Aug 11th 2011

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What makes a word a word?

One of the challenges of developing a strong spell checker is creating a database of words that are considered correct; or rather the question of how we decide what word is a word?

We could use an already-existing dictionary, and agree that all the words that appear in there are real words, while other words must be mistakes. But dictionaries are static, and the English language is dynamic and changes constantly. Think of a word such as “email.” Twenty years ago, who knew what it means?

Here at Ginger, we are constantly trying to keep up with the changes the English language goes through. Our advantage is that we learn from the internet, which is the largest, freshest source of text. When we recognize new words or expressions that are massively used, we can quickly add them to our database, and remain the most up-to-date grammar/spell checker. So if you have a great new word you’ve invented, start using it! If it catches fast, we might stop correcting it soon :-)

In the meantime, check out this scene from Curb Your Enthusiasm. What do you think, is LOL a real word?


Adva and the Ginger Team.

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8 Responses to “What makes a word a word?”

  1. seema on August 17th, 2011


  2. buy plan b on August 28th, 2011

    I’m really loving the contents of your blog. Hopefully you keep posting regularly. Thanks.

    • Ramon on June 6th, 2012

      Hi Graeme,Thanks a lot for your explanation. That was very ennlnhteiigg. I’m an ESL learner so oftentimes I get confused when rules are not applied strictly. I’m beginning to realize that we are free to make our own rules and if we do, there’s really nothing other people can do about it. To me now, the test of effective writing is not whether you are correct or not, but whether you are understood or not.Again, thank you.Angge

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  7. Soumya on July 15th, 2017

    K.S.B.G.P.B.P, make word for me using only those following words.


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