Re: Tina the Techwriter Reopens the Great Debate

Subject: Re: Tina the Techwriter Reopens the Great Debate
From: "Ned Bedinger" <doc -at- edwordsmith -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 10 Jun 2004 16:21:18 -0700


----- Original Message -----
From: "Mike O." <obie1121 -at- yahoo -dot- com>
Newsgroups: techwr-l
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Cc: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Sent: Thursday, June 10, 2004 11:46 AM
Subject: Re: Tina the Techwriter Reopens the Great Debate


> I'd rather not be bothered by false positives from some stupid
> spell-checker, especially when my email contains lots of
technical terms
> or colloquialisms that the spellchecker doesn't know.

*scoff*

If I had a nickel for every word I've added or purged from my
spell-check dictionaries, I wouldn't have to work again.

Most of the work is in purging misspelled ones, really. But on a
certain level, I agree with Mike about this--it takes a long time
to configure everything about email, and turning on
spell-checking (especially in XP/OE where spell-check isn't part
of the email package) always is an afterthought and gets done
only if I'm in a fumble-fingers phase of my typing life.

On a tangential note, I would say that it is not a high
percentage of the people who use spell checking who ever read
their dictionaries for spelling errors.

<saccharine>But I do.</saccharine>

I do two main types of spell checks. Type 1 is when I am
carefully adding special vocabulary to a custom dictionary. Type
2 is when I'm succumbing to the hypnotic rhythms of a spell check
on a long document. Type 2 is where the misspelled words creep
in. Type 1 is where I am anticipating a long and fruitful
relationship with a custom dictionary, such as when I'm writing
or editing API documentation. Those docs contains words that
read like a foreign language. Training the spell check
dictionary to recognize the correct spelling and capitalization
of a string of 30 characters is so much easier than training my
eyes to spot errors in the many similar "words". I am here to
say that it is a glorious thing when my spell checker stops and
suggests the correct capitalization of some obscure thing like
"initToad2Prince::PErmanent.

Of course, a misspelled or mis-capitalized word can creep into a
custom dictionary. I have found that scanning through the text
list of words in a custom dictionary, looking for near matches,
is a good way to spot and weed those out, as they are usually
contiguous in the dictionary with their correct form.


Ned Bedinger
Ed Wordsmith Technical Communications Co.
doc -at- edwordsmith -dot- com
http://www.edwordsmith.com
tel: 360-434-7197
fax: 360-769-7059






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References:
Re: Tina the Techwriter Reopens the Great Debate: From: Mike O.

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