Does anyone know of, or feel inclined to design, a way to change all American spelling to (proper) English? ducks flying chairs
OK, it would be nice to have the reverse too, and Canadian flavours as well… (Trying to add a little PC here).
I often get documents from people who write in MS Word (poor them), and at best you get all US-English spelling, but usually you get something halfway despite their best efforts. Call me nuts, but it raises my hackles, and I’ve spent far too much time in my life already changing ‘zees’ to ‘s’ and ‘s’ to ‘zeds’. What I would like, I guess, is a nice menu script that would fit alongside the others in “Format”.
I wish I could write an AppleScript myself…
I used to work with a publishing company in Australia and was asked the same thing. The house sourced content from the UK and the North America and the editors needed a means of changing the spelling variations to the local Aus flavour (which incidently is about halfway between the US and UK dialects).
The Publishing House did all editorial on Word in a PC environment and they asked me (because I was the only editor who could program) to come up with a swiss army knife approach to the problem.
It was a lot trickier than I thought because the differences do not follow hard and fast rules. At the time my skills were fairly rudimentary and I was reliant on VBA since that’s all Word supports for scripting.
The problem is that the difference between dialects aren’t particularly logical. We all know that the Americans spell ‘color’ ‘civilize’ ‘honor’ et cetera, however like Aus and the UK they spell ‘size’ ‘your’ and ‘our’ exactly the same. This means that simply performing a find/replace function on characters won’t work.
The other approach would be to find and replace whole words, but then you’d have define every spelling variation in your program and then switch them accordingly.
In the end I took something of each and I admit that the solution wasn’t partciularly elgant as I could have done to today, what with another 5 years of OOP under my belt.
If I were to do it again, I’d go about it differently and would probably take a somantic approach rather than a suped up straight find/replace. These I use Mac at home and PC at work. With Word 2003-2007 I can now use COM and DLLs written in a C dialect rather than VBA. Word for Mac sucks and I haven’t bothered with it. Believe it or not but I do most of my word processing with TextEdit.
I’ve been using Mac seriously for about a year only and while i’d love to develop more on the platform, I haven’t yet had the time. From what i’ve seen of Applescript, it could probably do the job, as could I imagine, Realbasic. But I imagine there would be a more elegant solution using Perl (which is really good at text processing) or Obj-C.
Anyway, I was never really satisfied with my previous efforts, so if any one is interested in writing an app or plugin on Mac or PC then I’ll happily help.
Take some time, come up with a list of English words and their British counterparts. Then drop me a line. I’ll see what I can do.