Planet Spell Checker

I’m interested in learning if anyone knows where companies who produce writing software get their spell checkers from.

I’d have thought that to support their product, the spell checker would be of the highest quality, perhaps produced by, and bought from, an expert in dictionaries, such as Oxford, Collins or Chambers. This is hard to credit when I see the words my software queries. It’s easier to believe that spell checkers are based on an outdated children’s dictionary acquired for a few pennies at a charity shop!

I use LibreOffice Writer to create my novels, as it’s easier for me to understand than MS Word and more importantly, is free! It has a thesaurus and an automatic spell checker, which I’m sometimes grateful of, other times irritated by.

Grammarly provides useful support, and I’m particularly glad of its punctuation checker as I tend to suffer from comma-itis! Its spell checker is just as elementary as LibreOffice. Words that I’ve typed recently, and which have been questioned, include track, moor, wizard, mauve and siphon.

I’ve added them to the spell checker’s dictionary so that it doesn’t query their use again. I well understand, why British novelist Will Self declared that the one thing he’d rescue from his burning house would be his laptop—not for the WIP—rather, to preserve his spell checker!

Occasionally, the software cautions me in a humorous way. Just this morning, I was writing about a dangerous guard dog, which my detective protagonist sees prowling the house of criminals he has under surveillance. When it barks, it reminds him of the Hound of The Baskervilles. Spell checker sprang into action, asking me ‘Do you mean Hound of The Basketballs?

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