Custom Dictionary / Word List Checker

As a result of a discussion that Mucha Man started in the tech forum:

I wrote up a Perl script and webpage for him to check essays, etc., against a word list to make sure that all words are on the list.

If anyone would like to try it and make suggestions on improving it, please feel free. It is at:

The first line, “Student”, can be used for whatever you want as an identifier. If you’re checking students’ essays, you might put in something like “Susie Li, Thursday class 2, Essay 01”. Whatever you put in here will appear as the title and as a header line on the results page (in case you want to, say, print these pages off to give back to students).

For the second line, put in the name of the dictionary you want to use. Currently there is only one dictionary, dict1.txt – I didn’t bother to make this a default; you’ll actually have to type it in. If anyone has specific dictionaries required by your schools, I can set them up for you.

The third entry field is for the essay, lesson, or whatever you want to check against the wordlist. Copy and paste the text into the field, then hit the “Push to Test” button and see which words weren’t found.

The script recognizes only A-Z, a-z, and apostrophe. All other characters (i.e., punctuation) are discarded and used to break the input into words. The script doesn’t make any attempt to check grammar, correct usage, or do anything else – just looks to see whether a given word is in the dictionary file it was told to use. (It does try to remove a trailing “'s” or “s’” in an attempt to deal with possessives (e.g., “the airplane’s wing”).)

Partial credit should be given to Matt Wright of and, whose “formmail” script I cannibalized to handle the I/O when I turned the small standalone Perl script into a web form.