8/10/2011

Mr. Rewrite's quest: Remediating uses of 'remediate'

Being a member of the academy, Mr. Rewrite intends to develop a peer-reviewed report on this discovery: Getting people to pay attention to one's blog correlates directly with producing content for said blog. It's heartening how a few people have chimed in over the past few weeks of Mr. Rewrite's sure-to-be-short-lived burst of blogging creativity. He also appreciates the contributions via Twitter (@irewrite) and Facebook.

For example, Tina comes to Mr. Rewrite for help with this challenge:
I am teaching an English II remediation course this year. I would like to title it "Remediated English". When I type in the word "remediated", spellcheck/spell-check/spell check indicates that it is misspelled. Is "remediated" a real word? Oh, and which is the correct usage for spellcheck/spell-check/spell check?
Thanks for the question, Tina. The first part is easy enough. Mr. Rewrite doesn't know why remediated sets off alarms in your word-processing software (no alarms in Mr. Rewrite's), but it's in the Webster's New World College Dictionary and in other dictionaries he reviewed. Remediate, of course, means to remedy something.

The more important question is whether you should use that word. It's awfully bureaucratic. Mr. Rewrite recommends something more conversational but lacks the mental calories to suggest alternatives.

As for spellcheck/spell-check/spell check, Mr. Rewrite goes with spell check, which is how the Webster's New World College Dictionary handles it. There's no AP Stylebook entry. The New World also calls for spell-checker.

A check of Google News suggests that trusted media outlets go with spell check as well, though there are some uses of spellcheck.

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