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

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1
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2answers
108 views

Rules for spelling double consonants in roots of words

I would like to understand by what rules I should know when the consonant in the root of a word should be doubled and when it should not. I understand doubling rules resulting from adding suffixes ...
-1
votes
2answers
107 views

How is the past tense of “error” spelt in British English? [duplicate]

How is the past tense of "error" spelt in British English? Wiktionary says that it's "errored", but its entry for errored doesn't explicitly say it's valid for British English, and I thought it'd get ...
3
votes
5answers
2k views

Are there other words with the same weird spelling / pronunciation combo as “victual”?

I've always thought that "victual" was a funny word because its spelling and pronunciation are so alien to anything else I know of in the English language. The free dictionary explains the origin of ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

“Cancellation”, “Canceled”, “Canceling” — US usage

I'm trying to figure out if there is a specific rule behind the word "cancel" that would cause "cancellation" to have two L's, but "canceled" and "canceling" to have only one (in the US). I ...
7
votes
1answer
2k views

Why is “transferred” written with two R's?

Why is transferred written with two R's? I am a native speaker of Dutch, and in my point of view this isn't logical; there are other words like coloured and endeavoured that only have -ed added after ...
19
votes
4answers
17k views

“Focussed” or “focused”? The double consonant

Initially, my question was: is "focussed" or "focused" the correct past tense of "focus", but since this applies to a lot of words, I would like to generalize and ask: is there supposed to be a rule ...
27
votes
4answers
15k views

“Cancelled” or “Canceled”?

Cancelled or Canceled ? Which one is right? You have successfully canceled the registration or You have successfully cancelled the registration
13
votes
1answer
5k views

“Programming” versus “programing”: which is preferred?

I was surprised that my spell checker did not complain for programing with one m, so I Googled it, and found on free dictionaries that both forms were acceptable. Which one is more common? Does it ...
4
votes
4answers
4k views

What's the correct way to write “foodservice”?

The Cambridge Dictionary writes it in two words while the Wiktionary writes it in one. Wikipedia mostly writes it in one word, but sometimes in two. Should it be written "food service" or ...
4
votes
1answer
157 views

When are 'tion', 'sion', and 'cion' used [closed]

I am confused when the spellings tion, sion, and cion are used in words that contain the shun sound. Are there any rules to help me understand when to use the correct spelling in a word?
1
vote
2answers
45 views

Edited vs emitted - why one t vs two t's

Why does "edited" have one "t" and and "emitted" has two? "Edit" and "emit" are so similar in spelling and pronunciation. I keep wanting to type "editted" for some reason.
0
votes
4answers
2k views

Recordkeeping, record keeping, or record-keeping

In the following sentence, a reviewer claimed that record keeping is a spelling error that should be corrected to recordkeeping. Service providers shall manage information using agreed upon ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

Shalln't vs. Shan't in British English

I am a British English speaker and often use "shall" and "shall not". When I contract "shall not", I pronounce it [ʃɑlnt] -- that is, the "l" sound remains. My question, therefore, is how do I spell ...
9
votes
1answer
11k views

Why is “fulfil” spelt as “fulfill” in American English?

In this answer, simplification is stated as one reason for spelling variations in American English. But unlike in color and favorite, the number of letters to spell the word in fulfil increases in ...
-2
votes
1answer
35 views

Tenure or tenor clarification [closed]

I am writing a direct quote and am unsure which spelling is correct. The quote is, "As I understand from the tenure of your testimony ..." Would that be tenure or tenor? Thank you in advance.
0
votes
2answers
28 views

Do parentheses need spaces either side?

I should place parentheses after a space or without any spacing? Which one of below sentences is right? We adopted DM (Data Mining) in this lecture. We adopted DM(Data Mining) in this ...
12
votes
3answers
3k views

Capitalization for a bullet list

The following is from some software documentation we are writing: NOTE: Refreshing a report may be necessary or helpful when: you believe the data in the report has changed since it was ...
17
votes
1answer
1k views

Graphotactics of possessive: the true reason for the apostrophe

I have some hypotheses for English graphotactics: 〈w〉 and 〈y〉 are optional positional variants (i.e. allographs) of 〈u〉 and 〈i〉, respectively, in digraphs that correspond with diphthongs or vowels: ...
0
votes
2answers
54 views

Which is correct, 'self-employed' or 'self employed'? [closed]

In the sentence Self-employed [or Self employed] farmer Belle Vue has lived in the state of Washington all her life. should there be a hyphen between Self and employed?
2
votes
1answer
200 views

Why is 'Middlesbrough' so spelled?

Why is the English town of Middlesbrough so spelled, and why is the first 'o' of borough missing, as it is not with such as Scarborough, Peterborough, Knaresborough, etc. I note that there are towns ...
-3
votes
1answer
49 views
5
votes
4answers
2k views

Is there a term to describe words whose pronunciation bears no relationship to their spelling?

The English language is peppered with wonderfully weird spelling/pronunciation combinations. For example colonel, pronounced kur-nl, probably my favorite, there isn't even an r in the word! ...
3
votes
1answer
88 views

Why is the word 'always' written with only one 'L'? [closed]

Does anybody know why the word always is written with one L, although it is formed by putting together two words, all and ways?
12
votes
2answers
2k views

Why the letter “g” discrepancy between *giant* and *gigantic*?

A little look through an etymology dictionary shows that the root is Latin gigas with adjective form gigant. So in its derivation to English, why did the second "g" get retained in gigantic but was ...
1
vote
1answer
35 views

Is it “kelly pool” or “Kelly pool”?

Kelly pool is a "cue sport" played on a pool table like billiards, snooker, and other variants of pool. But which is more accepted? Capitalised or not? Or are both OK?
9
votes
1answer
4k views

Why is “great” pronounced as “grate”, but spelled with “ea”?

