Smash your spelling

Do you struggle with spelling? Do you think of the perfect word to express what you are trying to write about, but then think there’s no way you’ll be able to spell it correctly and so choose something less suphistacated sofistacated sophastikated good?

Students eligible for the DSA could receive funding for more comprehensive spelling and grammar checking applications such as Global AutoCorrect or Medincle, but here are 3 quick, free and easy alternatives to wrestling with the Word spellchecker or putting up with Google’s passive aggressive ‘did you mean…?’

1. Whip out your phone, say ‘Ok Google’ (for Android) or ‘Hey Siri’ (for iPhones) and then just say ‘spell’ followed by whatever the word you’re struggling with’. Your phone should display it on the screen and read out a letter spelling.

2. If you are using Microsoft Office 365 (usually provided by your school or university), use the Dictate feature in Microsoft Word (look for it on the Home menu in Word) to allow you to say a word aloud and have it transcribed straight into your document. Just click the Dictate button, wait a second until you hear a sound or see a microphone icon in the taskbar at the bottom of the screen, and then just say the word. Don’t have Microsoft Word? Google docs has the same feature – open a doc and click on the Tools menu, then select voice typing. Click on the microphone that pops up and say the word.

3. What about words that you are not sure how to pronounce though? Or if you are not working somewhere where you can start calling out random words? In that case, you might want to try a free program called WordWeb. With this, you can type a word that you know how to spell and then use synonym list in WordWeb to show you a load of other words which mean the same thing (just select the word you have written and hit the hotkey combination Ctrl+Alt+W). Not sure if a word means what you want? Double-click on it and get a definition, plus the option to hear it being read aloud to you.

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