Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 13 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
Exclusive to OpEd News:
Sci Tech   

Spelling - The New Democracy

By       (Page 1 of 1 pages)   3 comments
Google « is my new spell checker. Just type in any version of a word and see how many "hits" you get. It's ever so democratic, letting the Internet vote on spelling. Even the word "dictionary" is beginning to sound so . . . well, dictatorial.

Here's how my system works. Take a word, like "dichotomy." If you Google « it as "d-i-c-h-o-t-e-m-y" (without the hyphens of course) you get eight 813 hits. This means 813 people think you spelled it right. But "d-i-c-h-o-t-o-m-y" with a second "o" gets 12,600,000 votes. Isn't that great?

Sure 813 people think you are wrong, but the other 12,600,000 could beat the phonics out of those guys in a fair fight.

And the next time your son or daughter gets marked down for spelling "dichotomy" with an "e," this data proves that little Johnny or Barbara is entitled to partial credit, at least. Dan Quayle is demanding a recount on his "potato" goof back in 1992. His spelling, "potatoe," gets a respectable 1,300,000 votes on Google. « But then, "optato" (the typo I entered on my first try) got 924,000.

The point is (with all due respect to Webster, Cambridge and Oxford) dictionaries are a thing of the past. Instead of just seeing what Webster thinks, now we can find out how everybody spells a word. Dictionaries no longer serve any function, except of course if you want to know what a word means.

Search engines don't work well for that. Take "dichotomy." To me it sounds like an operation . . . "They are going to take my dichotomy out next Tuesday.

When I Google « it there's this big split of opinion. It's like two different schools of thought--two entrenched camps--exist around the meaning of "dichotomy."

One down-side of using search engines for spell checkers is, you have to come up with alternate spellings-especially if the your first try doesn't get many votes. A good rule of thumb is, if you get less than ten million hits, you're spelling it wrong. On the other hand, just try looking up "soriasis" in Webster's. « You'll never find it. On Google « it gets 52,800 hits.

Andrew Jackson said, "It is a damn poor mind that cannot think of more than one way to spell a word."

I actually found five versions of Jackson's quote on the net. One site left out the word "damn." Heck, even Nixon deleted expletives. But in this case, the title of the site with this "D" word sensitivity is, "A Hell of a Parentheses." No kidding. Another site attributed the quote to Thomas Jefferson. Many things are attributed to Jefferson lately.

I've figure Jackson's original quote was probably: "It is a damn poor mind indeed that can think of only one way to misquote a President."

-- Horace J. Digby

Copyright ę 2006 Lexington Film, LLC. All rights reserved
Rate It | View Ratings

Horace J. Digby Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Whether it's mishaps with a French-for-Travelers CD, or a media technology that corrects errors before they occur, Horace J. Digby never even sees the mark.

Winner of the Robert Benchley Society Award for Humor; selected to judge the (more...)
Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEd News Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Dave Bary Judges Top Ten Robert Benchley Society Humor Finalists

Spelling - The New Democracy

Someone to Watch Over Me

What I Do About Writers Block

New Media Technology

To View Comments or Join the Conversation:

Tell A Friend