I Swear, Spell Check, These Are All Real Words

Sometimes I’ll be typing a blog post or tweet and Google Chrome will give the red squiggle underline to something that I thought was a perfectly normal word. I double-check that I’m spelling it correctly, shrug, and click “Add to Dictionary.” Here is a sampling of the words that I’ve added to my browser’s “custom dictionary.”

Anadromous (migrating upstream to spawn, like a salmon)

Carotenoids (one of the pigments that creates the autumn colors of leaves)

Diecious (bearing male and female flowers on separate plants)

Ferruginous (rusty-colored, as in the Ferruginous Hawk)

Frass (caterpillar poop)

Halteres (the little vestigial knobs flies have where their second set of wings would be)

Herpetological (having to do with reptiles or amphibians)

Hibernacula (places where critters get together to hibernate; the singular is hibernaculum)

Lepidopterist (someone who studies butterflies and moths)

Parasitoid (a parasite that kills its host)

Pelage (an animal’s fur coat)

Predation (what a predator does)

Sedges (a group of grass-like plants)

Skink (a type of lizard)

Yeah, I don’t know why “skink” wasn’t already in there either, but there you have it. By the time this posts, I will be on my way to a canoe trip on the Willamette River (for work, not recreation). I’ll be back Friday, hopefully with new photos and stories!

2 replies on “I Swear, Spell Check, These Are All Real Words”

The spell check alternatives are sometimes hilarious, aren;t they? As a professional science, law and medicine copy editor using Word for editing manuscripts, I get some doozies. I can’t help wondering whether the typo I saw on a menu the other day was the result of a spell checker: a vegetarian burger with mescaline (not mesclun, the mix of salad leaves) – what a trip, man!

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