1

In creating a new English word, when does one use the suffix of -matic vs -metic?

As an example: Why or how does one get arithmetic from a root word of arithmos?

On the origins of the word "arithmetic" vs "arithmatic":

  • Why is the suffix -metic? And not -matic?
  • Why not arithmos-tic?

--

Note, this is a legitimate question regarding the etymology of a English word, that (albeit it) may have Greek origins, still belongs more here than elsewhere.

7
  • Are you referring to the noun, the adjective or both. The noun ("we studied arithmetic today") and adjective ("the following sequence is an example of an arithmetic progression") have the same spelling but different pronunciation.
    – BoldBen
    Nov 15 '21 at 8:34
  • 2
    There isn't a word 'arithmatic' revealed by a dictionary search (only four references, all saying 'not found'), but there was an early computer language called ARITH-MATIC. Nov 15 '21 at 8:57
  • 1
    The etymology of 'arithmetic' is given here, but as to why – because it did. Nov 15 '21 at 9:05
  • Why was this question closed? Specifically I am curious about the etymology.
    – ina
    Nov 16 '21 at 1:51
  • @WeatherVane yes, anyone can google the etymology, but that doesn't answer my question on how it came to be.
    – ina
    Nov 16 '21 at 1:55
0

"Arithmatic" is a misspelling of arithmetic

In my dialect of American English, when used as an adjective, like in arithmetic progression, it is pronounced as /æɹ.ɪθ.ˈmæ.tɪk/, unlike the noun version: /ə.'ɹɪθ.mə.tɪk/.

7
  • 1
    This doesn't address the question, which asks why the correct spelling isn't arithmatic.
    – Chenmunka
    Nov 15 '21 at 9:59
  • 1
    Questions about why a certain word is not spelled a certain way have no answers. Naturally they aren't addressed seriously. Nov 15 '21 at 16:27
  • @JohnLawler This isn't just any word. This word seems rather an exceptional one, due to its commonness.
    – ina
    Nov 16 '21 at 1:58
  • Perhaps it used to be common; but nowadays it's usually just called "math" (or "maths" in the UK). Nov 16 '21 at 15:30
  • What is your dialect (which pronounces it '/æɹ.ɪθ.ˈmæ.tɪk/ progression')? I've never heard that before. I think I've only ever heard '/æɹ.ɪθ.ˈmɛ.tɪk/ progression' GenAmE (the DRESS vowel).
    – Mitch
    Nov 16 '21 at 15:46

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.