The first web-published book, on 2000-01-07.

Internet > World Wide Web > Advanced Use > Web Tricks >

Spelling & Misspelling

You can use the web as a spell checker, and search the Internet for misspelled words just for the entertainment:

  • Spelling. You can use the web as a kind of huge spell checker if you don't have anything else handy. For example, let's say you aren't sure of the spelling of "committee". You can search on the most likely options, commitee, comitee, committee, and the search that returns the most hits is correct. This is a very reliable check, since fortunately more people spell words correctly than incorrectly, and search engines have such large databases that they provide a statistically extremely accurate sample. If you are anywhere close, Google will also provide a likely spelling correction suggestion at the top of the results page..
  • Misspelling. For good reasons and bad, many people have created sites with domain names that are misspellings of well known site names, and they count on people dropping into their site by mistake when they misspell the legitimate site's name. Commercial organizations usually bring lawsuits to close these copycat sites down.

    In a similar idea, we can search the web for misspellings of words for pure entertainment. It is interesting to find the number of sites that have misspelled pretty much any word you can think of, in almost any way you can think of. For example, it is amazing how many pages there are containing the words zology, orgnization, and gardning. Even more challenging is searching for multiple misspellings that still return results, like commitee AND orgnization.
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