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English occasionally uses a trema (the two-dot diacritical mark over the "a" in whereäs) to signify diaeresis. Diaeresis means that a vowel combination that normally would form a digraph is instead pronounced as two separate vowels. In the case of "whereäs", the additional trema gives us the familiar where-as pronunciation, rather than were-ease which would ...


13

The correct spelling is whatever the parents say it is. The correct spelling is whatever the child says it is. The correct spelling is whatever the generally accepted social surroundings says it is. Sometimes these are different. For the name under consideration, in the US, Zoe (without the diaeresis) is the majority choice (for all three). So you spell ...


13

Whenever you find a computer spell-checking program does not know how to spell something, your best first assumption is that the program is an idiot. You will usually be right this way. Including in this case: Wiktionary lists noöne as an “obsolete” spelling of no one. Did people use it? Yes. Do people use it? Yes, again! Morover, a simple Google ...


10

This is hardly some sort of unique New Yorker idiosynchrasy. Rather, it’s merely an older tradition. Writing Zoë, Noël, reëlect, coöperate, zoölogical, mosaïc, aïoli, cacoëpistic, hyperoödon, haliæëtos, naïve, Moët, naïveté, Thaïs, monoïdeism, panzoöty, Laocoön, langue d’oïl, Boötes, faröelite, caïque, &c is actually an older orthographic style. ...


8

It depends on how recent the words are. If you are concerned that your meaning will be unclear, by all means use the hyphen. Words like reentry and reelect have been in usage for a long time and pretty much no one has a problem with them. Reexcite has not, so you would do better to stick with re-excites. If you want to edit something again, you are probably ...


7

They weren’t used even in Latin. They are used in books for those studying Latin to help them identify, for example, the ablative ending in the singular of the first declension, and they can also be helpful in scanning Latin verse. They serve no purpose when Latin words are used in English (and Latin words in English are mostly best avoided anyway).


6

No, there was never an alternative spelling of "no one" with a diaresis. Searching Google books, there are no hits for noöne that are pre-2000 and in English. There are three hits since then, one of them explaining that people used to spell "no one" with a diaresis.


6

The rule for a diaeresis is simple: it is a pronunciation mark, used to indicate that two vowels do not form a dipthong, but should be separated. In most cases, the same effect can be achieved by using a hyphen. There is a growing tendency to use neither, but this is inconsiderate to the reader who may not immediately see whether cooperation refers to ...


5

Even a century ago, it seems that the diaeresis wasn't necessarily favoured. For what it's worth, in his "Modern English Usage" (late 1920s), Fowler has this to say: There are three ways of writing cooperate (coop-, co-op-, coöp-). The diaeresis should at once be rejected as possible only in some words (those in which co- is followed by a vowel), ...


5

The only thing to add to Robusto's answer is that sometimes there's no choice but to keep the hyphen, to prevent confusion. For example, recover ("get something back") vs. re-cover ("cover again").


5

Different publications have different style guides, and so have different ways of spelling words. The New Yorker has one of the most idiosyncratic, which differs markedly from most mainstream publications. The "New Yorker" style is characterized by long, periodic sentences, archaic, overprecise spellings (focusses instead of focuses, for example) and the ...


4

In §11.94, Diacritics—specialized versus general contexts, the Chicago Manual of Style advises (emphasis mine): Nearly all systems of transliteration require diacritics—including macrons, underdots, and overdots, to name just a few. Except in linguistic studies or other highly specialized works, a system using as few diacritics as are needed to aid ...


3

The dieresis (two dots over a vowel) is used to distinguish pronunciation when two vowels together might be blended into a single phoneme, as in cooperate / coöperate. Theoretically it can be used in any such instance, but in practice it is rarely seen and has an archaic feel to it.


2

I'd add that you can have diacritics on words that are not loanwords, but derived after the name of a person (e.g., a scientist). For example, the unit equal to 10–10 meter is called the ångström (note the two cool diacritics), after A. J. Ångström.


2

I regard coöperation as a New Yorker affectation, but it really a matter of style. In the UK it will commonly be written co-operation to match the Co-operative Retail Societies. The real difficulty is with the four-letter version: Harvard/MIT call their shop the Coop. As for the others, this is a matter of anglicisation of loanwords and changes slowly ...


2

This may just be my Australian accent, but I would pronounce that word as: "Air-ree-(schwa)l". I don't hear any hiatuses.


2

The mark over the o in rôle is a circumflex. In certain French words it can indicate a lost s, or show that the vowel is to be pronounced long. The mark over the i in coϊncidence is a dieresis, used to show that the vowel is to be pronounced separately from the previous one. They are hardly ever necessary in English, and I have not until now seen a dieresis ...


2

The specific instance that prompted you to ask this question is an experimental exception and not part of established rules of grammar. I am not aware of a rule that substitutes the use of hyphen with that of a diaeresis. (Have to check about the 'nai' + 'ive', though.) If there indeed is one, it is not applied any more in today's (non-fiction) writing. ...


2

The name Zoe means life. (Read that somewhere years ago—don't have sources to back that up now.) As an English name, it is rarely spelled with the dieresis. Some may be officially named Zoë, but they drop the dieresis, anyway. Another name that rhymes is Chloe, which is never spelled with the dieresis in modern English.


1

The words come from Greek originally, where the e would have been pronounced. The diaeresis makes this clear.


1

Wiktionary is crowdsourced and full of pedants as well as both descriptivists and prescriptivists in ratios which fluctuate over time (-: Since The New Yorker loves the trema/diaresis/diaeresis/diæresis Wiktionary has attracted some contributors who like to find and add all such words they come across. Quriky spellings can be fun to collect for some people ...


1

From Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trema_(diacritic)#English It signifies that the vowel is pronounced. It used to be more popular.


1

The dots are there as a guide to pronunciation and are perfectly acceptable, even though diacritical marks are rarely used in English. Chloë is another name that is often spelled with diacritics. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_words_with_diacritics There is an alternative spelling without the “dots”, for example: Zooey Deschanel


1

I manually checked the top three links at OneLook and they all had entries for "Zoe" listed as a feminine name. I would guess that it is more common to drop the trema in names than keep them. I cannot remember the last time I saw a person's name with a trema (unless they were from a different language.) As somewhat of a contrasting source, Wikipedia's entry ...


1

Cooperation is not a borrowed word (which are more usually called loanwords). In loanwords, diaereses are just preserved as in the original language. In word formed as “prefix + word”, where the pronunciation might be unclear, some rare styleguides insist on adding a trema to make the pronunciation clear. There is much more information about this here.


1

What about the Brontë surname?



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