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Spell checking

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Spell checking

Postby ksouthall » Wed Aug 04, 2010 8:00 am

Dear Editor,

Would it be possible to introduce a spelling and grammar checking facility to the forum? Sometimes I find posts very difficult to read, particularly if people use texting abbreviations or slang when posting their enquiries (e. g. "past away" intead of "passed away".) This can get very confusing if people then start to add genealogical abbreviations as well.

I preview my posts to try and make sure they make sense. If a mistake gets through I also go back and edit the post, however it appears not everyone does this.

Sorry to be so pedantic however it does not make it easy to help people out with their queries if their posts are not in plain and correct English.

Katherine
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Re: Spell checking

Postby Matt Elton » Wed Aug 04, 2010 8:46 am

Hi Katherine,

Thanks for your message! I know that spelling and typos can be irritating online, particularly when you're searching through for something specific. I'll certainly ask our online team for you, but as far as I know there's no spell check facility available on the forum.

Sorry about this!

Matt
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Re: Spell checking

Postby Tilliduff » Wed Aug 04, 2010 8:53 am

Excellent idea.
Chris

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Re: Spell checking

Postby FamilyHistoryAddict » Fri Aug 06, 2010 4:52 pm

If you have Word on your PC you can type your message into that first, use the spell and grammar check - then copy it then paste it onto this forum. That's a workaround for you.

Cheers, FHA
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Re: Spell checking

Postby ksouthall » Fri Aug 06, 2010 5:27 pm

FamilyHistoryAddict wrote:If you have Word on your PC you can type your message into that first, use the spell and grammar check - then copy it then paste it onto this forum. That's a workaround for you.

Cheers, FHA


That's a really good idea, FHA. Thanks for the tip. Let's hope other people also try it as some posts are very hard to understand.

Katherine
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Re: Spell checking

Postby ksouthall » Sat Aug 07, 2010 10:30 am

FamilyHistoryAddict wrote:If you have Word on your PC you can type your message into that first, use the spell and grammar check - then copy it then paste it onto this forum. That's a workaround for you.

Cheers, FHA


I have been trying your tip and it helps with the spelling mistakes. Unfortunately, it doesn't always pick up on grammatical errors; e.g. a particularly annoying one is where people type in "could of" rather than the grammatically correct "could have". I think people are mistaking the abbreviated spoken version "could've" when writing it. The same goes for "should have" and "would have".

My children also have this annoying habit although I think they do it deliberately to wind me up!

It also does not pick up misuses of there, their and they’re.

I know this is being pedantic however it does make it very hard to understand other people's posts if they do not take the time to write them in correct English.

Katherine
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Re: Spell checking

Postby Sylcec » Sun Aug 08, 2010 4:02 am

Pedants unite!!
I totally agree about their, there and they're, though sometimes catch myself inadvertently typing the wrong one.

However, Katherine, I think that acceptable English usage does vary between different countries. Some of our North American based 'cousins' enjoy rather different rules of grammar from those used by people who have been educated in England.

I also think that the casual nature of communication in a forum such as this leads to us 'writing' in the way we speak and using many colloquial forms.

How about misplaced apostrophes then? Better not start on that subject! :)
Sylvia
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Re: Spell checking

Postby ksouthall » Sun Aug 08, 2010 6:08 pm

Hello Sylvia,

Yes I agree with your point about misplaced apostrophes. Sometimes they just sneak in, especially the more you think about them!

I also agree with your point about informality, however if posts are unintelligible I think that is taking informality too far. I have found that "people not educated in England", particularly the Dutch and Scandinavians, often write and speak better English than people born and bred here.

I also appreciate that spellings may vary from country to country but I don't think the grammar changes that much.

Besides, I think it is helpful to put requests in plain English otherwise it is hard for people to offer help. If I have to read a post several times in order to understand what people are asking, it does not necessarily inspire me to help them find their ancestors. I'd rather help out the people who take the time and the care to explain things in simple English, using proper sentences and punctuation.

Katherine
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Re: Spell checking

Postby Sylcec » Mon Aug 09, 2010 1:43 am

Hi Katherine
you said:
If I have to read a post several times in order to understand what people are asking, it does not necessarily inspire me to help them find their ancestors.


Absolute 100% agreement!! :roll:

Maybe we need to write a guide on how to ask effective questions:
[list=]tell us what you know
what is your evidence for it; and
what do you want to know?[/list] :D
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Re: Spell checking

Postby callbrian » Mon Aug 09, 2010 7:49 am

Hi,
It appears we have veered into two different subjects here. I agree with the spelling problems, although I am sometimes guilty of this myself and cringe when I see my mistake.
I try to read the the reply several times, also wondering whether my grammar,apostrophes etc are correct. We cannot all be absolutely correct, as over the years, even the basics I learned at school seemed to have disappeared or been changed.
I also agree with how the postings are sometimes entered, very wordy, without any relevant facts. Especially if time is spent searching for information, only to see in the reply that the poster already had the information. Perhaps a dedicated template within one of the subject headings would be the answer.
Brian
[color=#0000FF]callbrian[/color]
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