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Are those synonyms? Is one more acceptable in a certain dialect than the other?

I checked their definition on The Free Dictionary but it's still not clear to me.

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I wouldn't be surprised to find someone using "technic" as an adjective, intending to mean "technical" or some such. –  Hot Licks Jan 22 at 8:08

2 Answers 2

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Technique is the standard spelling. Technic is a variant, for example used for trade names such as by Lego and Panasonic and may sometimes be pronounced with a shorter unstressed i.

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So it's only used for commercial needs, like 'Mortal Kombat', 'Xtremer' or 'Snoop Dogg'? –  HuBeZa Mar 21 '11 at 13:49
BTW, see Sensational spelling and Satiric misspelling on Wikipedia. –  HuBeZa Mar 21 '11 at 13:55
@HuBeZa: Apparently Hemmingway used it once, so I would hesitate to say it cannot be used in normal speech. I could imagine a speculative fiction novel where members of the engineering class are called Technics. It is the stem of words like pyrotechnics and polytechnic. But I think it should be avoided in normal use when techniques can be used instead. –  Henry Mar 21 '11 at 14:00

Technique and technic are synonyms (as shown on Merriam-Webster's entry for technic).

Note that technique is by far more used than technic. Compare the number of matches found for the two words:

Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA)
technique = 13383
technic = 18

British National Corpus (BNC)
technique = 4601
technic = 9

technique = 271M
technic = 14M

According to the data from Google Ngram Viewer shown below, technic was more commonly used between 1900 and 1970 than it is today. As for technique, usage increased since the early 1900's until now, except in the past two decades or so, in which for some reason (?) the number of occurrences decreased in comparison to other general words.

enter image description here

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+1 for graphs. Hmmm... graphs... –  HuBeZa Mar 21 '11 at 14:06
That's a double top: Sell!! –  user5531 Mar 21 '11 at 14:29
This says nothing about the meaning of the uses, so I hate to say this but the graphs are eye candy that don't really explain the situation. –  Robusto Mar 21 '11 at 15:48
Would be nice if the graphs were to scale with each other, though. First glance suggests that they have similar peaks, but the reality is that the technic graph fits completely under the technique graph - in other words technic was never as widely used as technique. –  Adam Davis Mar 21 '11 at 15:58
@Adam Davis, agreed. I just updated the post with a combined chart to show the scale. –  b.roth Mar 21 '11 at 16:06

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