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

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9
votes
1answer
5k 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 ...
44
votes
10answers
23k 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
195 views

Beyond “i before e, except after c!”

What letters of the alphabet are followed the most by the letters ei?
0
votes
0answers
26 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
178 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
29 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
4k 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
32k 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
56 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
600 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
42 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
973 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
59 views
3
votes
3answers
814 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
4k 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
41 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
192 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 ...
-1
votes
1answer
121 views

Plural Possessive of Surnames [duplicate]

For the plural possessive of a surname, would you concur that these are correct? the Rogerses' house (surname is 'Rogers') or should it be "the Rogers' house" for the plural possessive because ...
1
vote
2answers
147 views

Transforming words as in CAE tests (Cambridge Advanced English)

I am doing a Cambridge Advanced English test this weekend. The free online test they provide online lets you transform words like this, from nouns to verbs to adjectives, back and forth. • Come ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

Is it “togglable” or “toggleable”?

The dialect is American English, but I'd be interested to know if this varies between dialects. Is it"togglable" or "toggleable"? Because neither dictionary.com, webster.com, nor Outlook's spelling ...
1
vote
1answer
85 views

What kind of error is it considered when a person uses the wrong form of a word? [closed]

I guess I asked the question in the title. Basically, when it comes to using the wrong form of a word (to instead of too, there instead of they're, etc.), what kind of error is this considered? ...
1
vote
1answer
56 views

Differences between “align” and “line”

Why is "align" not spelt "aline" or, conversly, why is "line" not spelt "lign". (I hope I'm not out of lign by asking this.)
7
votes
2answers
679 views

What is the origin of the different pronunciations of C and G before different vowels?

In English the letters C and G usually have different pronunciation before a/o/u and before e/i. The same is true for Romance languages - French, Spanish, Catalan, Italian etc. What is the origin of ...
18
votes
2answers
3k views

Is it “falsy” or “falsey”?

I have seen both versions of the word, falsy and falsey. It can mean "something that is equivalent to false" in computer science, such as "The only two falsy values in the Ruby Language are false and ...
3
votes
5answers
5k 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?
12
votes
1answer
15k views

“Philippines” vs. “Filipino”

Why is Filipino spelled with an F? Philippines is spelled with a Ph. Some have said that it's because in Filipino, Philippines starts with F; but if this is so, why did we only change the beginning of ...
3
votes
2answers
7k views
27
votes
1answer
2k views

I'd like to know the spelling of a word, a synonym of unknown

I'm used to watching American TV Series all the time. I watch them with Italian subtitles, so I misspell many words. Many of them are not so difficult to figure out, but there's one that I just cannot ...
17
votes
2answers
7k views

Why does the 'b' in absorb change to a 'p' in absorption?

The question pretty much says it all. Why is "absorbtion" an incorrect spelling?
0
votes
1answer
68 views

“exhaust gas aftertreatment” vs. “exhaust gas after treatment”

My question is related to filters and catalysts in vehicles. I would name them "exhaust gas aftertreatment". However MS Word always corrects this to "exhaust gas after treatment". What is correct? ...
1
vote
2answers
140 views

Can I place a comma before and after a possessive noun?

Should I put a comma before and after "Luke's"? Thank you for considering us for your cat Luke’s grooming needs.
0
votes
1answer
195 views

does the slogan “furniture made by makers” make sense? [closed]

I am working on a slogan for a new furniture website that will feature furniture made by different individual makers and English isn't my first language, so I was wondering if this slogan made sense: ...
4
votes
7answers
30k views

Are there regional distinctions in how hiccup/hiccough is spelled?

So I was a student of English was taught English right on the border between the US and Canada. My husband (who is from the Southwestern states) was reading something I wrote where I used the ...
2
votes
1answer
82 views

What is the linguistic perception phenomenon when a person can read a word whose inner letters are rearranged?

What is this linguistic perception phenomenon called? Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht ...
1
vote
0answers
26 views

Hurray vs Hooray? [duplicate]

I've seen two different spellings of this word - which is correct: hurray, or hooray? As in: You haven't got any outstanding alerts to action — hurray! I'm interested specifically in ...
12
votes
6answers
8k views

Why is “liquorice” pronounced (or spelt) so strangely?

Liquorice is pronounced ˈlɪkərɪʃ. But every other word I can think of ending with -ice is pronounced differently (such as police or rice). How did liquorice get such a strange pronunciation, or ...
1
vote
2answers
25k views

“Wear off” or “ware off” [closed]

Iv'e seen both spellings of the phrase. Is one correct and the other incorrect or are they both acceptable? Does one belong to British English?
8
votes
3answers
311 views

Are vowel ligatures common in any disciplines these days?

Are there any areas of writing, literature or science where æ or œ are still used? Are there contexts where they are still considered mandatory?
0
votes
1answer
168 views

non-living vs nonliving [closed]

What is the proper way to spell this word? This in the context of writing a curriculum for children distinguishing living vs non-living things. Is it non-living or nonliving?
0
votes
1answer
150 views

What to use after a word which ends with “se” to indicate possession? [duplicate]

I apologize for the seemingly simple question. I've searched on Google for this, but could not find anything. The word "Recluse", meaning (noun) "a person who lives a solitary life and tends to avoid ...
4
votes
2answers
525 views

Why are I and O always capitalized, but a is not?

There are three single-letter words. They are the article a, the pronoun I, and the interjection O. The pronoun I and the interjection O are always capitalized, but the article a follows normal ...
22
votes
3answers
2k views

Why did the letter “o” disappear in the word “pronunciation”?

The verb pronounce has the letter o in its second syllable, but in the noun pronunciation, that same letter disappears from the corresponding position. Why is that?