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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1answer
108 views

Capitalization of honorifics such as “your excellency”, “your majesty”, “your holiness”

When addressing an ambassador, is it I agree with your excellency. or should your, excellency, or both be capitalized? Likewise with "your majesty" and "your holiness".
0
votes
2answers
380 views

He had not understood vs He did not understand [closed]

I'm a native Portuguese speaker and some time ago I heard someone say that it is grammatically wrong, in despite of everyday speaking, to construct sentences like "He had not understood" or "She does ...
1
vote
0answers
49 views

Why is there 'ss' in pessimistic? [closed]

In the word 'pessimistic',we use 'ss'. but my question is that, as I know, there are syllables as: 'pe',ssi','mis','tic'. Here stress falls in 'mis'syllable then it might be doubled 'mis',not 'pessi'. ...
3
votes
3answers
67 views

Is “enroute” an acceptable variant of “en route”?

Is "enroute" (without the space) an acceptable variant of "en route"?
3
votes
0answers
68 views

Why is “birthday” one word as opposed to two? “Wedding day” or “graduation day” are two [duplicate]

A birthday is the day of your birth, much like graduation day and wedding day. Why is birthday one word?
-1
votes
2answers
146 views

Movement to reduce “ing” to “in” [closed]

let's face it. More and more people are not saying the silent "g" at the end of swimming, speaking, cooking etc. When will the "ing" become just "in"? It's already used in almost every song, because ...
5
votes
2answers
747 views

Why is quixotic pronounced as it is?

Since "quixotic" was coined with Don Quixote as its basis, why is it pronounced "kwicks-OTT-ick" when it should by rights/origin be pronounced "Key-HO-tick"? It even sounds more onomatopoeiatic the ...
0
votes
2answers
114 views

Correct spelling: Magic or Magick? [closed]

Is it Magic; or is it Magick? I think the latter is the correct way, even though the latter version is listed in some dictionaries. Why is that?
1
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0answers
124 views

What is the rule for duplicating the last letter when adding “-ed”? [duplicate]

I wonder if there is any rule for doubling the p at the end of a stem. For example: stop — stopped but help — helped
2
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1answer
310 views

The difference between “anyway” and “any way”

When to use anyway and when to use any way? Anyway I can do it. Any way I can do it. Are these the same?
-1
votes
2answers
79 views

Is subaccount one word?

I looked at the Cambridge and Oxford dictionaries online and they don't contain this word. But typing it into google takes me to the Merriam Webster definition. So does this just come down to taste? ...
-1
votes
1answer
105 views

Why don’t “snow” and “plow” — well, or “plough” — rhyme? [duplicate]

They (sometimes?) have the same ending when spelt but don’t rhyme when said. Why is that?
7
votes
2answers
133 views

Why doesn't blood sound like \ˈblüd\? [duplicate]

The pronunciation of blood is \'bləd\ while words such as moon and spoon (with double 'o') are pronounced as \ˈmün\ and \ˈspün. Why isn't blood pronounced like \ˈblüd\ ?
1
vote
3answers
191 views

Correct use of hyphens in “we offer same day, on site service calls”

What would be the correct hyphenation (if any) for the following sentence? We offer same day, on site service calls. I was thinking of hyphenating "on-site", but I cannot think why "same day" ...
0
votes
2answers
137 views

's' or 'z': 'musealisation' versus 'musealization'

As I understand, the term in itself is not consensual, but is there a preferred spelling for musealisation/ musealization, or is it just the 'usual' question of the British/American spelling?
3
votes
1answer
129 views

Why do people use “…” in emails after people's names? For example, “Mike… ”

What does this "..." mean in emails? For example, "Mike...You are always welcome to come to our social event."
-2
votes
2answers
1k views

Is it “congrats” or “congrads”? [closed]

Is it appropriate to abbreviate "congratulations" as "congrats" or "congrads", or are both acceptable? I have seen the latter used very often which is why I'm asking.
1
vote
2answers
177 views

pronunciation rule for grapheme “a” in words like “nefarious,” “variation” and “temporary”

English pronunciation / spelling guides appear to state that the letter/grapheme "a" is pronounced either as the "short a" with IPA symbol /æ/, as in "mat" or the "long a" with IPA symbol /eɪ/, as in ...
2
votes
1answer
155 views

Is “teen-ager” correct? Still used? Etymology?

