spell, spellin, spellout - Finds spelling errors
spell [-b] [-i | -l] [-v | -x] [-d hash_list] [-s hash_stop]
[-h history_list] [+word_list] [file...]
spellin [list] [number]
spellout [-d] list
The spell command reads words in file and compares them to those in a spel-
ling list. Default files contain English words only, but you can supply
your own list of words in other languages.
Interfaces documented on this reference page conform to industry standards
Refer to the standards(5) reference page for more information about indus-
try standards and associated tags.
[Tru64 UNIX] The following options are for the spell command only.
-b Checks for correct British spelling. Besides preferring centre,
colour, programme, speciality, travelled, and so on, this option causes
spell to insist upon the use of the infix -ise in words like standar-
[Tru64 UNIX] Specifies hash_list as the alternate spelling list. The
default is /usr/lbin/spell/hlist[ab].
[Tru64 UNIX] Specifies history_list as the alternate history list that
is used to accumulate all output. The default is
-i [Tru64 UNIX] Suppresses processing of included files through the .so
and .ne troff macros. If the -i and -l options are both specified, the
last one of the two options entered on the command line takes effect.
-l [Tru64 UNIX] Follows the chain of all included files (.so and .nx for-
matting commands). Without this option, spell follows chains of all
included files except for those beginning with /usr/lbin.
[Tru64 UNIX] Specifies hash_stop as the alternate stop list that is
used to filter out misspellings (for example, thier=thy-y+ier) that
would otherwise pass. The default is /usr/lbin/spell/hstop.
-v Displays all words not literally in the spelling list and indicates
plausible derivations from the words.
-x Displays every plausible word stem with an = (equal sign).
Checks word_list for additional word spellings. The word_list identi-
fies a file containing a sorted list of words, one per line. With this
option, you can specify, in addition to the spell command's own spel-
ling list, a set of correctly spelled words.
Name of a file to be checked for spelling errors. In this parameter is
omitted, standard input is read.
[Tru64 UNIX] The name of an existing word list (file) to be updated
[Tru64 UNIX] The number of a hash code to be read from standard input.
A word in this context is defined as a series of characters from the fol-
lowing set in the POSIX locale:
The first and last characters of a word are alphanumeric. Words that can-
not be matched in the spelling list or derived from words in the spelling
list (by applying certain inflections, prefixes, or suffixes) are written
to standard output. If you do not specify a file to read, spell reads
[Tru64 UNIX] The spell command ignores the same nroff, tbl, and neqn con-
structs as the deroff command.
[Tru64 UNIX] Certain auxiliary files can be specified by file name argu-
ments following the -d, -s, and -h options. Copies of all output can be
accumulated in the history file.
Auxiliary Commands and Routines
[Tru64 UNIX] The spellin command creates a spelling list for use by the
spell command. The argument for the spellin command can be a list file or
a number. The spellin command combines the words from the standard input
and the preexisting list file and places a new list on the standard output.
If no list file is specified, a new list is created. If number is speci-
fied, the spellin command reads the specified number hash code from stan-
dard input and writes a compressed spelling list.
[Tru64 UNIX] The spellout command looks up each word from the standard
input and prints on the standard output those that are missing from the
hashed list file. The -d option reverses this, printing those that are
present in the hashed list file. (Note that the -d option of spellout is
not the same as the -d option of spell. See OPTIONS.)
[Tru64 UNIX] Three routines help maintain and check the hash lists used by
[Tru64 UNIX] Reads a list of words from standard input and writes the
corresponding 9-digit hash code to standard output.
[Tru64 UNIX] Reads a compressed spelling_list and re-creates the 9-
digit hash codes for all the words in it; it writes these codes to
[Tru64 UNIX] Reads number hash codes from standard input and writes a
compressed spelling list to standard output.
The spell utility is marked LEGACY in XCU Issue 5.
The coverage of the spelling list is uneven. For best results, create your
own dictionary of special words used in your files.
[Tru64 UNIX] Ported 4.3BSD dictionary must be rebuilt from the original
word list using the spellin command.
The following exit values are returned:
0 Successful completion.
>>0 An error occurred.
1. To check the spelling of American English words in the file chap1,
spell chap1 >>mistakes
This creates a file named mistakes containing all the words found in
chap1 that are not in the system spelling dictionary. Some of these
may be correctly spelled words that spell does not know about. It is
a good idea to save the output of spell in a file because the word
list may be long.
2. To check British English spelling, enter:
spell -b chap1 >>mistakes
This checks chap1 against the British dictionary and writes the ques-
tionable words in mistakes.
3. To see how spell derives words, enter:
spell -v chap1 >>deriv
This lists the words that are not found literally in the dictionary,
but are derived forms of dictionary words. The prefixes and suffixes
used to form the derivative are indicated for each word. Words that do
not appear in the dictionary at all are also listed.
4. To check your spelling against an additional word list, enter:
spell +new_words chap1
This checks the spelling of words in chap1 against the system diction-
ary and against new_words. The file new_words lists words in alpha-
betical order, one per line. You can create this file with a text edi-
tor, such as ed, and collate it with the sort command.
5. To add a word to your spelling list, enter:
echo hooky | spellout /usr/lbin/spell/hlista
echo hooky | spellin /usr/lbin/spell/hlista >> myhlist
spell -d myhlist huckfinn
This example verifies that hooky is not on the default spelling list,
adds it to your private list, and then uses it with the spell command.
An alternative way is to place hooky into the sorted file new_words,
as in Example 4.
The following environment variables affect the execution of spell:
Provides a default value for the internationalization variables that
are unset or null. If LANG is unset or null, the corresponding value
from the default locale is used. If any of the internationalization
variables contain an invalid setting, the utility behaves as if none of
the variables had been defined.
If set to a non-empty string value, overrides the values of all the
other internationalization variables.
Determines the locale for the interpretation of sequences of bytes of
text data as characters (for example, single-byte as opposed to multi-
byte characters in arguments).
Determines the locale for the format and contents of diagnostic mes-
sages written to standard error.
Determines the location of message catalogues for the processing of
Hashed spelling lists, American and British English.
Hashed stop list.
Executable shell program to compress the history file.
Main program called by spell.
Commands: deroff(1), neqn(1), nroff(1), sed(1), sort(1), tbl(1), tee(1)