MirBSD manpage: spell(1)

SPELL(1)                     BSD Reference Manual                     SPELL(1)


     spell - find spelling errors


     spell [-biltvx] [-d list] [-h spellhist] [-m a | e | l | m | s] [-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 ap-
     plying certain inflections, prefixes or suffixes) from words in the spel-
     ling list are printed on the standard output.

     If no files are named, words are collected from the standard input. 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 speci-

     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 dic-
     tionary and should be fairly complete. Words that appear in the "stop
     list" are immediately flagged as misspellings, regardless of whether or
     not they exist in one of the word lists. This helps filter out misspel-
     lings (e.g. thier=thy-y+ier) that would otherwise pass. Additionally, the
     british file is also used as a stop list unless the -b option is speci-

     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 operate

     The options are as follows:

     -b      Check British spelling. Besides preferring centre, colour,
             speciality, travelled, etc., this option insists upon -ise in
             words like standardise, Fowler and the OED to the contrary not-
             withstanding. In this mode, American variants of words are added
             to the stop list.

     -d word_list
             Use the specified word list instead of the default system word
             list. The word list must be sorted as specified above.

     -h spellhist
             Store misspelled words in the specified history file. The output
             of who -m is appended to the history file after the list of
             misspelled words.

     -i      Instruct deroff(1) to ignore ".so" and ".nx" commands.

     -l      Use delatex instead of deroff(1) if it is present on the system.

     -m      Enable support for common troff(1) macro packages; this option is
             passed verbatim to deroff(1). Refer to the -m description in
             deroff(1) for details.

     -s stop_list
             Use the specified stop list instead of the default system stop
             list. The stop list must be sorted as specified above.

     -t      Use detex instead of deroff(1) if it is present on the system.

     -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 extra_list in addition to the default word list. The extra
             word list must be sorted as specified above.


     /usr/share/dict/words          Default spelling list
     /usr/share/dict/american       American spelling of certain words
     /usr/share/dict/british        British spelling of certain words
     /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 script


     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 use hashed
     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 gather local

     British spelling was done by an American.

     In -x mode it would be nicer if the stems were grouped with the appropri-
     ate word.

MirBSD #10-current              April 18, 1994                               1

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