I was reading an article in The New York Times published in 1990 and came across the spelling of teenager as 'teen-ager'; is this American spelling? Archaic? The young man, who often said he only ...
6
votes
1answer
462 views

Why Abraham and not Avraham?

In the Hebrew scriptures Abraham's name is Avraham and not Abraham (אַבְרָהָם). Is has a v and not a b. The same goes for Rebecca, who is called Rivka in Hebrew. Both v and b sounds are represented by ...
2
votes
3answers
10k views

Wholistic vs holistic

This reference states: The two words "wholistic" and "holistic" have very different meanings, but there is some confusion and they are often used in an incorrect manner. The two words have very ...
7
votes
6answers
400 views

Ways to Memorize “Discreet” and “Discrete” [closed]

I have a question about discreet and discrete. People tend to get these two words mixed up, and I would like to help them memorize these two words. Discrete: unconnected; separate Discreet: ...
3
votes
1answer
334 views

Participle of “center/centre” in UK English — “centring”? Seriously?

As an American, I was never shocked to see the word "center" spelled as "centre." It didn't bother me at all. Honestly. But then I saw the participle of it spelled as "centring" as opposed to ...
1
vote
0answers
324 views

Why are Kansas and Arkansas pronounced differently? [closed]

Arkansas is typically pronounced like so: “ahr-kuhn-saw”   IPA: [ˈɑɹkənˌsɔː] However, Kansas is typically pronounced like this: “kan-zuhs”             IPA: [ˈkænzɨs] Why are these two ...
2
votes
1answer
103 views

Why is butcher paper spelt without an apostrophe?

Why is butcher paper spelt without an apostrophe, rather than as "butcher's paper", when "carpenter's square" is spelt with an apostrophe?
2
votes
2answers
574 views

Is “Viet Nam” a mistake, a typo, an archaic spelling, a regional spelling, or an idiosyncrasy? [closed]

Is "Viet Nam" a mistake, a typo, an archaic spelling, a regional spelling, or an idiosyncrasy of the author? I found the word in this book, and I can't really tell what type of spelling it is.
0
votes
1answer
54 views

“Stickied thread” or “sticked thread”, when talking about internet forum thread

What is the more correct form? Quick Google research tells that first form is more popular, but don't give a definitive answer about what is the most appropriate.
0
votes
1answer
70 views

Question about a sentence in OWL Exercises

About the Exercise: Adjective or Adverb Exercise 1: #3 They proved to be perfectly exact measurements... Isn't this an impossible fact; consequently a incorrect sentence otherwise what is supposed to ...
5
votes
5answers
3k views

“Bald Faced Lie” vs. “Bold Faced Lie”

Which of these is correct? What is the origin of this expression? I've searched here on the exchange and haven't found an answer.
-2
votes
1answer
498 views

Is “wrongly” even a word? [closed]

I came across a news article using the word wrongly. I was told that wrongly isn't a real word. But I saw this in a leading newspaper and wanted a clarification. Also, what is the difference between ...
-1
votes
1answer
128 views

what is the difference between turn out and come out

What should be the correct answer for the question below.Please help. Nobody believed Galileo's theory initially but it -came out- to be right. (1)worked out (2)turned out (3)carried out (4)no ...
2
votes
3answers
262 views

Noun phrase converted to verb, is a hyphen needed?

