This tag is for questions concerning the written representation of the English language, especially spelling and word breaks (including hyphenation).

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

1
vote
6answers
175 views

Is “risky” an acceptable spelling of “risqué”?

Is "risky" an acceptable spelling of "risqué" or "risque" (suggestive of sexual impropriety), such as in this article? Selena Gomez has posed braless in a risky and sultry new photo-shoot for ...
4
votes
4answers
580 views

What is the correct term for “2” vs “two”? [on hold]

When written this way, "2", what is the correct term? When written this way, "two", what is the correct term?
1
vote
2answers
66 views

Is it “transferrer” or “transferer”?

According to thefreedictionary, "transferrer" is someone who transfers something. However, it also lists the alternate spelling "transferer", with only one r in the middle. For the related "...
3
votes
2answers
162 views

Why is “Thailand” spelled with an 'h'?

As we all know, "Thailand" is not pronounced with a /θ/ — so why is it spelled that way? Is the 'h' vestigial? Does it represent some subtle phoneme in the Thai language, and if so, what is that ...
1
vote
1answer
30 views

What is the error called when spaces are placed incorrectly?

He went home , but he forgot his phone .He returned to get it . ^ ^ ^ These are some examples, which nowadays get autocorrected by word ...
1
vote
1answer
66 views

Cipher vs Cypher - British English vs American English [duplicate]

As an English author but long time resident of America, I recently wrote a historical spy thriller that delved deeply into coded messages. I often caught myself writing cipher and cypher. Although I ...
1
vote
1answer
30 views

Is semiannual one or two words? Or both? Or hyphenated?

I've looked on Google and StackExchange for the answer and am having no luck. This HAS to have been answered and asked before now... so I'm sorry in advance if this is a bad question or a repeat.
1
vote
1answer
38 views

Is it acceptable to spell fantasy with PH instead of F? [closed]

I know it used to be spelled that way. I'm just wondering if it's still acceptable.
2
votes
1answer
84 views

When double “l” is considered American English?

I'm struggling with "enroll" and "enrollment". Both answers (this one and this one), given to this question, as well as Wikipedia seems to be suggesting, that double "l" is more common in British ...
0
votes
1answer
46 views

Replacing proper noun “-y” suffix to match plural case [duplicate]

For a proper noun, in this case let's say Morty, would one replace the "-y" suffix when using the plural case with "-ies" or keep it as an unaltered "-ys"?
0
votes
0answers
20 views

Any research data on spelling mistakes in English?

I am developing a "did you mean?" suggestion for my project similar to Google's suggestion. To make the algorithm to work faster, I am looking for a data or any research done on English spelling ...
6
votes
1answer
98 views

Why isn't the ‘P’ in psychology pronounced? [duplicate]

Why is the initial letter of some of the words like pneumonia, and psychology not pronounced?
1
vote
1answer
46 views

“Wherever or Whenever”

Apologies for the title which sounds like the Shakira classic, but would you say "Thank you for providing help whenever possible" or "wherever possible"
0
votes
1answer
41 views

Different-colored or different colored? UK vs US English

Can I write "differently colored" instead? What expression most British or Americans would rather use? "socks, different in color" "socks of different colors" "a different color of each sock"
6
votes
3answers
423 views

Is it acceptable that I use ligatures and diæreses?

As we may all know, ligatures and diæreses have long become obsolescent. However, I see the logic behind spelling words with ligatures and diæreses. For example: algæ, formulæ, æon, æqulateral, ...
0
votes
2answers
52 views

Which spelling is correct: “Re-order” or “Reorder”

I'm looking to label an action button that would allow a user in a software interface to enable reordering (sorting, not re-purchasing) of items in a list. Re-order vs. Reorder When first presented ...
0
votes
1answer
73 views

Are there any other words that are spelled with “a” but pronounced with /e/ like many, any?

