Dictionary editors spend years tracking individual words before officially including them in their dictionaries. To be included, a word must be common enough to appear in multiple written sources, and it must endure.
But everyone has a personal dictionary that contains at least a few important, unique words or word combinations that will not be appearing in the dictionary anytime soon.
We also have terms that are part of our professional language or personal style. We want to keep them and never change them into something else.
Clicking on the small icon next to your name above the InstaText editor opens a window like the one in the image below.
InstaText allows you to improve your writing and editing experience by adding terms (i.e. words or word combinations) to your personal dictionary.
There are two different ways this can be done:
– Don’t change: this <term> should always stay as it is.
– Stop changing: <term1> should never be changed to <term2>.
For example, suppose that InstaText originally suggested correcting “credit score” to “credit rating” in the following sentence:
The company has a good credit rating
credit scoreas its equity ratio is high.
After including a relation stop changing credit score (the “from” term) to credit rating (the “to” term), InstaText will no longer include this suggestion:
The company has a good credit score because its equity ratio is high.
How to use your Personal dictionary
The English language is rich in possibilities, and the retention of word combinations is a complex problem. A seemingly small change can sometimes have big consequences. InstaText therefore hides markup only for exact matches of “green-red” terms. In the following example, the words high and good are also part of the markup, so the dictionary does not trigger in this case, but leaves the decision of what to keep to the user.
The company has a high credit rating
good credit scoreas its equity ratio is high.
We need to be especially careful with the don’t change option. It is particularly useful for combinations of words that make sense but are rarely used – like “threefold repetition” in the example above, the otherwise largely unknown term is often used to describe the repetition of moves in a game of chess. We certainly don’t want to use this option for common terms, especially if they contain only one word.
Keep in mind that InstaText hides markup only for exact matches of terms in your dictionary, to protect you from unwanted behaviour. Therefore:
– Plural forms are not automatically included, they must be entered manually.
– All terms are case sensitive.
– In the stop changing setting both terms should be exactly the same, otherwise the suggestion may still occur (see example below).
In the following example, InstaText still suggests replacing “credit score” with “credit rating” because there are other changes associated with these terms.
The company has a good credit rating because
score asits equity ratio is high.
Using the dictionary is easy and intuitive, but it is good to have these caveats in mind. Let’s now come back to the original example:
After entering the word “threefold” into the personal dictionary, this is the output of InstaText – no further suggestions to change it to anything else.
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