When writing about an unfamiliar subject for a magazine once, I quickly discovered that I had no idea of the proper usage of certain uncommon and very specific words used by technology buffs. certain words? My bosses were no help. Sure, they could “talk the talk” but expected me to understand the general spelling. and grammar rules for brand new terms, some only months old.
Since then, I’ve discovered some helpful sites and programs that contain words not found in the average spell check programs. Even with spell checkers focusing only on medical or computer terms, I don’t always agree with every word or spelling. There is some debate and disagreement in various fields about when and how to use certain words or terms. Sometimes I have to consult an expert or do more research to get a better answer. But most of the time, the spell checkers have helped me find the answer I need and saved precious time.
Here’s some spell checkers worth a look when you wonder how to spell or use internet words or acronyms or slang:
1. For internet bloggers, techies, computer industry professionals or anyone who needs to know the latest spelling of internet acronyms or common text messaging terms:
Take a look at Netlingo at www.netlingo.com/inframes.cfm; This site has bee praised widely, in The New York Times, Fortune and a host of others, for good reason..
Special features that make this site useful:
An online dictionary with common and uncommon terms. Examples include common words like e-mail as well as less obvious ones like anticipointment.
A list of newly added lingo for those who want to stay up to date or in the loop.
Many Top 50 lists in many areas, from the most common text terms to Top 50 lists for parents, heads of businesses and others.
Explanations about why their spelling or grammar usages are suggested. Check out their explanation on e-mail for instance, which is a logical way to determine when to hyphenate this word as well as others like etailing and ecruiting (notice the lack of hyphens in the last two words).
2. Also worth a look – Webopedia Online at www.webopedia.com/ This is primarily an online dictionary and search engine for computer and Internet technology definitions. I particularly like the section called Internet Grammar Lessons at www.webopedia.com/DidYouKnow/Internet/2002/InternetGrammar.asp That piece is a frank admission that disagreement still exists about how to spell or use words. Some believe website is one word, others feel equally strongly that it should be broken into two separate words (web site) . There are plenty of other examples,making the Webopedia site worth exploring – and pondering. .
Special features of the site:
A “term of the day” updated daily.
A list of new terms
Technology Job listings
3. The Dictionary of Computer Jargon at www.jonstorm.com/glossary/ is a basic and quick reference guide to basic computer jargon.
Special feature: Scroll down to the bottom of the page and check out The Absolute Beginners Guide to HTML.
4, NetDictionary www.netdictionary.com/index.html . One downside to this site is that it may not be current much past 2004. Even so, it can be fun and even humorous to browse, as it not only contains the usual technical terms that relate to the Internet but some funny and offbeat ones as well.
Special feature: Quirky, irreverent, humorous, fun.
5. A High Tech Dictionary can be found here: www.computeruser.com/resources/dictionary/noframes/index.html and is primarily good for helping understand some of the more complex technical terms. It may miss more common ones.
Special feature: Check out the Recent words section (This section’s title is on the left side of the dictionary page). If you’ve ever wanted an explanation of optical character recognition or rich text format, you can find it in this section or, eventually, on the main pages of the Tech dictionary itself.
With these bookmarked or saved in your bookmark folder, you should be able to write articles using computer or tech phrases or words in record time.