Spell Checking Horrors!

When is “from” the right word? When is “form” the right one? Can a computer really be depended upon to use the right one in the right place?
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Lingofy Reviews

Spell checking is the bane of existence for many writers and posters.

When is “from” the right word? When is “form” the right one? Can a computer really be depended upon to use the right one in the right place?

LingofyRecently I stumbled across Lingofy. It’s an extension for Chrome and Safari and an installed program for PCs and MAC.

I signed up for a free version using American English (The only other choice appears to be Norwegian!) They also have paid version that will check using APA style guides. Pretty sweet if you’re applying to medical-type publications.

I installed both the desktop and the Chrome version. So far, so good!

I tested the desktop version using Word. The installed program shows up in the FILE | HOME | etc. ribbon at the top of the page.

In Chrome, it has its own little  icon. They say it works in lots of online programs. I tested it using WordPress.

After you click the button to Lingofy, a window pops up to say what it’s doing.

It finds the usual spelling errors. The results show suggestions which you can accept or decline.

It tracks the number of times you use the same word, which is nice if you didn’t realize how many times you use the word “authentic”… it can help your writing be a bit more polished.  It offers suggestions for replacement words.

(PS: Studies show that using big words for the sake of using big words does NOT make you appear smarter!)

Some words you’ll probably want to choose to list in your personal style guide (part of the program). List the words you use consistently one way or the other:

  • website or web site?
  • Internet or internet?
  • Email or E-mail?

Lingofy does take a little bit to figure out how to accept the suggestions. But once you notice the little check boxes, it’s a big DUH!  Make changes in the right hand column, check the boxes and hit ACCEPT. BAM! You’re done.

My Review of Lingofy:

Lingofy is in Beta. So some issues are to be expected.

I used Lingofy in Word on a couple of short documents. Seemed to be ok. (Although it missed that this sentence originally started with “I uses”)

I tested it on a long contract and it went through that with no trouble.

But when I tried to use it on the same document a couple of times, sometimes it seemed unreasonably slow and then hung the program. Same thing happened in WordPress.

The biggest issue, however, is that Lingofy runs in a popup light box window. That means the content you’re testing is grayed out. It’s difficult to see just where the program is suggesting a change. You can drag the popup around, but it’s not
always entirely perfect.

My recommendation:

Don’t run the program on any file you don’t have a backup of someplace. It could be a second Word document or a NotePad copy of WordPress post.

Once it hung up in Chrome, the only way to get it unstuck was to close the page. Once it hungup in Word, it really hosed the page. Without a backup, I’d have been really PEEVED!

Author: Kerch McConlogue

Harrisburg, PA: A WordPress front end web developer who speaks plain-English to nonGeeks

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