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

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0
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0answers
50 views

Its/It's for “It”, but not for other words? [duplicate]

Why is there a distinction between "it's" and "its"? You can write "The cat's walking." where "cat's" might ambiguously be either "cat is" or "cat (possessive)", and I don't think anyone considers ...
2
votes
2answers
144 views

Why does the pronunciation of “U” vary in English?

The letter U is pronounced differently in different words such as Umbrella and Utensils, as well as when it is Used inside of words such as stUdent and stUdy. Can I please have a grammatical ...
0
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
14
votes
5answers
4k views

How to spell [ʒʊʒd] and what does it mean?

I heard this strange word in American Dad over a year ago and it's been bugging me ever since. Not only do I have no idea how it's spelt, I have no idea how it could possibly be spelt. My only guesses ...
9
votes
3answers
32k views

What is the longest palindrome word in English? [closed]

I want to know what the longest palindrome word is.
1
vote
0answers
51 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'. ...
12
votes
3answers
9k views

Why is the spelling of “pronounce” and “pronunciation” different?

Why is the spelling of pronounce and pronunciation different? If one originally did not know the spelling of pronunciation, one would when hearing it verbally deduce its spelling to be pronounciation, ...
3
votes
3answers
77 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
175 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
162 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
vote
0answers
266 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
-1
votes
2answers
121 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? ...
2
votes
1answer
626 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
vote
2answers
212 views

What does an italic “a” immediately before a year stand for?

Some citations in the OED have an italic a before the year to indicate the year is uncertain, for example: a​1556 N. Udall Ralph Roister Doister (?1566) iii. iv. sig. E.iijv, By gosse and for ...
11
votes
4answers
865 views

What does “randomically” mean?

I've just read an O’Reilly book and encoutered the word randomically. I highly suspect this is a made up word, but a quick google found it in use here, here, and here. Is this some obscure technical ...
5
votes
1answer
11k views

“Inner” but not “outter”?

in -> inner out -> outer / (outter?) What is the history or set of rules behind why 'inner' doubles the 'n' but 'outer' doesn't double the 't'?
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Which is right: “drop-down” or “drop down”?

What is the proper way to write this term when writing product documentation? Hyphenated or not? drop down list or drop-down list?
104
votes
2answers
8k views

Why is “bicycle” pronounced differently from other obviously related words?

The word bicycle is pronounced /'baɪsɪkəl/ (bahy-si-kuhl), like sickle. However, the words unicycle and motorcycle both have the -cycle pronounced as /-'saɪkəl/ (sahy-kuhl). Is there some sort of ...
12
votes
2answers
37k views

“Successfull”/“successful” — is this a UK/US difference?

I would tend to write double-l, but Google gives me more single-l, so I'm guessing it's an Atlantic divide thing. And I guess all the other *full words.
0
votes
2answers
222 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?
0
votes
1answer
74 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 ...
4
votes
6answers
10k views

Do I spell out a time in an essay?

When I am writing an essay, do I spell out times? How would I write AM or PM? Example: 11:45 PM How would I write that?
-1
votes
1answer
133 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
228 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
495 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" ...
6
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
14
votes
5answers
91k views

Is there any difference between “offense” and “offence”?

"Offense" vs. "offence", which is more correct? If both are correct, are there any differences in shades of meaning and/or usage?
27
votes
6answers
10k views

Difference between “artifact” and “artefact”

Is there any usage preference between artifact and artefact? My understanding was that an artifact was properly applied to physical, historical objects, while an artefact was more correct for more ...
2
votes
1answer
145 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
3k 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.
7
votes
1answer
575 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 ...
7
votes
6answers
425 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: ...
1
vote
0answers
467 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 ...
25
votes
6answers
2k views

Why was the “th” combination chosen for the “th” sound?

Given that the two "th" sounds don't actually sound like a combination of "t" and "h" why was that particular combination selected or become adopted by the majority ?
2
votes
1answer
125 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?
1
vote
1answer
313 views

Etymology vs. ethymology

Merriam-webster lists the word etymology but not ethymology. Is the latter spelling wrong, or is it used in some regional variation?
2
votes
2answers
1k 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
75 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.
23
votes
2answers
3k views

How and when did American spelling supersede British spelling in the US?

Considering that Webster published his first dictionary in 1806, is there a recognised tipping point (year, decade, etc.) that marked the move from traditional British spelling to Webster's American? ...
2
votes
3answers
399 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"?
-2
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
6
votes
5answers
359 views

Is spelling still drifting?

If you look at texts from a few hundred years ago, they’re almost illegible, what with all the superfluous e’s and y’s running about, the long-S’s (  ſ  ), and so on. Texts from 100 and 120 years ago ...
4
votes
3answers
1k 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! ...
-1
votes
1answer
176 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
20k views

When should I use “guarantee” over “guaranty” and vice versa?

When would I use guarantee instead of guaranty? The dictionary definitions seem pretty much the same. Excepting maybe the noun form of the word. I have a real world example. A website I'm working ...
1
vote
0answers
170 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 ...
5
votes
5answers
3k views

“Runtime”, “run time”, and “run-time”

The CLR under .NET is referred to as the "Common Language Runtime." It seems that the convention is "runtime" for a noun and "run-time" for the adjective. Is this correct or should it be "runtime" ...
0
votes
1answer
135 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 ...
28
votes
4answers
18k views

Is it “front-end”, “frontend”, or “front end”?

Possible Duplicate: When to use a hyphen in writing a compound word Which is correct? front-end engineering frontend engineering front end engineering I looked over ...