Writing in Emacs

Spell and Grammar

Spell checking and correcting are essential in writing. Emacs need third party program do this. There are a couple of programs and I use aspell. It is part of GNU and can be easily installed in OS X and Ubuntu. The following snippet tells Emacs where aspell is installed and use British dictionary.

(if (eq system-type 'darwin)
    (setq ispell-program-name "/usr/local/bin/aspell")
  (setq ispell-program-name "/usr/bin/aspell"))
(setq ispell-dictionary "british"
      ispell-extra-args '() ;; TeX mode "-t"
      ispell-silently-savep t)

I have a personal spelling dictionary, most are abbreviations and jargon. I can tell aspell that they are not misspellings.

(setq ispell-personal-dictionary "~/git/.emacs.d/local/ispell-dict") ;; add personal dictionary
(add-to-list 'ispell-skip-region-alist '(":\\(PROPERTIES\\|LOGBOOK\\):" . ":END:"))
(add-to-list 'ispell-skip-region-alist '("#\\+BEGIN_SRC" . "#\\+END_SRC"))

Flyspell depends on ispell mode and enables on-the-fly spell checking/correcting. I enable the flyspell mode for text-mode and org-mode.

By default, I use C-, to move the cursor to the next misspelled word, and flycheck will provide a list of candidates for auto-correlection. I press C-. select the first one, and press it again to select the next one.

(require 'flyspell)
(add-hook 'text-mode-hook 'flyspell-mode)
(add-hook 'org-mode-hook 'flyspell-mode)
(define-key flyspell-mode-map (kbd "C-.") 'helm-flyspell-correct)

I need an grammar check to let me know that

Have you do ...

is wrong, and also tell me to change do to done, and also why. langtool can do be the job, but currently I don’t understand how to get it works, so I am not using it anymore.

;; check grammar
(require 'langtool)
(setq langtool-language-tool-jar "~/java/LanguageTool-2.8/languagetool-commandline.jar")
(setq langtool-mother-tongue "en")


I have been writing in Emacs/org-mode a lot, have been really tired of capitalise i to I, so I use abbrevitation table.

name expand Category
i I write
amax annual maximum stat
gmap google map website
mailme yi.tang.uk@me.com aboutme
twitterme @yi_tang_uk aboutme
eqt equivalent to english
iif if and only if maths
wrt with respect to English
st such that English
d/n distribution Stats
obs observation stats
obss observations stats
(defun my-text-abbrev-expand-p ()
  "Return t if the abbrev is in a text context, which is: in
   comments and strings only when in a prog-mode derived-mode or
   src block in org-mode, and anywhere else."
  (if (or (derived-mode-p 'prog-mode)
      (and (eq major-mode 'org-mode)
           (org-in-src-block-p 'inside)))
      (nth 8 (syntax-ppss))

(define-abbrev-table 'my-text-abbrev-table ()
  "Abbrev table for text-only abbrevs. Expands only in comments and strings."
  :enable-function #'my-text-abbrev-expand-p)

(dolist (table (list text-mode-abbrev-table
  (abbrev-table-put table
                :parents (list my-text-abbrev-table)))

(defun my-text-abbrev-table-init (abbrevs-org-list)
  "Parse 'name: expansion' pairs from an org list and insert into abbrev table."
  (message "Creating text-abbrev table...")
  (dolist (abbrev abbrevs-org-list)
    (let ((name (nth 0 abbrev))
      (expansion (nth 1 abbrev)))
      ;; (print (cons name expansion))
      (define-abbrev my-text-abbrev-table name expansion nil :system t))))
(my-text-abbrev-table-init my-text-abbrevs)


English is my second language, and I am trying to avoid certain guarding term in writing. The following snipts I get it from Sachua will highlight the word like shuold or I think, which reminds to confirm with what I am not sure about, and have more confidence in what I am saying.

(require 'artbollocks-mode)
(add-hook 'text-mode-hook 'artbollocks-mode)
(setq artbollocks-weasel-words-regex
      (concat "\\b" (regexp-opt
                   "sort of"
                   "a lot"
                   "I think"
                   "nice") t) "\\b"))

add synosaurus

;; [2015-02-12 Thu 21:14]
;; https://github.com/rootzlevel/synosaurus
;; synosaurus-lookup
;; synosaurus-choose-and-replace
;; brew install wordnet
(require 'synosaurus)
(setq synosaurus-choose-method "popup")

;; synosaurus-lookup C-c s l
;; synosaurus-choose-and-replace C-c s r
(setq synosaurus-backend 'synosaurus-backend-wordnet)
(setq synosaurus-choose-method 'popup)