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Should you always use the accent in foreign words like “résumé”?
“Whereäs” as an alternative spelling of “whereas”
Is it spelt “naïve” or “naive”?

Merriam-Webster lists both spellings without any comment on validity / usage. The second variant seems to be the French original, and the other the "anglified" version.

Is there even a slight, maybe stylistic, difference?

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marked as duplicate by coleopterist, Mitch, MετάEd, RegDwigнt Oct 12 '12 at 23:52

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I'm under the impression that this word has an accent-free spelling. As tchrist said, this accent-free spelling is probably due to the lack of dieresis on many typewriters, at least in an historical perspective. However, I suggest you "naive" as primary spelling. –  user19148 Oct 12 '12 at 16:08
    
@coleopterist maybe 'related', but not 'possible duplicate'; sorry, but I disagree with you on voting to close. –  user19148 Oct 12 '12 at 16:10

1 Answer 1

The stylistic difference is that writing naïve without the diaeresis comes off as rough and slip-shod, almost careless.

There is no other word in English whose pronunciation would work that way, which is quite different from how waive works. That means that the price of a diaeresis is adding a brand new rule or exception to English. That’s too high a price to pay.

A better spelling for those who can’t be bothered to write the diaeresis might be something nayeeve or even nigheve, but no one writes that.

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