Everybody needs a little help in spelling, whether you like to admit it or not. In junior school we had teachers and parents to look over our shoulders and gently correct our spellings and fill in missing prepositions. Today, we have automated spell checkers and we must be thankful that we have them, because without those helpful wriggly green and red lines, the web would be a rather embarrassing place.
Numerous spell checking technology has been around for a while. Every word processing program, such as MS Office or OpenOffice.org/LibreOffice, has one. Browsers have built in spell checkers too. Ginger is one such spelling and grammar checking technology that is attracting the attention of investors, and in turn, blogs such as this. Ginger is an intelligent spell checker that differentiates itself from the competition by recognizing words in context, that makes little sense to typical spell checkers. Ginger detects misused words and provide the most appropriate corrections for spelling and grammar mistakes according to the intended meaning of the sentence. In other words, Ginger can not only correct spellings but can also tell when a correctly spelled word is misused in a sentence and replace it with the right word.
For instance, you might mistakenly type “their” instead of “there”, or type “were” when you meant “where”. This kind of errors are more common than the first and are notoriously difficult to detect, because standard spell checkers only check for misspelled words and if the word is correctly spelled, they deem the sentence correct even if the sentence doesn’t make sense.
Ginger, however, examines the entire sentence in which a misspelled word appears and analyzes the context. Ginger is thus able to correct the text in keeping with the writer’s intention, even in cases of extreme spelling mistakes. Because Ginger is able to recognize the context of the sentence, it’s able to narrow down the list of alternative words to the correct one. For example, if you write, "I rannd out of time", a standard spell checker displays a list of words such as "rand", "rend", and "rind" as possible corrections. Ginger, on the other hand, automatically knows the correct word should be “ran” and offers just a single suggestion with confidence.
Ginger is not perfect; in my test, it did miss out on some obvious grammatical errors and in some cases, threw in false positives, but it is an improvement over Microsoft’s Words native spell checker, and a definite must have when you are using a web browser.
Aside from misspelled words, contextually misused words, and grammar, Ginger recognizes and merges split words. For example, Ginger will identify the error in the sentence "I went in side" and will correct it to "I went inside". Plenty more improvements are scheduled to appear in upcoming version of Ginger, including enhanced vocabulary, insertion of missing words and verb tense correction. More details of Ginger’s capabilities can be found here and here.
Ginger is free and works on Microsoft Office Word, Outlook and PowerPoint. It also works on Firefox, Internet Explorer and Chrome. The software requires an active Internet connection to work.