

When using the link in Word Check to check the meaning of the word, please keep in mind the link takes you to a third party site outside of my control. This is a compromise, but I believe it assists people by providing the links. Should I get sufficient feedback that the links to the meaning of words is causing people issues, I'm more than happy to review the use of the links.

Thank you for the feedback Jodie.


Kelvin Eldridge
Online Connections
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Call 0415 910 703 for computer support.
Servicing Templestowe, Doncaster, Eltham and the surrounding area.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Hungry Jack's has a very important employee.

Every time I drive through the Hungry Jack's drive-through the following sign catches my attention.

I can't help but wonder who the special employee is that is so important to Hungry Jack's. Of course there isn't a single employee, but an apostrophe out by just one character position can make quite a difference.

Have you seen a sign that catches your attention and amuses you?

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

Apologies for the short outage for looking up the meaning of a word.

Thanks Wendy for letting me know that the link to look up the meaning of a word was not working correctly. This has now been updated and is working as expected.

Apologies to anyone for any inconvenience.

 

Kelvin Eldridge

Online Connections

www.OnlineConnections.com.au

Call 0415 910 703 for computer advice and support.

 

What are 'earworms'?

I read an article recently about earworms and thought “there’s a term that isn’t in my dictionary” and probably shouldn’t currently be in the dictionary. So what then are earworms?


What are 'earworms'?... Read More

Earworms are those tunes that get stuck in your head. I remember one friend at university said he did terrible in an exam because just before the exam started he got a tune in his head and couldn’t get rid of it. Sometimes earworms can be pleasant and sometimes they can be annoying. The problem is that reading about earworms starts you thinking about those tunes that keep playing over and over in your head. Try to shake them and it can be hard.

The good thing is the research shows ways of getting rid of earworms. In effect you need to do something mentally challenging with the example given being anagrams. I’m not good at anagrams so that one is out for me.

It is good that people research things like earworms but I do worry that if they figure out exactly what makes a good earworm and can perfect creating earworms, marketing people will use the knowledge gained to create earworms that we can’t escape from. As always knowledge can be used for good and sometimes, not so good.

Enjoy.


- Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Call 0415 910 703 for help with your computer problem.
Servicing Templestowe, Doncaster, Eltham and the surrounding area.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

The word OK turns 174 today. It's OK to celebrate.

It was on this day 174 years ago that that most modest yet useful of words was born. Allan Metcalf, an Illinois professor of English who reckons OK is not just America's most successful word, but may be the greatest word in the English language.... Read More

- Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Call 0415 910 703 for help with your computer problem.
Servicing Templestowe, Doncaster, Eltham and the surrounding area.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Password again required to access Word Check


I've made Word Check available without restriction to the general public for many months now. Thousands of people a month use Word Check to check the spelling of words and also to see if they're using the preferred Australian English spelling, but unfortunately I find people just come and go and contribute nothing in return.

There's nothing wrong with this as this is how we all are on the internet. With open source software I found most people took and very few gave anything back and that included the open source projects who also used my work such a Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox.

Unfortunately I can't be that generous as I have a family to support so my time has to now be focused on the people who value my time and efforts sufficiently to give something in return.

My apologies for any inconvenience.


Kelvin Eldridge
Online Connections
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Call 0415 910 703 for computer support.
Servicing Templestowe, Doncaster, Eltham and the surrounding area.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Internet Explorer 10 for Windows 7 is now available for Australians.

Exciting news.

Internet Explorer 10 for Windows 7 has now been released by Microsoft and is available for download. I’ve downloaded and installed Internet Explorer 10 and also installed the preferred Australian English spelling file I provide to clients and it works as expected. Now thousands of secondary spelling variations which exist in the standard Australian English dictionary provided by Microsoft, will be marked as spelling errors. Now “mom” for example will be marked as a spelling error, as will the many “ize” spelling variations, American spellings and errors I’ve identified in the standard dictionary.

At last the preferred Australian English spelling can now be made available to Internet Explorer 10 users on both Windows 7 and Windows 8.

In the next couple of days I’ll update the instructions for Windows 7, but for those who can’t wait, go to http://www.australian-dictionary.com.au/internet-explorer/ and purchase a copy of the preferred Australian English spelling file. The steps to install the file are the same.

 

Kelvin Eldridge

Online Connections

www.OnlineConnections.com.au

Call 0415 910 703 for computer advice and support.

 

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Is it wellbeing or well-being?

When researching the words wellbeing and well-being, the Australian Oxford doesn't list wellbeing at all, but the Macquarie dictionary lists wellbeing as the primary spelling and well-being as a secondary spelling.

When I find inconsistency in the leading authoritative references in Australia, I like to check Australian usage. Previously Yahoo was an excellent search engine to use, but over time this has become less so. Google isn't that good either. If you search using Pages from Australia with Google, you'd expect to get pages from Australia, but what you actually get I really can't say, making it pretty useless for any analysis.

