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Technical FAQ

Mobile devices. If you are viewing a page using a mobile device such as a smartphone, it ought to display in a shape and size that fits its resolution. I have taken great care by testing it on a wide range of devices to try to make it so. But too many exist to test them all, and more are appearing every month. If the page doesn’t display properly — for example if elements are too big for the screen width or are hard to read or if it’s difficult to select links — I’d be very grateful if you would tell me about the problem. Do please include as many technical details as you can about your device and the browser you are using.

Q I’ve a desktop computer and your pages look weird in my browser! What’s going on?

A This site is designed to work with the current generation of browsers. Some older ones might not be able to display every aspect of the design as it is intended to look, nor some of the special characters. In particular, Internet Explorer 7 and earlier versions are not supported. If you want to upgrade, I recommend Firefox or Chrome.

Q I’m using a high-resolution screen and can’t read your text because it’s too small. What’s to be done about it?

A The text is set to a size that gives a reasonable line length in the space available on the device you are using. In browsers on desktop computers it is easy to make the whole page larger. For example, in Firefox, Google Chrome and Internet Explorer 8, if you press the Ctrl key at the same time as the plus (+) key on the main keyboard, you will increase the page size (you can do this repeatedly until you reach the size that you’re comfortable with); press Ctrl and the minus (-) key to reduce the size of the page, and Ctrl plus the nought (0) key to return the page size to its default. With Opera, you must use the + and - keys on the numeric keypad to achieve the same effect.

Q What are these curious strings of characters that turn up in places?

A You mean like /mɛtɛmpˈtəʊsɪs/? These are pronunciations in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA), standard in British dictionaries. To view these requires you to have a font on your system that includes them, such as Lucida Sans Unicode, Charis SIL, Doulos SIL or Arial Unicode MS. Most current operating systems have one already installed. A separate page explains the IPA symbols.

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Copyright © Michael Quinion, 1996–. All rights reserved.
Last updated 18 Oct. 2014.

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The English language is forever changing. New words appear; old ones fall out of use or alter their meanings. World Wide Words tries to record at least a part of this shifting wordscape by featuring new words, word histories, words in the news, and the curiosities of native English speech.

World Wide Words is copyright © Michael Quinion, 1996– All rights reserved.
This page URL: http://www.worldwidewords.org/index.htm
Last modified: 18 October 2014.