Heterographs

Literally: “different writing”

In linguistics, a heterograph is, in the strict sense, one of a group of words that that sound the same, but are spelled differently and have different meanings. They are also known as homophonic heterographs. English example sets are “there, their, and they’re”; “your, you’re, and yore”, “its and it’s”; and “here and hear”.

Heterographs are an especially problematic case, in that spelling errors (in a word-processed or emailed document) due to the typist choosing the wrong member of a heterograph set will persist into the final document, even after spell-checking. This is because heterographs cannot be caught by a simple spell checker, which only inspects the word itself (i.e., which is correct in some contexts) and not the context it is in (which may indicate the need for a different spelling).

ErrNET’s advanced technology analyzes words based on how they are used in a specific context, and accurately detects word misuses, and suggests the correct replacement.

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