spell - find spelling errors
spell [-biltvx] [-d list] [-h spellhist] [-m m | s | e | a |
l] [-s stop]
[+extra_list] [file ...]
spell collects words from the named documents and looks them
up in a
spelling list. Words that neither occur among nor are
derivable (by applying
certain inflections, prefixes or suffixes) from words
spelling list are printed on the standard output.
If no files are named, words are collected from the standard
spell ignores most troff(1), tbl(1), eqn(1) and pic(1) constructions.
Copies of all output may be accumulated in the history file,
if one is
By default, spell (like deroff(1)) follows chains of included files
(`.so' and `.nx' commands).
The default spelling list is based on Webster's Second International dictionary
and should be fairly complete. Words that appear in
list'' are immediately flagged as misspellings, regardless
of whether or
not they exist in one of the word lists. This helps filter
(e.g. thier=thy-y+ier) that would otherwise pass.
the british file is also used as a stop list unless the
-b option is
Site administrators may add words to the local word list,
/usr/local/share/dict/words or the local stop list,
All word (and stop) lists must be sorted in lexigraphical
order with case
folded. The simplest way to achieve this is to use ``sort
-df''. If the
word files are incorrectly sorted, spell will not be able to
The options are as follows:
-b Check British spelling. Besides preferring centre,
speciality, travelled, etc., this option insists upon -ise in
words like standardise, Fowler and the OED to the
notwithstanding. In this mode, American variants of
added to the stop list.
-i Instruct deroff(1) to ignore `.so' and `.nx' commands.
-l Use delatex instead of deroff(1) if it is present on
-t Use detex instead of deroff(1) if it is present on
-v Print all words not literally in the spelling list
in addition to
plausible derivations from spelling list words.
-x Print every plausible stem, prefixed with `='.
Use the specified word list instead of the default
list. The word list must be sorted as specified
Store misspelled words in the specified history
file. The output
of who -m is appended to the history file after the
list of misspelled
-m Enable support for common troff(1) macro packages;
this option is
passed verbatim to deroff(1). The -m option takes
a recognize man(7) macros.
e recognize me(7) macros.
m recognize me(7) macros.
s recognize me(7) macros.
l recognize mm(7) macros and delete mm(7)
Use the specified stop list instead of the default
list. The stop list must be sorted as specified
Use extra_list in addition to the default word list.
word list must be sorted as specified above.
/usr/share/dict/words Default spelling list
/usr/share/dict/american American spelling of certain
/usr/share/dict/british British spelling of certain
/usr/share/dict/stop Default stop list.
/usr/local/share/dict/words Local spelling list (optional)
/usr/local/share/dict/stop Local stop list (optional)
/usr/libexec/spellprog Binary executed by the shell
deroff(1), look(1), sed(1), sort(1), tee(1), troff(1)
The spell command appeared in Version 6 AT&T UNIX.
Unlike historic versions, the OpenBSD spell command does not
word files. Instead, it uses lexigraphically sorted files
and the same
technique as look(1).
The spelling list lacks many technical terms; new installations will
probably wish to monitor the output for several months to
British spelling was done by an American.
In -x mode it would be nicer if the stems were grouped with
OpenBSD 3.6 April 18, 1994
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