Microsoft adds Game of Thrones words to Word's spellcheck

Fantasy stories are fun, but trying to write about them is tricky — tis a rare fantasy novel that uses conventional spellings, and the end result is two things: a lot of head scratching and Web searching in hunt of the correct spelling, and a bunch of squiggly red lines under words that a word processor thinks are spelled incorrectly. Such problems will no longer affect those using Microsoft Word, least not if they're writing about Game of Thrones, which now holds a place in Word's spellcheck.

The change was first spotted by Historian Greg Jenner, who fired off a tweet recently about it saying, "Microsoft Word's spellcheck seems to know all the names of Game of Thrones characters. Huh, who knew?" That got attention from those who fired up Word to check it out, and it is notable for one big reason: Word tends to be ignorant of most famous fictional names and words, including those found in Lord of the Rings.

As Slate noted, however, the inclusion of Game of Thrones spelling isn't complete — it seems only characters found in the television show have had their name spellings added to Word, with those who only appear in the books still showing up as red-line misspellings. Some locations in the books/show also show up as being misspelled.

Microsoft responded to the attention, confirming in a statement to Slate that the spellcheck has indeed when updated, saying:

Glad you noticed that we are not just about common words. We regularly update the spellers to keep them fresh, including additions from the latest, most frequent names from movies, books, and TV shows. To do this, we research what people are talking about, what's trending in the business world, current affairs, and other popular domains. We can't add everything that comes up, so we reference different sources and determine which words to include.

One of the 2014 lexical updates included the addition of characters from the Game of Thrones. Names relating to the TV show surfaced through several data sources which qualified them to be added. Up until 2014 we updated the English speller quarterly with 12,000 words added last year. Since January 2015 we've been updating the English speller on a monthly basis, and are on track to add an additional 32,000 words in 2015.