Coming Soon To Forums Near You : Better Spelling

A while back I posted a complaint about the lack of native spellchecking in themajor browsers, stating-

In the forum and blogging world, it would be beneficialif more tools supported convenient and efficient automaticspell-checking (the fact that no major browser has incorporatednative TEXTAREA spell-checking thus far is a travesty. Anyof them could have a killer feature if they simply added Word-likesquiggly underlining of suspect words, with easy alternativecorrections). As it is, many tools have nothing at all, and the fewthat do often host a ridiculously unintuitive, hacked-in partialsolution.

For those who like release-quality software, salvation is athand: Grab yourself a copy of the just released Firefox 2; an alreadybrilliant browser that now also supports nativedata entry spellchecking, with little squiggly (or at least dotted)lines under suspect text, and a suggested list of alternatives.

Finally!

Hopefully this improves the quality of spelling on the net.

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And to head off the inevitable comments, no, the lack ofspellchecking clearly hasn’t somehow improved spelling (usuallyargued under the “it makes you work harder at it, therefore growingspell-muscles” explanation). Given that our brains learn spellingby example, even those of us who care are misled by a constantstream of misspellings. With the addition of finger-wagging littlesquiggle-lines, perhaps the purity of the language willimprove.

It doesn’t analyze grammar, pointing out errant uses of too orto, whether it’s a possessive apostrophe rather than a contraction,or help in the endless “that isn’t ironic!” debate, but at leastit’s a start.

The best browser gets even better.