Nilesh’s Weblog

August 27, 2008

Dictionary of Troublesome Words

Filed under: Other, Personal, Updates — Tags: — deshnilesh @ 12:23 pm

Recently I was reading ‘Bryson’s Dictionary of Troublesome Words’ by Bill Bryson. Bill has documented most common mistakes in English language that he has experienced (?) as a copy editor for London Times. As stated by Bill – “English is a dazzlingly idiosyncratic tongue, full of quirks and irregularities that often seem willfully at odds with logic and common sense. This is a language where ‘cleave’ can mean to cut in half or to hold two halves together; where the simple word ‘set’ has 126 different meanings as a verb, 58 as a noun, and 10 as a participial adjective; where if you can run fast you are moving swiftly, but if you are stuck fast you are not moving at all; [and] where ‘colonel,’ ‘freight,’ ‘once,’ and ‘ache’ are strikingly at odds with their spellings.”

What if we can develop an application / add-in (something like spell checker); which will detect these words/phrases and notify the user about errors / odds in there draft. I think it would be more interesting to know which odd words/phrases I am using in my daily communication than reading the book.

For an example I have written this blog, I run a spell checker to ensure there are no spelling mistakes. Once done I want to see the odd words/phrases or obvious mistakes I would have made, so I run the ‘Troublesome Words Checker’ application and bingo all the troublesome words/phrases from are listed in a separate window.

Any one interested in creating this application?


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