Are there any other words that are spelled with "a" but pronounced with the standard phoneme /e/ in Received Pronunciation like many, any? Exceptions: derivatives of any (anything, anyone, anytime, ...
1
vote
0answers
29 views

Product description (text) in English, need some help [closed]

I have a product to launch, I've written a short description of about 600 words, I need some help to improve content quality, you know guys I am not very English :p I would like to make it more ...
2
votes
2answers
42 views

Indicating year when writing currency

Is there a convention for indicating the year of a monetary amount? Because of inflation citing a monetary sum is rather useless without specifying the year: $20 in 1900 is very different than $20 in ...
6
votes
2answers
89 views

Any idea about this 'ul' glyph from 1580's book on orthography?

Second row, all the way to the right. Does this glyph have a name? I am unfamiliar with it and had never come across it before. Page 21 in Bullokars Booke at large, for the amendment of orthographie ...
1
vote
1answer
89 views

Double Consonants in Gerund

Is there any rules regarding gerund that tell when to double the consonant of a word and when not to? I'm a little bit confused regarding this matter. Based on this link there are words that can be ...
0
votes
1answer
12 views

Hyphenation in pre[-]determined

Pre-determined or predetermined? I've seen both forms. Are both right, or only one of them? Is there any dialect difference between AE and BE? Do the same rules apply for all words starting with pre ...
0
votes
3answers
42 views

Plural of The Letter S

In a previous question here What is the proper way to write the plural of a single letter? (another apostrophe question) someone asked what the plural of a letter is. The answer given was for ...
0
votes
1answer
26 views

Spelling of numbers and particle “and”

I know that in order to spell a number you have to insert an "and" between the hundred and units. For instance 301 will be "three hundred and one". But what about larger numbers? 1,301 is "one ...
0
votes
0answers
21 views

When do you link composite words with dashes? (compounds)

In German (my mother tongue) it is very common to combine several nouns into a new word by linking them together with dashes. After a word has been established in German, you even see it getting ...
1
vote
1answer
69 views

What do you call the phenomenon where you suddenly feel that a word's spelling is wrong?

First of all, does this actually happen to others? Hopefully it does. In my case at least, the most commonplace words suddenly seem to be spelled wrong. The most common examples are why, while, ...
-1
votes
1answer
62 views

Why are there silent letters? [duplicate]

Why do we put letters in some words which are silent in pronunciation? If they make no sound then why we waste space in words? For example: "Knife"; 'K' is silent "Doubt"; 'b' is silent etc.
1
vote
0answers
41 views

When writing in cursive, what is the proper way to write an acronym?

Would I just write the letters in cursive or switch to block text?
5
votes
1answer
164 views

Proper spelling of variant of “suspicious”

I'm not sure if it's an Aussie thing, but if something is suspicious, then it's sus(s), e.g: Someone added me on Facebook but they don't have a profile picture. I think they're a bit sus(s). The ...
1
vote
1answer
47 views

“Neandertal”? Have English-speaking scientists now adopted the modern spelling?

In the 19th century the name of the valley in Germany was spelled "Neanderthal", and now it seems to be "Neandertal", with exactly the same pronunciation. But as far as I knew before tonight, the ...
0
votes
2answers
29 views

How to spell correctly: “neutral-stability curve” or “neutral stability curve”? [closed]

I have a question regarding spelling the following phrase: "neutral stability curve" in the meaning of "curve of neutral stability". Should I put a hyphen between "neutral" and "stability" or not? Is ...
2
votes
1answer
106 views

Why is “number” abbreviated as “No.”? [duplicate]

The spelling of number is number, but the abbreviation is No (№). There is no letter o in number, so where does this spelling come from?
0
votes
2answers
35 views

Communism/communism and Communist/communist [duplicate]

I have some doubts regarding capitalizing or not the following words: Communism Communist I know that Communism is generally written with capital letter, but sometimes I have this doubt and cannot ...
1
vote
1answer
70 views

Word for a word that changes spelling but not meaning?

