Words that Leopard’s spellchecker chokes on


We trust spellcheckers to be right, right? We expect that the spellchecker will yield an accurate correction, or at the least, real words. Oddly enough, though, I’ve stumbled upon a few misspellings that cause Leopard’s built-in spellchecker to throw up some amusing–though incorrect–results (a friend shared one with me; I discovered two of them). Mind you, I never added any of these to my spellchecker dictionary. These are all using the default English spelling dictionary; I even checked while using a new user account. At any rate, here they are, in no particular order:

The typo: instrucitons

The intended word: instructions

The suggested spelling: isntrucitons

The notes: The spellchecker does offer the correct spelling as one of the choices; how isntrucitons ended up in there is beyond me…

The typo: applicatication

The intended word: application

The suggested spelling: applicaticataion

The notes: FAIL. 

Also, Dictionary.com offers up upland cotton as a possible alternate for applicaticataion and no alternates whatsoever for applicatication. That said, it was one heck of a typo on my part in the first place, but that’s no excuse for making up words! :P

The typo: positiove

The intended word: positive

The suggested spelling: positionve

The notes: Like the first one, the correct word was among the choices, but again, Leopard decides to have a little fun with our minds. 

I’m guessing these are just bugs in the spellchecker. Hey, at least this bug is mostly harmless!

Are there any words that you have noticed that spellchecker gets incorrect? Let us know in the comments.



applicaticataion is my favorite. Even though dictionary.com isn’t certain what it is I would like to define it as a Vaction in the Appalachians

Ffaelan Condragh

Macs are racist. :)
my boss was writing an email
subject Sanford Biggers
Sanford is a well known African American artist who deals with racial topics and more.
Intended word “Biggers”

I think you can guess what his Mac suggested.
wow. why that word is even in the spell check dictionary I’ll never know.

diane frank

Here’s a very QUICK way to find your word by the way it sounds. Nothing like it…ever. Just sound out your word then look it up in the book. You will find the word you really need in 20 seconds or less without having to turn on the computer or go on the internet!! I love this book.

Gabby’s Wordspeller & Phonetic Dictionary
Published 2008 for the world and International Lions Club
ISBN 978-0-9801025-0-5


anyone else noticed that the 10.5 calculator is a horror show? just for example, divide 37 by 402. what is this – new math?? (but my widget calculator seems OK.)


Kat, as long as it’s not zero or tan90/270 etc you can divide ANY number by ANY OTHER number. Why would can’t you divide 37 by 402? Maybe learn something higher than eighth grade math before you try and prove a point.

Chris Huang

Send this to Apple and hopefully they’ll fix it in the next Leopard update.


I work for a large magazine and our subs (with the help of spellcheck) changed all refernces to Malware in an article to Malaria.

Lucky we picked it up before it went to print.


I guess he must have had the spellchecker learn some of his own misspellings previously. Here “instrucitons” proposes to spell it “instructions”
“applicatication” comes up with no suggestions for correction (but it’s marked as misspelled)
“positiove” proposes to spell it “positive”

Nick Mediati

I got the so-called correction for “Inc.” but “Hell” was recognized as being correct. Bizarre.

And fwiw, I tested this using a fresh user account too. Since each user has their own custom spelling dictionary, it shouldn’t carry over even if “positionve” was in my custom dictionary (which it wasn’t).


I get the same problems as Nick. I tested it in text edit. ‘lol’ should be marked as misspelled, but the suggestion loll makes no sense (I get that suggestion also.) Though, I do not get the same results that Jon and Gorm got. Hell and Inc. are not shown as misspelled on my computer.

Kevin Neal

Funny, but this simply isn’t true!
instrucitons gives me instructions
applicatication gives me no guesses
positiove gives me positive

This article = FAIL


I heard on the radio recently that some high school put the year book through the spell checker before sending it to press. Of course, the names got horribly mangled. Dumb to do that and not check the results.


Intended: Hell
Suggested: He’ll

Sometimes you just want to say “It was funny as hell” or something similarly quick, but it almost always comes out wrong and everyone wonder who “he” is.

camron flanders

I’m pretty sure these are words in your custom dictionary, not the stock dictionary. to check, clear your custom dictionary ( I think you can do this from the settings/general menu).

I don’t have those problems with mine, atleast. Remember, it learns words you type a lot and adds them.


lol is not standard English right now so it will be marked as misspelled.



Intended: Inc.
Suggested: Inc.

That’s my current most annoying spellchecker issue. ;)


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