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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • I far prefer dict.org [dict.org] when I’m unsure about the spelling of a word. Unfortunately I don’t know of a definitive source for the correct use of phrases, but I don’t trust Google blindly then either.

    The reason is pretty simple: a lot of native English speakers are actually awful English speakers. (Which is not surprising. My native language is Greek and my secondary is German, and I've seen that the same goes for Greeks and Germans speaking their respective native languages shoddily.) A lot of the web is misspelt or contains bad phrasage.

    F.ex., Google shows “wierd” is a very common misspelling of “weird,” though at least you can still tell which one is correct. Not so with “wiener” vs. “weiner.”

    And you won’t find from Google that “irregardless” is an oxymoron that does not appear in an actualy dictionary.

    It gets worse yet when you get to phrases. Pop quiz: which of the following is the correct combination:

    1. “hear here!”
    2. “here, here!”
    3. or “hear! hear!”

    (FWIW: I know that #2 is wrong, but I have been unable to definitively confirm whether #1 or #3 is the truly correct version. They might both be right; that would explain the trouble. But I’d like to know the etymology so I can use the respectively appropriate one.)

    All that said, Google is hugely helpful, and you’re not the first one to use if for the purpose either. :-) Just be careful with Google linguistics, and try to check them with a more definitive source, particularly if you’re writing something that matters.

    • > The reason is pretty simple: a lot of native > English speakers are actually awful English > speakers. You must not be a linguist. :-) If anything, his google searches help him sound like a native speaker, even if they don't help him speak "correct" English, whatever that is.
      • Indeed, I would prefer to speak English like someone who could actually pass a basic English test. Maybe that’s not a laudable goal.

        Or maybe you still have plenty of time to break rules once you’ve understood them.

    • About 400 years ago, give or take, the phrase was "Hear him! Hear him!" Now-a-days it's "Ditto!" =Austin