Google however enables people to create their own search engine. A while ago I created a search engine to only include sites which have a .au domain (http://www.justlocal.com.au/search/australia/). Using the subset of pages produced by the custom search engine you get a good feeling as to the use of words in Australia.

Using http://www.justlocal.com.au/search/australia/ and searching for wellbeing and well-being, the results are 3.57 million and 1.38 million pages respectively. A good indication that wellbeing is now used considerably more than well-being and thus supporting the entry in the Macquarie dictionary as compared to the Australian Oxford dictionary.

My dictionary work aims to provide the preferred Australian English spelling of words, which means when checking the two words using Word Check (http://www.australian-dictionary.com.au/wordcheck/), the preferred spelling in Australia is wellbeing.


Kelvin Eldridge
Online Connections
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Call 0415 910 703 for computer support.
Servicing Templestowe, Doncaster, Eltham and the surrounding area.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Check the spelling of a word using Word Check for free.

To my knowledge, the Word Check tool I've created and provide for free on the internet, is the only tool which enables people to check the Australian English spelling of a word and then easily look up the meaning of the word. In addition, Word Check is the only online tool to provide the preferred Australian English spelling.

Many people will dismiss the importance of good or even reasonable spelling. The following article shows that 54% of recruiters frown on poor spelling (second to profanity at 61%) on the social media sites of potential candidates

Want a job? Check the spelling on your Facebook profile... Read More
If you're not sure of the spelling of a word, check the spelling using Word Check, which is available at http://www.australian-dictionary.com.au/wordcheck/.

Two other tools you may find of interest are the preferred Australian English spelling for Microsoft Office and the preferred Australian English spelling for Internet Explorer 10. When spelling really matters, using the preferred Australian English spelling will give you the best result. The preferred Australian English spelling is only available from Online Connections. I created and maintain the preferred Australian English spelling because to me it matters.

So for those who wish to keep their online presence as professional as possible and increase the chances of landing that ideal job, add the preferred Australian English spelling to Internet Explorer 10 and update your social media sites knowing you're using the preferred Australian English spelling. Since the preferred Australian English spelling is only available for Internet Explorer 10, those using Google Chrome, Firefox or Safari will be at a disadvantage and for you that's a bonus.

Kelvin Eldridge
Online Connections
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Call 0415 910 703 for computer support.
Servicing Templestowe, Doncaster, Eltham and the surrounding area.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Offence or offense?

Recently for some reason, I thought about the spelling variations offence and offense. I don’t know why, but I wondered how confusing the spelling of this word could be. We are so used to seeing similar words such as licence and license, that it would be easy to use the incorrect spelling. Luckily the situation in Australia is very clear.

The spelling in Australia is offence. Offense is the American spelling.

Interestingly, if you perform a search using Google for just pages from Australia, for “I took offence” and “I took offense”, the number of results returned are 33,300 and 162,000 respectively. That means a staggering proportion of over eighty per cent of pages on Australian sites are using the incorrect spelling.

If you’re in doubt about the correct or preferred Australian English spelling of a word, you can use my Word Check tool located at http://www.australian-dictionary.com.au/wordcheck/. If you’d like to use the preferred Australian English spelling with Microsoft Office or Internet Explorer 10, you can find products on the Australian Dictionary site www.Australian-Dictionary.com.au.

Kelvin Eldridge
Creator and maintainer of the preferred Australian English spelling dictionary.
www.Australian-Dictionary.com.au    
 
UPDATE: The results from Google just didn't feel right. I decided to redo the test using my Custom Search Engine (which uses Google services) and limits pages to domains ending in .au. The search engine can be found at http://www.justlocal.com.au/search/australia/. This test shows most pages use the correct spelling. Not really sure what Google is then displaying when it comes to pages from Australia.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Should it be cannot or can not?

I was reading the following article by Andrew Birch and thought the digression in the comments about the wording of the title was interesting.

Setting The Story Straight On Windows RT & Why Firefox And Chrome Can Not And Should Not Be There... Read More

The original article was published using “cannot” and was later changed to “can not”. I don’t know about others, but something as seemingly minor as the use of cannot or can not would catch me out as well.

Checking the Australian Oxford Dictionary and the Macquarie Dictionary doesn’t really help either. At best the Macquarie states “a form of can not” and the Oxford simply gives the meaning of cannot as “can not”. So no real clarification from the authoritative references.

The online UK Oxford dictionary does provide some assistance with the definition of cannot. According to the online UK Oxford dictionary “Both the one-word form cannot and the two-word form can not are acceptable, but cannot is more common.” The online Oxford states the two-word is better “only in a construction in which not is part of a set phrase, such as ‘not only ... but (also)’: Paul can not only sing well, he also paints brilliantly”.

To me this means we think of “Paul can” and then the rest of the sentence. This isn’t the same situation as “can not and should not”.

