Word Building and Spelling
Experiments in English Morphology


Word Searcher

Running version (800kB)   User Guide   Pete's mail

Use the Word Searcher to test hypotheses about English spelling by finding words containing particular strings of letters.

It's a good tool for discovering morphemes and finding word families. For example, type in a candidate like 'rupt': then see if the words that come up are likely to have it in their word sums and are related to each other by meaning.

It references around 60000 words of British English, which results in large file sizes when viewing it.

It's therefore only likely to be usable if you've a relatively fast Internet connection; though once it's arrived on your computer it should run relatively quickly.

To test it, type in a rare letter pattern, such as 'ii'. The searcher should then respond when you click on the 'Go' button (with a noticeable delay for other more complicated searches). If nothing happens at all, your browser probably objects to the internal coding.

Crossword enthusiasts might gain from the on-line user guide (by braving the item on regular expressions).

Apart from an up to date web browser, the best accompaniment to the Word Searcher is a good dictionary containing etymologies.

The e-mail from Pete Bowers is part of a fuller PDF 'e-book' on using the Word Searcher with the suffix <-let>. The original e-book was published by Melvyn, who has added some more detailed orthographic background. The Word Searcher is based firmly on an original homespun searcher from Pete.

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Copyright Neil Ramsden 2004-2007.
Last updated 29 Jan 2007   E-mail comments to me at mail@neilramsden.co.uk