spell, hashmake, spellin, hashcheck - find spelling errors
spell [-v] [-b] [-x] [-l] [-i] [+local_file] [files]
The spell command collects words from the named files and looks them
up in a spelling list. Words that neither occur among nor are
derivable (by applying certain inflections, prefixes, and/or suffixes)
from words in the spelling list are printed on the standard output.
If no files are named, words are collected from the standard input.
The spell command ignores most troff, tbl, and eqn constructions.
The spell command recognizes the following options:
-v All words not literally in the spelling list are
printed, and plausible derivations from the words
in the spelling list are indicated.
-b British spelling is checked. Besides preferring
centre, colour, programme, speciality, travelled,
etc., this option insists upon -ise in certain
words, such as in standardise.
-x Every plausible stem is printed with = for each
By default, spell follows chains of included files much like deroff
(see deroff(1)) which recognizes the troff/nroff intrinsics .so and
.nx, unless the names of such included files begin with
/usr/share/lib. If the -l option is used, spell follows the chains of
all included files. With the -i option, spell ignores all chains of
If the +local_file option is used, words found in local_file are
removed from spell's output. local_file is the name of a user-
provided file containing a sorted list of words, one per line. With
this option, the user can specify a set of words that are correct
spellings (in addition to spell's own spelling list) for each job.
The spelling list is based on many sources, and while more haphazard
than an ordinary dictionary, is also more effective with respect to
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proper names and popular technical words. Coverage of the specialized
vocabularies of biology, medicine, and chemistry is light.
Pertinent auxiliary files can be specified by name arguments,
indicated below with their default settings (see FILES and VARIABLES).
Copies of all output are accumulated in the history file. The stop
list filters out misspellings (such as thier=thy-y+ier) that would
Three routines help maintain and check the hash lists used by spell:
hashmake Reads a list of words from the standard input and
writes the corresponding nine-digit hash code on
the standard output.
spellin n Reads n hash codes from the standard input and
writes a compressed spelling list on the standard
output. Information about the hash coding is
printed on standard error.
hashcheck Reads a compressed spelling_list and recreates the
nine-digit hash codes for all the words in it; it
writes these codes on the standard output.
To check spelling of a single word:
echo word | spell
If word is spelled correctly, a prompt is returned. If it is spelled
incorrectly, word is printed before the prompt is returned. To check
spelling of multiple words, they can also be typed as a group on the
same command line:
echo worda wordb wordc ... | spell
To create a personal spelling list that incorporates the words already
present in the default American spelling list file
cat /usr/share/dict/hlista | /usr/lbin/spell/hashcheck >>>>tmp1
/usr/lbin/spell/hashmake <<<<addwds >>>>>>>>tmp1
sort -u -o tmp1 tmp1
/usr/lbin/spell/spellin `wc -l <<<<tmp1` <<<<tmp1 >>>>hlista
To modify the default British spelling list file
/usr/share/dict/hlistb, replace all occurrences of hlista with hlistb
in the above example.
To add words to the default spelling list, change login to root,
change the current working directory to /usr/share/dict and execute
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the commands listed in the above example.
The spelling list's coverage is uneven. When undertaking the use of
spell as a new tool, it may be advisable to monitor the output for
several months to gather local additions. Typically, these are kept
in a separate local file that is added to the hashed spelling_list via
spellin, as shown above.
The British spelling feature was developed by an American.
Start-up versions of files hlista, hlistb, and hstop are available in
directory /usr/newconfig/usr/share/dict. If these files or a suitable
equivalent are not present in directory /usr/share/dict, spell
spell: cannot initialize hash table
spell: cannot initialize hash table
The spell command is likely to be withdrawn from X/Open standards.
Applications using this command might not be portable to other
/usr/share/dict/hlist[ab] Hashed spelling lists, American
/usr/share/dict/hstop Hashed stop list.
/var/adm/spellhist History file.
/usr/lbin/spell/spellprog Executable program file.
D_SPELL Your hashed spelling list (default is
H_SPELL Spelling history (default is
S_SPELL Your hashed stop list (default is
TMPDIR Directory for temporary files; overrides the default
deroff(1), sed(1), sort(1), tbl(1), tee(1).
spell: SVID2, SVID3, XPG2, XPG3
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