Anyone can look words up in a dictionary
, and of course Webster 1913
is a great tool, but there is a new option that lets one use logic while figuring out how to spell words.
This works best where one has the options narrowed down pretty solidly to a few candidates
Go to your favorite search engine
(I prefer google
) and enter each candidate into the search box
on successive searches. Don't bother looking at the links returned, just note how many items there are for each candidate. One of them, the correct
one, will have a number of results
at least an order of magnitude
greater than the others. That's the correct spelling.
For example, a search today, February 17, 2001
, using Google returned:
Clearly corollary is the correct spelling.
This is a very quick method, especially given a fast connection, and one doesn't get bogged down reading definitions. There is the temptation to scan the contents of websites containing the worst misspellings to deal with though...
To make things even easier, Google now offers suggestions when it seems one might have misspelled a word, i.e. "Did you mean _________?"
Combine this with a browser that has a text-box up by the address bar that's linked to a search engine and you truly have one stop shopping.