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I think I understand how the children-nodes of a trie are supposed to work. But if the dictionary contains one-letter words like "a" and "I", what should the boolean-data value of the root node be? If it's FALSE, doesn't that mean the checker will mark one-word letters as misspelled? And if it's TRUE, how does the checker know which single letters are one-letter words as opposed to just single letters?

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The trie starts at one root node. This node will always have the is_word bool as false because the root node doesn't actually represent a letter. For a one letter word, say a, you would first move one level into the tree, as in root->children[0] before setting that node's is_word to true. (a two letter word, like ad, would traverse the path of root->children[0]->children[3]->is_word = true.)

So, no matter the word, the root node represents a word of 0 length and will always have is_word = false.

If you're using a different design, such as using an array of pointers for the first letter, then it becomes dependent on your design.

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