Bad Spelling Generator


What Is This?

Bad Spelling Generator is a tool that automatically changes the spelling of a word with the goal of the pronunciation not changing. By hovering over a syllable in the badly-spelled output, you can see where that spelling has been taken from.

What's The Point?

It's mostly just a bit of fun. But it does highlight something we've all struggled with at some point in our lives.

That is, that English spelling can often tell us NOTHING about how a word is pronounced. That is, the same string of letters can be pronounced completely differently even when used in the same context!

Example bad spelling of potato

Ever seen the image above? It's a good example of this.

If you've already been taught all the edge cases, it's not that big a deal. But say you were just learning English or you came across a new word written down that you'd never heard outloud. Are you confident you could get it right?

An example of a word segment that can be pronounced in many, many ways is 'ough'. It can be pronounced 'ow', 'off', 'uff', 'oh', 'or', 'ooh' and more!

English is confusing, but we often forget it. That's what inspired Bad Spelling Generator.

How Does It Work?

This is not a perfect tool and is constantly being improved!

The core algorithm is as follows:

  1. Break down the input word into syllables
  2. Work out the pronunciation of each syllable
  3. Look up another word with a syllable that's pronounced the same
  4. Replace the original syllable with the new one

It uses the International Speech Lexicon dictionary, with the help of Pysle to look up the pronunciations. Because of this, it is heavily biased towards American pronunciations.

Want To Know More?

I'm writing articles on Medium about how this works, so check out my profile and follow me for more details.