Writing and Publishing

The Great Google Spell Checker

I struggle with spelling. I always have and despite some improvement as I write more, I fear I always will.

I suspect the root cause of this dilemma is that when I read longer words, I don’t look at all its letters, but merely the first few, along with the overall shape and length of the word.

Therefore, when I go to spell a word, I may sense that it needs more letters, but I am clueless as to what they might be. Or I may suspect what letters are needed, but am stymied as to their proper order. Sounding it out is usually no help, either.

In more cases then I care to admit, I cannot even spell a word close enough for my word processor’s spell checker to comprehend my intent. My futile attempts at correct spelling are so much in error as to be useless.

After several unsuccessful attempts at a close approximation to my intended target, I give up and pop my assemblage of characters into the trusty Google search engine. Faster than the time to blink my eye, Google informs me of the correct spelling. This works almost every time I try it.

Even when I don’t give Google much to work with, it comes through for me. For example, I always struggle with “bureaucracy” (in more ways than one). I threw my suspected jumble of letters into Google, along with some typos when my fingers failed to cooperate with my brain. In .19 seconds, Google came back with:

“Showing results for bureaucracy. Search instead for buerocrrary.”

Not only is Google the leading search engine, but it may also be the leading spell checker.

By Peter Lyle DeHaan

Author Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD, publishes books about business, customer service, the call center industry, and business and writing.

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