Posted on | October 12, 2005 | 13 Comments
In the past year I have come to depend more and more on Google as a spell checker. Yesterday I was looking up the phone number to a cafe with Google and a new dictionary feature appeared Google is testing. In additional to the standard feature of “Did you mean”, Google hyperlinked the word in the search box it thought was misspelled. I clicked on it and a drop down menu appeared with possible correct spellings.
What was also surprising was it offered the option to “Add to dictionary”. Note I was not logged into any of my Google accounts such as gmail, adwords or adsense. This means it would be added to the general Google dictionary (probably once a set number of people clicked add). I wonder what precautions Google is taking to prevent manipulation of this. Imagine a consumer types in “coffee” and the correct spellings are website names such as “abccofffee”, “bestcoffee” or “gourmet-coffee”.
On a side note, when Microsoft Office cannot find the correct spelling of a word, I copy it into Google. 99% of the time Google gives me the correct spelling!
PauTo pointed out the Google Toolbar. Looking back at the original screenshot I noticed the “ABC Check” button was highlighted. When switching tabs in Firefox I must have accidentally clicked the “ABC Check” button (which I never use) or as PauTo points out a bug. This UI is directly tied into the Google Toolbar.