Saturday, November 03, 2007

Google-Difficult

Some interesting stuff about Google's treatment of certain search results for "difficult" words.

Like a lot of people, Google's my spell checker of choice when my in-line spell checkers fail me. Google automatically points to the correct spelling and provides a hint at context within the first few search results as a bonus.

The New Scientist (print edition) has been running a bit about the "commonest typo in the English language" in its Feedback column. The magazine is asking readers to send in search results that show the greatest number of results for common misspellings of English words. Some results?
When Alex Llewelyn searched for "accomodate" he got 6,610,000 hits; "sence" scored 8,040,000 and "definately" logged an incredible 17,400,000. John Lavery's "seperate" also checked in at about 17,000,000..
One reader goes on to point out a flaw with this metric, stating that a common word that is only rarely misspelled might get more hits than a less common word that is often misspelled. Bonus points to anybody who can find words misspelled the greatest percentage of their overall occurrence on the web.

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