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34

I have always seen this written as "to-may-to to-mah-to."


18

It appears that there is this story behind the difference in pronouciation: Tomato: Because of the song, tomayto, tomahto has come to be used as an expression meaning “unimportant difference.” The tomato originated in South America. The Spaniards first brought tomato seeds to Europe in the 1540s. The seeds produced a yellow tomato. Because of the ...


14

Rule: Use a Dictionary Yes, there is a rule, and that rule is that you must look them up in a dictionary if you are not a native speaker. That’s because words beginning with re- in English can, depending on the word, be pronounced with any of eight different vowels: /ra/ /rɑ̃/ /rɒ/ /re/ /rə/ /rɛ/ /ri/ /rɪ/ The last three or four at the end of that ...


6

You could use a simpler transcription, that, even if people were unfamiliar with the notation, would still convey that a difference exists: "tomāto, tomäto". The macron (overbar) indicating a long vowel was something I was taught in elementary school, and it's widely enough known that it sometimes gets used in brand names (pūr, fōn, etc). The diaeresis ...


6

There are ketchup, catsup, and catchup, all in the Merriam-Webster dictionary. And in fact, looking at Ngrams, all three spellings were reasonably common between 1910 and 1960, although catchup has become relatively rare today.


5

Here's a four-variant aerie/aery/eyrie/eyry http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/aerie https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/eyrie#English Though some dictionaries only list 3: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/aerie or 2: http://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/eyrie


4

I believe that this spelling error comes from the speech patterns of people who are unaware of the spelling (and consequently the pronunciation) of the phrase in its full form. They think that they are hearing "ex cetera" or something along those lines. It is the result of the same error by which some people come to pronounce espresso as "expresso" . Such ...


4

etymonline.com: 1840 (spacial is from 1838), "occupying space," from Latin spatium + adjectival suffix -al (1); formed in English as an adjective to space (n.), to go with temporal. Meaning "of or relating to space" is from 1857. Related: Spatially. The historical reason why spatial is usually written that way is simply its origins in the Latin word ...


4

It is likely I'm really psyched Excited, pumped up


2

The usage should depend on how the symbol would be spelled out. For example * is an asterisk. It is proper to say this is "an asterisk" so you would say an *. This is due to the way you would read it out loud. When reading: Every list item that is marked with an * is optional. I would say out loud: Every list item that is marked with an asterisk is ...


2

If "who is standing there" is a restrictive clause--if it provides information that is necessary to distinguish the subject from others of the same type--you don't use commas. This is the scenario you're probably thinking of. If, on the other hand, the clause merely provides additional but unnecessary information, it is a non-restrictive clause and should ...


2

Others have pointed out the difference, as being American vs British. You asked also about the trend. One way to get an idea, yourself, is to use Google Ngram. If you type color and colour into it, for example, you get this graph, which shows that color seems to be gaining in usage over colour in both US English and British English. But not so, for labor ...


2

I'm not even going to mention the fact that "o" is American English and "ou" is British English, as it has been mentioned by every other answer. (Whoops! I just mentioned it;) But since you asked for trends -- I've noticed that in America, "o" is used almost exclusively, except for instances where people try to sound fancy and/or formal, such as wedding ...


1

I think it's worth noting that when I saw this thread in my weekly email, I (and no doubt many others) knew exactly what it referred to. It's highly likely that in my mind's ear, I heard it with the "correct" pronunciation, despite the absence of any phonetic indicators. That suggests that context matters, and that simply writing 'potato-potato' might not be ...


1

Harold Wentworth, American Dialect Dictionary (1944) has an entry for young one, young'un, youngin, yo'ng-un, yougern, n. A child. with citations to instances of multiple additional spellings as well between 1840 and 1941. Since the spellings in all instances except "young one" are imitative of the way people pronounce the term in spoken English and ...


1

As an informal turn of speech, it can be used to show that two or more parties are talking about basically the same thing but not in same exact terms, or not quite agreeing on the specifics. You could use color-colour or apologise-apologize, or one of many other spelling differences between AmE and BrE, to express the same thing. I don't think there ...


1

Representativity is valid morphologically and semantically. As for the "representativity" or representativeness debate, think of how wrong some of these word would sound ie "flexibileness" (sic) or intelligiblness (sic) or illegibileness (sic). No, adding -ness as an ending is not a panacea, and yes, the English language is more creative and adaptable than ...


1

My husband is Scottish (we live in England and I'm English)and he's just started to drink 'liquorice' tea. He asks me to make it and asks for 'lickeris' tea and when I say, you mean 'lickerish'? he insists that his way is the correct way to say it! I'd never heard it pronounced like that until now. I've always pronounced it 'lickerish'!


1

Unless you are their editor, or otherwise in a reasonable position to correct them -- or unless they have requested feedback -- you're unlikely to be able to fix the problem. Grumble and move on. (Personally, I think the best way to print this is to use the ligature: "&c." But the people who write "ect." would probably be completely baffled by this ...


1

Complacence refers total self-satisfaction, while complacency referring to a feeling of contentment or self-satisfaction, especially when coupled with an unawareness of danger or trouble, has a wider use and be expressed also with the following expressions: resting on one’s laurels: To be content with one’s present or past honors, ...


1

You can probably just add -ing and retain the sounded <e>. This would be the case for the verb recce, a clipping of recconoitre used in British English. I would write recceing. And in your case, karaokeing. In the past the hyphen was call into service for such situations (hence ski-ing) but we are less fond of hyphens these days. For the past tense ...



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