Comments: More about Merriam-Webster

Maybe those were just suggestions for what you *should* have been searching for. For example, "cheerleaders" probably has a better illustration than "charge d'affaires".

Posted by Rick at November 15, 2005 08:36 PM

I know I did this over at Dean's blog, too, but these are just DYING to be put into a story.

"When the cheerleaders ran into a couple of carjackers (armed only with a sledgehammer) en route to Khurramabad by way of South Jersey, the whole situation chain-reacted. When the dimmest cheerleader told the short-haired carjacker "Hey, you're kinda cute for a criminal," he startled, as sensitive as a charge-coupled device trained at a distant galaxy. "Shut up," he hissed. "Or you'll need a chirurgeon.""

Chirurgeon doesn't really fit, does it? And neither does charge-coupled. Damn M-W! Damn them!

Posted by Erin at November 15, 2005 10:06 PM

The other day I was typing up a thing that mentioned the mindbendingly rich mashed potatoes at the now-defunct Upper East Side restaurant Lespinasse, and MS word's spellcheck took issue with it, recommending instead:


all three of which I would have embodied in great measure if I had ever gotten a chance to taste the damned potatoes, so points for perceptiveness, at least.

Posted by Fafner at November 16, 2005 10:18 PM

Strangely, the non-free site, here, has a much better correction algorithm. It suggested:

1. charge d'affaires
2. charges d'affaires
3. cheerleaders
4. cheerleader
5. chartered
6. cherchez la femme
7. shoulder girdle
8. church register
9. charterer
10. charterers

So that's something. My main annoyance with them is that it assumes you have the first letter right, which means that if you leave the first letter off the word its corrections are useless. (And there's something wrong with my web browser, such that it often doesn't register the first letter I type in a form.) Hence, for "harge d'affaires", it gives:

1. homme d'affaires
2. hair-raisers
3. Horatio Alger
4. hairy-chested
5. hyaluronidases
6. hurry-skurries
7. hammer-and-tongs
8. hairy woodpecker
9. hurry-scurries
10. hemorrhoidals

I am fairly certain that I never, ever mean "hyaluronidases".

Posted by Lance at November 17, 2005 04:05 AM
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