Dr. Goodword’s Language Blog

Web Spell

Dr. Goodword is going to make a prediction: over the next ten years the spelling of everyone using the Web will improve.

With any luck at all, I’ll still be around ten years from now to find out if I’m right. Given all the misspelling we see on the Web (Google today returns 1.27 million pages containing “equiptment”), how could any reasonable person come to this conclusion.

Google LogoWell, it is the nature of searching itself. You have to spell out a URL perfectly or you don’t get to the page you are looking for. If you misspell the key words you use in a search, you don’t get the search you want. If you come close, say “equiptment”, the search engine will correct your spelling for you: “Do you mean ‘equipment’?”—a free spelling lesson. (We have more.)

Did you ever think of Google as a remedial spelling teacher? When you combine these basic facts with the fact that websites like alphaDictionary are spreading like wild fire, you must concede that all fingers are pointing to improved spelling.

This should warm the hearts of all the teachers out there and make up for my claim that ain’t isn’t a four-letter word.

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