spell - find spelling errors


See Also


spell [-v] [-b] [-x] [-i] [-l] [+local_file] [file ...]
/usr/5lib/spell/spellin [list]


Spell collects words from the named documents, and looks them up in a spelling list. Words that neither occur among nor are derivable (by applying certain inflections, prefixes or suffixes) from words in the spelling list are printed on the standard output. If no files are named, words are collected from the standard input.

Spell ignores most troff, tbl and eqn(1) constructions.

Under the -v option, all words not literally in the spelling list are printed, and plausible derivations from spelling list words are indicated.

Under the -b option, British spelling is checked. Besides preferring centre, colour, speciality, travelled, etc., this option insists upon -ise in words like standardise, Fowler and the OED to the contrary notwithstanding.

Under the -x option, every plausible stem is printed with '=' for each word.

The -i option is passed to deroff(1).

With the -l option, all chains of included files are followed.

If the +local_file argument is present, words present in local_file (one word per line) are removed from the output as additional correctly spelled words.

The spelling list is based on many sources, and while more haphazard than an ordinary dictionary, is also more effective in respect to proper names and popular technical words. Coverage of the specialized vocabularies of biology, medicine and chemistry is light.

Pertinent auxiliary files may be specified by name arguments, indicated below with their default settings. Copies of all output are accumulated in the history file. The stop list filters out misspellings (e.g. thier=thy-y+ier) that would otherwise pass.

Four routines help maintain the hash lists used by spell. Hashmake expects a list of words, one per line, from the standard input, and writes the hash value for each word to standard output. Spellin adds the hash values on the standard input to the preexisting list and places a new binary list on the standard output. If no list is specified, the new list is created from scratch. Hashcheck reads a binary list from standard input and prints the hash values contained in it. Compress removes duplicate entries from the history file.


  hashed spelling lists, American & British
  hashed stop list
  history file


deroff(1), sort(1), tee(1), sed(1)


The spelling list's coverage is uneven; new installations will probably wish to monitor the output for several months to gather local additions.

British spelling was done by an American.

Heirloom Toolchest SPELL (1) 6/22/05
Generated by a modified version of manServer 1.07 from spell.1 using man macros.