What is the word that describes a word that has changed in spelling but not meaning, such as how the word "to-day" was once spelt "today"?
3
votes
1answer
94 views

What kind of spelling error is using “are” in the place of “our”?

It's using the homophone but is there a name for that kind of spelling error in Child Writing Acquisition? The whole phrase is: After that we Played with are inten do will". Of course there ...
11
votes
1answer
2k views

What does “steenking” mean?

I read some source code and came across this sentence: Hopefully it works, and we don't need no steenking BIOS anyway [...] You see the word "steenking" in there. I traced its origin down to the ...
4
votes
2answers
123 views

Why is “batting” spelled with two t's, but “combating” spelled with one?

The "bating" in "combating" is pronounced the exact same way as "batting". It doesn't make sense to me.
2
votes
0answers
65 views

Usage of Robo vs Robot [closed]

In my job I'm researching about finance management and advisors. There is a class of software called "Robo Advisors". They are not Robot Advisors, but Robo. http://www.investopedia.com/terms/r/...
0
votes
1answer
76 views

Difference between “birth weight” and “birthweight”

Is there any US/UK English difference in the spellings "birth weight" and "birthweight"? In scientific journals, I have found usage of both spellings. E.g., Overall birth weight is not different for ...
1
vote
0answers
40 views

When did summer lose its capital? [duplicate]

In modern English the seasons spring, summer, autumn and winter, don't start with capital letters. However, it hasn't always been thus. For example, 1667 Milton Paradise Lost iii. 43 The.....
0
votes
0answers
16 views

Separate or join words [duplicate]

I've read some answers abour when to join two words and when to write them separate, and when to write them with a hyphen. "Username", "user name" or "user-name" Which ...
0
votes
2answers
67 views

Should I use negotiate or negociate? [closed]

There are some word references and debates for "negociate". Anyone knows if both are correct ? Where does the spelling "negociate" comes from ?
0
votes
1answer
68 views

Capitalisation of “Nature”

Why is "Nature" usually spelt with a capital letter at the beginning in scientific journals? I am mainly referring to life science here, in case this matters. I am not talking about the obvious cases,...
-1
votes
1answer
53 views

What would be “inquetht”? [closed]

"I thay, misther," expostulat the Hebrew, "shut that bocth. Thmellth like a blooming inquetht." From "Percival Bland's Proxy" by R. Austin Freeman. I can decipher it as "I say, Mister," ...
2
votes
1answer
69 views

Is it formal or informal to use y/o as an abbreviation of “years old”? [closed]

This is my first question on this site. I am not a native speaker. My question is, is it formal or informal to use y/o as an abbreviation of "years old" in British English?
3
votes
2answers
50 views

'De-exoticize' or 'deexoticize' [duplicate]

As an antonym for exoticize, would you favor de-exoticize or deexoticize? Google currently finds ~2970 results for the hyphenated version and ~440 results for the unhyphenated, but both of those ...
1
vote
2answers
55 views

English words with underlining like Uluṟu

Apart from words derived from Australian Aboriginal languages, are there any words in English that are written at least some of the time with individual letters being underlined for pronunciation ...
0
votes
3answers
56 views

to be spelled as or to be spelled by?

What is the correct preposition to use with the verb "to spell"? I'm trying to write a sentence "this sound is usually spelled by the letter "e". I'm not sure if I should say "by the letter "e" or "as ...
0
votes
3answers
78 views

Should “japanese” be capitalised when used as an adjective

Which one of these is the correct usage: 1) Your favourite Japanese restaurant 2) Your favourite japanese restaurant (being an adjective in this case, it should be in lower case)
0
votes
1answer
73 views

What's the meaning of “finniky”?

There is this sentence in a letter of Bertrand Russell: Even the absurdities - the thunder and lightning - are big and invigorating after the stifling finniky appropriateness of everything French. ...