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Minimal Pairs: rules and settings

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Insertions (abxcd v. abcd)

This rule looks for 1 extra letter which may be inserted, e.g. HOWWEVER


Swapped letters (abcd v. acbd)

This rule looks for letters which have got swapped, e.g. HOVEWER


1 letter difference (abcd v. abxd)

This rule looks for a 1 letter difference, e.g. HOWEXER


Anagrams too (abcd v. adbc)

This rule looks for the same letters in a different order, e.g. HWVROEE



end letters to ignore if at last letter:

This rule allows you to specify any letters to ignore if at the end of the word, e.g. if you specify "s", the possibility of a typo when comparing ELEPHANT and ELEPHANTS will not be reported.


minimum word length

This setting specifies the minimum word length for the program to consider the possibility there is a typo. The default is 5, which means 4-letter words will be simply ignored. This is to speed up processing, and because most typos probably occur in longer words.


letters to ignore at start of word

This setting (default =1) allows you to assume that when looking for minimal pairs there is a part of each at the beginning which matches perfectly. For example, when considering ALEADY, the program probably doesn't need  to look beyond words beginning with A for minimal pairs. If the setting is 1, it will not find BLEADY as a minimal pair. To check all words, take the setting down to 0. The program will be 26 times slower as a result!


only words starting with …

If you choose this option, the program will ignore the next setting (max. word frequency). Here you can type in  a sequence such as F,G,H and if so, the program will take all words beginning F or G or H (whatever their frequency) and look for minimal pairs based on the rules and settings above.


max. word frequency

(ignored if "all words starting with" is checked) How frequent can a typo be? This will depend on how much text your word-list is based on. The default is 10, which means that any word which appears 11 times is assumed to be OK, not a typo.


Factory Defaults (restores default values)


See also : aim, requirements, choosing your files, output, running the program.