Great is one of the few common English words in which "ea" is pronounced /eɪ/ (ay). Why is this pronunciation associated with this spelling? As an aside, I remember from researching for my answer to ...
43
votes
10answers
21k views

Is it “alright” or “allright”?

In practice I find both spellings being used. From a logical point of view, "allright" (as in: "all's right — everything is fine") seems correct. However, I recall hearing that "alright" is the ...
6
votes
3answers
3k views

'Postpone' or 'postphone'?

I was taught that the word postpone was spelled as I just spelled it, but recently I have seen a rise in the spelling postphone (or post phone). At first, I thought it was just a spelling error, but I ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Why did Australian English change from spelling words like 'honor' to 'honour'?

I know there are other questions comparing the US and UK usage of o and ou in words like colour. My question is specifically in regard to Australian English. I was always taught that here in Australia ...
1
vote
0answers
81 views

'Spelled' vs 'Spelt' [duplicate]

May I just say, I was born and raised in the United States and I use the term "spelt" but others say it should be "spelled" but... why is spelt apparently a grammatical error?
4
votes
1answer
185 views

Beyond “i before e, except after c!”

What letters of the alphabet are followed the most by the letters ei?
0
votes
0answers
22 views

Capitalization of “diploma business informatics”

For an application I need to translate my resume. What is the right way spelling of my degree: 2010-2015 Diploma business informatics 2010-2015 Diploma Business Informatics 2010-2015 Diploma of ...
-2
votes
1answer
2k views

“Bazaar” vs. “bazar”

Which of bazaar or bazar is better to use for the domain name of specialised marketplace? Both are available according to the dictionaries. Any advice which of these two is better to use in the URL? ...
2
votes
1answer
152 views

'pescatarian': synonyms & etymology

Even if most Americans would take 'pescatarian' to be some odd Calvinist sect, according to MW it is a noun which means 'one whose diet includes fish but no other meat' and its derivation is 'probably ...
1
vote
0answers
28 views

Is “memorise” or “memorize” used more often around the world? [duplicate]

Is "memorise" or "memorize" used more often around the world? Curious which is more popular, memorise or memorize.
9
votes
2answers
3k views

Are there any other English syllables without vowels, besides “thm”?

As far as I knew*, all English syllables have a vowel sound and all of them are spelled accordingly, except for "thm" as in rhythm and algorithm. Are there any others? And are there any etymological ...
10
votes
3answers
31k views

How do you spell wifi / Wi-Fi / WiFi? [closed]

This is probably related to whether one should capitalize Internet or not. I am looking for the correct spelling of wifi when referring to a wireless connection to the Internet. I want to tell the ...
0
votes
0answers
49 views

How did the spelling of 'mien' evolve?

I ask only about mien's definition of 'A person’s look or manner', and not the Yao people. OED: Etymology: Probably a merging of two words of distinct origins: (i) shortened < demean n.; ...
2
votes
3answers
576 views

What does the word 'Joll' mean in 18th century English?

What does joll mean in the following sentence? ... give him the upper or right hand, and walk not just even with him cheek be joll, but a little behind him, yet not so distant as that it shall be ...
0
votes
1answer
39 views

Is using quotation marks in this sentence necessary or not? [duplicate]

Which of the two sentences given below is correct? If both of them are correct, which one is more grammatical? My answer to all these questions is "yes". My answer to all these questions is yes. ...
10
votes
6answers
931 views

What is the best word for “kitchen products” on an e-commerce website?

I am wondering what the best word is for all things used in the kitchen, including: kitchen gadgets dishes pans forks, knives.. kitchen towels kitchen decorations What is the best word to sum it ...
0
votes
1answer
48 views
3
votes
3answers
804 views

How should wireless technology names be hyphenated and capitalized?

How should wireless technology names be hyphenated and capitalized? "a wireless g network"? "a wireless-g network"? "a wireless-G network"? "a wireless G network"? none of the above? Does a formal ...
2
votes
3answers
3k views

How should the abbreviation for “identifier” be capitalized?

I'm a programmer and I often see the abbreviation ID (capitalized) in technical documents and code. Is this correct, or should it be id?
2
votes
6answers
1k views

How to write Vietnamese names in English correctly? (“Việt Nam” to “Vietnam” or “Viet Nam”?)

Commonly, in writing, the country name in Vietnamese is Việt Nam, in English is Vietnam; its capital city name in Vietnamese is Hà Nội, in English is Hanoi; its largest city name in Vietnamese is ...
7
votes
1answer
9k views

“Exercise” but not “exercize”

Many words are spelled with -ise in British English and -ize in American English: realise/realize sanitise/sanitize scrutinise/scrutinize But exercise can only be spelled with -ise, never with ...
0
votes
0answers
15 views

Need a single word for - Opportunity and Opportunities [duplicate]

I need a single word to represent both singular and plural form of the word "Opportunity". Usually we represent such words in the following fashion: Bottle(s). But I don't think Opportunity(s) would ...
10
votes
4answers
8k views

Is “thankyou” acceptable as a single word?

I was doing a small piece of language translation in Google Translate, and it detected the use of "thankyou" in the text and asked "do you mean - thank you". Is the single word version - thankyou - ...
0
votes
0answers
40 views

Nonabelian or non-abelian?

I asked this question on Mathematics Stack Exchange (here) but I haven't had any luck so far. Allow me to copy the question: If I wanted to be scrupulous about correct spelling, is there any reason ...
-2
votes
1answer
188 views

Translating from American to Canadian, when these are used as verbs, is it “log in” and “log out” or “login” and “logout”?

This is not a duplicate of questions such as“Login” or “log in”? or “log in to” or “log into” or “login to”. The reason is that this question deals specifically with converting from American English ...