I decided to check the usage in Australia using the returned results from Google with only pages from Australia. There was a fairly even split at 1.38 and 1.44 million for cannot and can not respectively. Not enough to state there was an overwhelming preference for one form versus another. Using the UK version of Google and only UK pages, the use was overwhelmingly for the two-word form.

What is interesting is Microsoft Word marks “can not” with a blue squiggly line which could cause many to change the two-word form to a single word. This is an example of a word processing tool making a suggestion and changing how someone writes. In this case the suggestion isn’t strictly wrong, but suggesting a change when it may not be necessary may be considered wrong of the word processor.

Based on this information the article by Andrew mentioned above, Andrew didn’t need to change the title as both variations are correct. Which variation is preferred is also difficult to determine. Whilst the UK Oxford would indicate the single-word form would be preferred, usage on the internet does not confirm the statement. In addition, whilst the UK Oxford may state something, I’m interested in the preferred Australian English spelling and our spelling has in many instances diverged from the UK spelling in terms of the preferred spelling.

Unfortunately at this time, this is one of those situations where I can’t give guidance to others. You have to love our language.

- Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
Call 0415 910 703 for help with your computer problem.
Servicing Templestowe, Doncaster, Eltham and the surrounding area.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Is it en suite or ensuite?

I checked these two words quite some time ago but I have to admit, I’d forgotten which one is the preferred spelling. My free online tool Word Check (which provides the preferred Australian English spelling), does give “ensuite” as the preferred spelling, but when I type “ensuite” in a Microsoft application it comes up as a spelling error. I decided to recheck the word.

The Australian Oxford lists “en suite” and has “ensuite” as a secondary spelling. The Macquarie dictionary provides both words, but the spelling we’re interested in is “ensuite”. That is the spelling for the small utility room which adjoins a bedroom. The word “en suite” in the Macquarie dictionary is listed as a French word and thus is not the spelling we’d use in Australia.

It is not unusual for the Oxford and the Macquarie to differ in the preferred spelling. When this happens I then see what the general usage is in Australia using the search engines and only including pages from Australia. Often one spelling will have much greater use than another. In general the search engines return “ensuite” at roughly a ratio of four to one.

For this reason I accept the Macquarie’s entry over the Oxford this time.

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

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Internet Explorer 10 on Windows 7 release date.

Another hint that Internet Explorer 10 for Windows 7 is getting closer is the release of the Toolkit to Disable Automatic Delivery of Internet Explorer 10.

The Toolkit to Disable Automatic Delivery of Internet Explorer 10 is used to stop the automatic updating of Internet Explorer by Windows Update. This is important in large organisations where they don't want to risk breaking web applications by installing a more recent browser.

Looking back, Internet Explorer 9 was released on the 14th of March 2011. The blocker toolkit was released on the 10th of February 2011which is roughly a month before.

This may mean that we might expect Internet Explorer 10 sometime in March, but I still hold out hope for an earlier release.

I'm looking forward to the release of Internet Explorer 10 on Windows 7 as it means more people will be able to take advantage of the preferred Australian English spelling I provide, if as expected spellchecking is built in.

I already supply the preferred Australian English spelling to users of IE10 under Windows 8 via the site www.australain-dictionary.com.au.

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

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Apple's Do Not Disturb feature advertisement spelling of Favourites incorrect.

I noticed on television recently the Apple advertisement highlighting their Do Not Disturb feature. What caught my eye was the spelling of Favourites as Favorites.

Where possible I like to set my user interface to use Australian English. The iPhone doesn't directly support Australian English, so the next best option is to select British English. At least this way the American English spelling isn't used.

The ad caught my attention because I hadn't seen the ability in the iPhone to set the Do Not Disturb feature further than turning it on and off. The ad showed there were more settings, so where were they, and was the spelling really Favorites.

A bit of investigation showed the options for the Do Not Disturb feature were hidden under Notifications. I often find Apple rearranges the user interface over time and having the settings for Do Not Disturb in a separate area isn't quite logical, so I suspect this will be rearranged in time. However once you know the feature is under Notifications you can then change the settings.

Since I've set my iPhone to use British English spelling I was pleased to see the spelling was the correct spelling of Favourites. Looks like Apple simply reuses the ads they created for America on Australian TV.

What started as checking the spelling on the Apple iPhone user interface ended up being a useful diversion, as it showed me there were more options behind the Do Not Disturb feature. I'm always amazed when an interest in the Australian English spelling takes me on journey.

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

Friday, January 4, 2013

Herald Sun article contains the spelling license instead of licence.

Spelling a word such as licence correctly can be quite difficult. What I find doesn’t help is when a newspaper uses the incorrect spelling of a word. This article in the Herald Sun uses the American spelling of licence instead of the Australian English spelling.

A DRINK-DRIVING P-plater has had his car impounded and license suspended after police discovered two teenagers in the boot of the overloaded vehicle. ... Read More

- Kelvin Eldridge
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