Looking it up…

I couldn’t help but notice in my last post  that Firefox’s spell checker didn’t recognize the word, Obama. So just out of curiosity, I googled around for information that explained who maintained their dictionary. All I could find was this blurb (emphasis mine):

The contents of dictionaries are not maintained by Mozilla. In some cases they are not maintained by anyone. If you think the contents of a dictionary should be updated, you might be able to find out who maintains it by looking in its README file (if it has one). You can find the README file by using a zip tool or jar tool to open the dictionary’s installation file. .xpi files can be opened in windows explorer by first changing the .xpi extension to .zip

Well, I couldn’t find the readme file, so it may be that I’m just blind. However, I am concerned about that bold statement. Not that I’m a prescriptivist when it comes to language, but if you are going to offer a reference tool, should it not reflect the most current (accepted) data? Of course, not EVERY nonce word or even proper name should be included, however, a sitting president’s name ought to have more clout as it is bound to be relevant to many people.  That lack of relevant data  defeats the purpose of the tool and it’s ability to help me, the user. My pet turtle’s name–okay; I get it.  And yes, I know I can add words to my personal dictionary, but why should the current president’s last name be relegated to my personal dictionary? After all, I don’t think the president would think its my responsibility. This falls under the category of a good idea, but lack of follow-thru… (and yes, FF did catch that one…)

UPDATE:  I DID find, at least I think, who is responsible for the dictionary FF uses:  http://hunspell.sourceforge.net/ I was immediately happy to learn that that they support more than one product:

“Hunspell is the spell checker of OpenOffice.org and Mozilla Firefox 3 & Thunderbird, Google Chrome, and it is also used by proprietary softwares, like Mac OS X, memoQ, Opera and SDL Trados.”

after all, dictionaries should be a more communal oriented effort. I still need to search through their forums to see about the maintenance business.

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