Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Grateful for Autofills By Google and IMDB

How's your spelling for unusual names? Do you use autofill features to help spell words or names correctly? My Word Trips article from mid-May 2013 discusses words and meanings that cause me to slow down and do lookups. This time, I have some even more difficult-to-spell (imho) names—some sky objects, a couple of celebrity-star surnames, and additional spellcheck-stopper names. Use Google and IMDB for GREAT spelling helpers.

One starry starry night object that sends me to Google EVERY TIME is Pleiades. Hard to believe three different, consecutive vowels. The "i" before "E" except after "C" rule doesn't work here, and the "A" doesn't help. For readers who don't know anything about Pleiades, it's a great-looking star cluster in the northern hemisphere in the winter. The cluster looks like a smudge if viewing with the naked eye; it looks awesome with binoculars, and spectacular through a telescope.

More sky objects that have recently given me trouble with spelling are anything that starts with "Al", which makes me think of Al Borland from Home Improvement. Anyway, Google to the autofill rescue! Aldebaran and Albireo are both stars that give me problems.

Can anyone easily name the comet that Rosetta orbited around and that Philae landed on? Remember that Philae, unfortunately, wound up in a shady area of the comet? (I did Google search for Rosetta Philae comet. The two proper nouns, fortunately, don't tax my speller power much.) Bingo! One search result yields the eye-boggling comet name—67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko. ¡Ay, caramba!

Coming down to earth, Kyle MacLachlan is an actor I've seen in several movies and shows over MANY years. And I actually need to look him up on IMDB before I can remember his surname. For that matter, if he's not in recent roles, I forget if he's Lyle or Kyle. So, I need to find him via Dune or Desperate Housewives. Recently, he's also been on Big Bang Theory and Portlandia.

Now for some guilty-pleasure gossip! I'd read a few weeks ago that Miley Cyrus has been dating Patrick Schwarzenegger (son of Ahnold) and can't spell his surname. C'mon! She should show the guy some respect by learning it, even if they're both dating each other because of famous names for currency.

In sports, I recently encountered the names for the European figure skating women champions—Elizaveta Tuktamysheva, Elena Radionova, and Anna Pogorilaya. Take a deep breath before attempting to pronounce or spell!

In younger years of grade school spelling tests, my scores were nearly all 100%. Of course, I think proper nouns tended to be omitted from word lists. I'd have problem with some of these names I provided. What names give you heartburn?

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