Monday, April 26, 2004

A Google spell checker

As far as I know, Google, owns blogspot. Google ads appear alongside the new gmail, and above blogs. These ads are generated by having an engine "read" the content and match an ad with the content, on the assumption that people reading a certain site would be interested in products and services related to the content.

I think another project that Google might want to undertake is the new GoogleSpellchecker. Why doesn't blogger's spell check recognize "Kim Jong-Il", or "Falluja" as words that are not misspelled? Would it be that difficult for Google to design a program that searches the thousands of say, news reports each day and look for words that are not in the dictionary's vocabulary? I would assume that millions of people have pushed the "Ignore" button when spellcheck challenged their usage of the word "Condoleezza". Google search engine already does this. If you type in "Condolezza Rice" in to Google, it will ask you if you meant "Condoleezza Rice". Why can't spellchecker realize that this is what is happening, and adapt it accordingly. Google should not care if a word is technically misspelled. We need spellcheckers to know if a given string of characters is widely used. That is what makes a word a word, and that is what people will want to write.

(A side note: blogger's spellcheck will not even recognize "Google" or blogger as a word. The spell checker assumes it is misspelled.)

Having a condescending spellchecker tell you that "Metallica sux" is improper usage, will not change anything, certainly not my spelling. This is how people write, and if enough people are doing it, then most likely my doing it is deliberate. Spellcheckers better get used to it.

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