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.


Hopefully this improves the quality of spelling on the net.


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.