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

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4
votes
3answers
316 views

etymology of “ie” versus “ei” words

I have noticed that certain, seemingly random, words tend to sometimes have "ie" or "ei" in them. For example, the word "Foreign" has an "e", followed by an "i", but the word "friend", has an "i", ...
1
vote
1answer
264 views

Propagatable vs propagable?

propagatable vs propagable Which one is correct? I've seen both in usage.
17
votes
2answers
2k views

How was the letter -u- written in Old English?

I was reading the etymology for 'come (v.)' when I encountered: [...] The substitution of Middle English -o- for Old English -u- before -m-, -n-, or -r- was a scribal habit before minims to avoid ...
1
vote
1answer
45 views

Is it acceptable to break a line without creating a new paragraph?

Let's say I've got two sentences that are sufficiently related that a new paragraph isn't warranted, but disconnected enough that I start considering putting the last one on a new paragraph. Is it OK ...
-4
votes
1answer
67 views

Can anyone believe “Dord” was in the dictionary for 13 years?! Also, it's a mistake [closed]

I once found out that "Dord" was added to the dictionary for 13 years when it was actually meant to be "D or d," which is the abbreviation for density. Did this happen because the dictionary didn't ...
3
votes
1answer
128 views

Thesis: spell out numbers or not?

I'm unsure if I should spell out numbers or not, in this specific case of the thesis: This is the area I'm concerned with and I tried both approaches: Setup 1 is a static setup with seven nodes in ...
2
votes
1answer
132 views

Has “Extraordinary” Ever Been Spelled with an A-O Ligature?

For example, instead of spelling it as extraordinary, you would write it as extrꜵrdinary. This also applies to its derivations, such as instead of extraordinaire, you would write extrꜵrdinaire. I'm ...
7
votes
3answers
290 views

Spelling etymology of “-il[l]” words

I've noticed that modern English seems to have a very strong bias at the end of verbs towards the spelling "-ill" (i.e. with a double "l") instead of "-(consonant)-il". The overwhelming majority of ...
0
votes
1answer
116 views

Words containing 2 overlapping standalone words [closed]

I'm looking for words that contain at least two other overlapping words. Word category or origin do not matter (in particular, constituent and containing terms may differ in these regards). Of course, ...
1
vote
2answers
100 views

Is there a name for the Mc or O' when used at the beginning of a surname?

My daughters asked me what the Mc, Mac, and O' beginnings of names are called. Is there a specific name for that specific part of a surname?
1
vote
0answers
115 views

Exaggerating the pronunciation of a vowel or consonant

Is there a word for exaggerating the pronunciation of a vowel or consonant by holding it longer than normal? When conveying this in writing, does it fall in the same category as an accent or dialect (...
-2
votes
1answer
303 views

The same pronunciation but spelled differently [duplicate]

What do we call words that sound (pronunciation) similar but have different spellings? Just for example : come - kom you - u I've already seen this post but that does not comply with the ...
0
votes
1answer
138 views

Any rules for “-ich” and “-itch” word endings?

Sometimes people are confused between -ich and -itch. For example, I saw someone make a mistake by using swich instead of switch. I wonder, are there any rules for which words have -ich ending and ...
3
votes
1answer
229 views

Mnemonic for remembering how to spell “Guarantee” [closed]

It seems that I've been trying to remember how to spell guarantee for years, and I still find myself doing the right-click-fix, every. single. time. Are there any tricks / mnemonics for this word?
5
votes
2answers
285 views

A single vs a double consonant issue.

According to The Grammarist: till, until and 'til: Till, as a variant of until, is a preposition meaning up to the time of. Till—not ‘til, an unnecessary abbreviation—has been in the language ...
-1
votes
1answer
276 views

Lowercase “moon”, “sun” and “solar system”? [closed]

From a grade school textbook: Good morning, children. I'm an astronomer. I study the stars and the planets. They're amazing! We live on the Earth. The Earth is a planet. It rotates all ...
-1
votes
2answers
182 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 ...
17
votes
4answers
51k 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
6k 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?
15
votes
3answers
1k views

Why does “attach” have two Ts but “detach” only one?

The title says it all. We have two words: attach detach Shouldn't they be ...? attach dettach Or …? atach detach
1
vote
2answers
109 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.
-2
votes
1answer
74 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
44 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 lecture....
18
votes
5answers
3k views

Is the lowercase pronoun “i” a feature of Indian English?

The Rule The personal pronoun “I” is always capitalized in English, regardless of its position in a sentence. This is an orthographic convention that every native speaker should know. Whenever I ...
0
votes
2answers
666 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?
-3
votes
1answer
2k views

What's the difference between “Thankful” and “Thank Full”? [closed]

What's the difference between "Thankful" and "Thank Full" ?
3
votes
1answer
192 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?
1
vote
2answers
514 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
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
216 views

Beyond “i before e, except after c!”

What letters of the alphabet are followed the most by the letters ei?
1
vote
0answers
53 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
521 views

‘pescatarian’: synonyms & etymology

Even if most Americans would take ‘pescatarian’ to be some odd Calvinist sect, according to Merriam-Webster it is a noun which means “one whose diet includes fish but no other meat” and its derivation ...
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.
1
vote
1answer
100 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.; (...
1
vote
1answer
39 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?
0
votes
1answer
50 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. ...
0
votes
1answer
131 views

Is Luncheon capitalized when referring to an event?

For example: the Intercultural Union "luncheon"
10
votes
6answers
1k 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
356 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
59 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 ...
-1
votes
1answer
391 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 '...
10
votes
1answer
5k 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
142 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
81 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.)
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 ...
0
votes
1answer
116 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
501 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
332 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: ...
2
votes
1answer
143 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 ...