When "air kiss" is treated as a verb, as in "they air kissed", should it be hyphenated to "air-kissed"?
1
vote
0answers
142 views

Should we change the spelling of English? [closed]

First. I am an American, born and raised in USA. I am a special education teacher in the US. I initially wanted to learn phonics in order to teach reading. Yet,there is really no way to teach ...
3
votes
2answers
232 views

Words with Transposed or Inverted Syllables

In its definition of sideburns, Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, Eleventh Edition (2003) refers to the spelling as an "anagram of burnsides." But since derubniss, sisburden, and ubersnids are ...
0
votes
1answer
109 views

Is spelling part of Language? [closed]

In response to another question I asked, I was told spelling is not a part of language because it is a part of writing. This statement confuses me. Writing is a form of communication and is ...
0
votes
1answer
63 views

programme or program [duplicate]

I am wondering which is the correct version? Furthermore, the official length of my programme of study: 3.5 years of full-time study and 16 weeks of internship. Furthermore, the official ...
-1
votes
1answer
256 views

How to hyphenate “right mouse click”

What's the proper way to hyphenate the expression "right mouse click". I'm writing documentation for some software I wrote. "Please right mouse click on ...".
0
votes
1answer
543 views

How to spell 'ewww' as in 'ewww ahhh' [closed]

I was wondering how I should spell 'ewww' as in 'ewww ahhh': Bob showed Jill his most impressive set of magic cards. Jill, impressed, said, 'ewwww[sp?] ahhhhhh.' ...
2
votes
1answer
107 views

Alignment or alinement?

I was reading Wonders of World Aviation the other day, published in the late thirties, and have found a couple of articles where alinement is preferred to alignment. While this seems to make sense, it ...
0
votes
2answers
3k views

Full-time or full time, part-time or part time?

Having a debate here over how to form the description of employment. A) Bob works full time on the project. B) Bob works full-time on the project. The same applies for part time/part-time. Which ...
0
votes
1answer
107 views

Hyphen omission: a matter of habit or plain error?

I'm not a native English speaker so I'm struggling to get this right. I understand (and this question confirms) that compound adjectives such as well-organized, high-level, Spanish-speaking, etc, ...
1
vote
0answers
832 views

Why do certain words have the same type of spelling but different pronunciation? [duplicate]

There are words like 'but' , 'cut' etc pronounced in the same way, but 'put' is pronounced differently. Put has the same structure as but and cut (One 'u' between two consonants). So why is it ...
5
votes
1answer
95 views

“strain gauge” or “gage”?

When referring to a device that measures tensile or compressive force, is the correct spelling strain gauge or strain gage? I realize that in general gage is an archaic spelling of the word gauge, ...
1
vote
3answers
207 views

“Out-of-this-world experiences” vs. “out of this world experiences”

I was wondering if the hyphenated version should be used? The context is: Introducing the World Cup box from McDonald's: the meal filled with out of this world experiences.
2
votes
4answers
633 views

Why is the Christian god being spelled with a lowercase letter? [duplicate]

It's been going on for some time, but the phenomenon which was once seen as almost an act of rebellion is now becoming more commonplace. God, capitalized, is increasingly seen only at the start of a ...
0
votes
1answer
52 views

Should it be railway workers salary? [closed]

Should it be railway workers salary railway worker salary railway-worker salary railway-workers salary ?
2
votes
4answers
684 views

Where does 'doofus' (or perhaps 'dufus') come from?

Both Dufus and Doofus seem to be common on the web, so I'm not sure which is the correct spelling, if either. It's kind of a cool word. Do we have any idea where/how it originated?
6
votes
3answers
904 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
1k views

Possessive and plural suffixes for proper nouns ending in -s [closed]

With a name that ends in -s, such as Travis or Lewis, where and when should you use -es, -'s, -s or just leave it alone to both pluralise, and to infer belonging to? E.g., if the ball belongs to ...
1
vote
1answer
471 views

An e in “absured”?

A few paragraphs in to Chapter 3 of "How to win friends and influence people"—a book that I'm embarrassed to admit I've undertaken—I found what just appears to be an odd spelling for "absurd." ...