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Random thought for the day

July 25, 2007

I had to visit www.dictionary.com today to remind myself how to spell the word philistine. Fortunately I had spelt the word correctly so there was no shame experienced at all.

However, the internet trip reminded of a similar occasion when I wanted to double-check the spelling of disappointed.

I typed the URL into the address bar and waited for the site to load up. Then clicked on the right hand box and typed what I thought was the word wanted spelling. I clicked on the button and waited with baited breath to see whether it came up with a description or whether I faced the shame of “No results for dissappointed”.

A far more considerable error had occured, however. The results page loaded up providing me with an explanation as to the word I had typed in. The word in question was, bizarrely, dictionary.

Given that the word features in both the website address and the highly visible logo on the left hand side I had to stop have myself a small “moment” to recover. After a great deal of fist clenching and some gnashing of teeth I did begin to wonder about something.

How many people actually visit www.dictionary.com and make a request for the word dictionary. Of those people how many people are asking because they need the spelling confirm or, rather more worryingly, how many of them are looking for the word’s definition?

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