Spellchecking with Google

It has been mentioned before on the web, but whenever I talk about it, people say, “Wow, I didn’t think about that way of using a search engine!”.

Especially for non-native speakers of the English language, if your favorite dictionary (mine is currently LEO, an Online Service of Technische Universität München, powered by Sun Microsystems) does not contain a word that you would like to use, you may want to try a search engine. An example?

Try: “parallelizable” (currently 51,900 hits) and “parallizable” (359 hits). The U.K. style, “parallelisable” gives you 859 hits, so it’s very likely that the second possible way of spelling is incorrect (at least, less people may know what you mean by using that word instead of the first one).

By reading the word in the context, you also get an impression of the meanings, and maybe you’ll discover that the word you wanted to use means something different than you thought;-). And, as you can see in the above example, by looking at the domains of the search results (e.g. .com vs. .uk), you may even get hints about in which countries a special way of spelling is used.

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