It's spelled wrong... but it's in the dictionary!

Discussion in 'macOS' started by Mr Skills, Jul 10, 2008.

  1. Mr Skills macrumors 6502a

    Mr Skills

    Nov 21, 2005
    OSX's spellcheck always seems a bit overzealous, and I've noticed quite a few words that it claims are spelled wrong, even though they are in

    For example:

    Those are all underlined in red as I type this, but they are all in the dictionary application! Anyone got more examples?
  2. iShater macrumors 604


    Aug 13, 2002
  3. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Only pazazz is spelled wrong, and Dictionary just gave you the closest thing it could find. All the other words are spelled correctly. Spelled wrong and common usage are two factors. The spellcheck may only look for more common words, not everything in the dictionary.

    By the way, I'd love to know how you ran across those words! "I know it sounds a bit cliched, but as I was gigging one night, feeling alright, I binned a ponce who showed too much pazazz." :D
  4. portent macrumors 6502a

    Feb 17, 2004
    The Oxford Dictionary contains a number of variant or informal spellings which the spell checker does not accept. This is usually for the best, since the purpose of a spell checker is to make your writing look good in a formal situation, whereas a dictionary exists to provide definitions for as much of the language as possible.

    In a few cases, your language settings (US vs. UK) can also make a difference.
  5. Mr Skills thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Mr Skills

    Nov 21, 2005
    Nope. Standard system-wide spell-check.

    Pazazz is spelled right according to my dictionary app! :)

    Some of these are perfectly common words. In fact, off the top of my head, I can't think of a single synonym for "binned" (maybe "disposed of" but it's not exactly the same meaning) so not only is it a common word, it's the *most* common word for its meaning.

    It wasn't all at once! :D ... I've been keeping a sticky open and writing them down whenever I come across them. It is an incredibly common occurrance. I had about 20 more, and much more common words, but I accidentally closed the sticky :(

    That could certainly explain "alright" which I suspect may be more common in the UK. But not "binned" or "clichéd" (which it flags as a spelling error with or without the accent).
  6. MacDawg macrumors Core


    Mar 20, 2004
    "Between the Hedges"
    And yet incredibly I have never heard or seen the word in my life, much less used it. :rolleyes:

    "binned" as in "having put something in a bin"? (from your 'disposed of' analogy)

    Woof, Woof - Dawg [​IMG]
  7. Mr Skills thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Mr Skills

    Nov 21, 2005
    Really? I cannot exaggerate how much of an ordinary word this is in the UK... maybe it's just one of those transatlantic language differences! :)

    Yes it is the past tense of puttting something in a bin - literally or figuratively. Examples:
    - "The food was out of date so I binned it"
    - "They were ready to release a G5 Powerbook but at the last minute the idea was binned"

    It is in the OSX dictionary application as the primary verb meaning of this word.

    If nobody knows these words in America, then I'm beginning to think this might be a localisation issue. Maybe they've changed the obvious spelling differences (color/colour) but failed to add different words that are more common in British English.
  8. ihabime macrumors 6502

    Jan 12, 2005
    Interesting, when i type those words in textedit the only one that gets redlined is pazazz. My system is set to US English localization.
  9. Mr Skills thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Mr Skills

    Nov 21, 2005
    I've done a bit more research, and this looks like a localisation issue.

    I looked up Wikipedia's list of words that are common in the UK but not so well known in the US, and came up with loads more examples that the spellchecker thinks are wrong. All of these words are in common, everyday use in the UK, and are correctly defined in the dictionary application:

    Here are some more words that, although not in (because they are uniquely British or brand names), should be in the spellchecker for British English:
  10. Mr Skills thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Mr Skills

    Nov 21, 2005
    That's even more strange - it's like they've removed words from the spellchecker's British word list, rather than just not adding them.

    I can confirm this on multiple Macs, so it's not just my spellchecker that's weird.

    [oops. There's another one. "Spellchecker" is fine; "Spellchecker's" is spelled wrong.]
  11. ihabime macrumors 6502

    Jan 12, 2005
    from the second list, blimey bollocks paracetamol slowcoach tosspot and wally come up as spelled correctly.

    I verified your test by changing the language setting in the spelling and grammar window to British and it does show them all as spelled wrong. The Australian and Canadian spellchecks show the same results as British.

    You'd think they'd at least get blimey right :p
  12. Mr Skills thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Mr Skills

    Nov 21, 2005
    I sent the following to Apple feedback:


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