Questions tagged [orthography]

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

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
0 votes
0 answers
9 views

Footnote style using asterisk should have space or no space between symbol and note? [migrated]

When referencing a footnote using an asterisk or other acceptable symbols such as dagger and double dagger, in the footnote itself do you put a space between the symbol and the note? Example: This is ...
user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
359 views

Why is "deterrence” spelt with two r's?

Looking at a medium-sized word list, all words are written "erence" with the exception of "deterrence" and the name "Terrence". I can find 50 words ending in "erence&...
user avatar
  • 267
46 votes
6 answers
7k views

How should I spell Zelensky?

Recently, Volodymyr Zelensky (for this question, I will use the shorter version of his name), the president of Ukraine, has been in the news frequently due to the war in his country. However, news ...
user avatar
  • 769
-1 votes
1 answer
87 views

Why does "know" start with k but "gnostic" start with g?

It appears that know and gnostic share the same etymology (PIE gnō, apparently through Greek gnōstikós). So how did they come to start with different letters?
user avatar
  • 1,314
0 votes
1 answer
50 views

Correct writing of "clinical- and policy-relevant evidence"

I'm struggling with concise writing of the following. None of the sentences "sound" nice. Could you give some guidance? A) There is a need for both clinically and policy-relevant evidence? ...
user avatar
  • 271
1 vote
0 answers
19 views

Is it wrong to skip the pronoun when writing in the first person? [duplicate]

When writing short texts, usually detailing something I have done, I tend to not use the "I" pronoun in front of verbs, usually in front of past-tense constructions. Have seen it in emails ...
user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
22 views

Clarification on double letters [duplicate]

Is it meeting your just “deserts” or “desserts”?
user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
104 views

Why are "er”, "ar” and "or" often listed as R-colored vowels but "air”, "ear" and "oor/ure" are not? Are they vowels or vowel+consonant?

NOTE: I speak a rhotic variety of English. I am struggling with how to explain r-coloured vowels/vocalic R to teachers during a presentation on the phonemes of English. Many grapheme-phoneme lists ...
user avatar
  • 61
1 vote
1 answer
51 views

Are there Canadians who actually spell "organiSe, organiSation" "recogniSe" "realiSe" "authoriSe" with an S instead of a Z? [closed]

I've been noticing that some of my fellow Canadians habitually spell words such as "organise, organisation" "realise" recognise""authorise" instead "organize, ...
user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
77 views

Why arithmetic does not end up with s? [duplicate]

Usually disciplines end up with s: mathematics, ballistics, genetics, gymnastics, linguistics, logistics, optics, politics, semantics, statistics, etc. A simple question: why did arithmetic not end up ...
user avatar
  • 129
1 vote
1 answer
56 views

Could a comma be used after a question mark? [duplicate]

I'm unsure if this is the appropriate community to ask this question, but it is related to punctuation (:-)). I'm currently doing research for a city council in my state, where I and my colleagues are ...
user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
39 views

Swap or Swop? Which do you use? Is one preferred or correct as opposed to the other or are both equally valid? [duplicate]

I see that there was some mention of this on this site 4 years ago. I am quite surprised to see that 'swap' appears to be the ordinary or dominant spelling and that 'swop' is a variant. In South ...
user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
89 views

Is the use of ‘ize’ ever standard for any word over the use of ‘ise’ in UK English? [duplicate]

Is there any occasion upon which in British English, the ‘z’ is normally used and the ending ‘ise’ would be incorrect?
user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
56 views

When to substitute ‘z’ for ‘s’ in American English [duplicate]

Is there a rule as regards substituting the ‘s’ for a ‘z’ in American usage or does it apply to all words ending ‘ise’?
user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
130 views

How did English come to use a variation of the Polish spelling for Czechoslovakia?

In English, and a few languages influenced by English (e.g. Malay, Samoan, Yoruba), the name of the former European country is spelled "Czechoslovakia". That isn't how it is spelled in other ...
user avatar
12 votes
3 answers
4k views

What constitutes humor on this "i before e" coffee mug text? [closed]

I saw this writing on a coffee mug, which is supposedly popular amongst linguists: i before e Except after C and also when you heinously seize your feisty foreign neighbor's conceited beige heifer ...
user avatar
5 votes
3 answers
450 views

Is there a (more-or-less) established spelling for “the us[ual]”?

Unusual orthography When you visit your local diner, or favorite bar, and the server wants to know if you’d like your standard order, the thing you always get, they’ll often inquire, in shorthand: ...
user avatar
  • 28.4k
4 votes
1 answer
391 views

How did English come to use a writing system which makes spelling it so hard?

Alphabetic writing systems use graphemes to represent phonemes. But in their “Psychology of Reading” chapter of 2003’s Encyclopedia of Cognitive Science, researchers Simon Garrod and Meredyth Daneman ...
user avatar
  • 687
1 vote
0 answers
63 views

Why didn't spelling of words keep track of pronunciation changes during the great vowel shift?

In the English language, words are written according to the way they were pronounced before the great vowel shift. Take e.g. the sentence: "I came from my house, now I'm here". If we ...
user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
402 views

One or two words: "Doorframe" or "Door frame"?

Is "doorframe" correct? Or is "door frame" correct? Merriam Webster is saying "doorframe" however every professional editing software I use flags the word doorframe as a ...
user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
243 views

Hobbes spelling inconsistency

I was reading Chapter 2 of Leviathan, on Page 17 of my edition (but I'm not sure if most editions have the same numbering). Hobbes spells the same word two different ways, "brain" and "...
user avatar
  • 133
0 votes
1 answer
66 views

Why is double -ll- used after a vowel digraph in "surveilled, surveilling"?

Why is the letter l double in the inflections of the verb surveil? It's not in those of (as)sail or veil, and AmE has canceled but mostly cancellation. It's a counterintuitive spelling similar to ...
user avatar
  • 2,187
0 votes
0 answers
50 views

Glamourisation/Glamorisation/Glamorization?

I ran into a problem whilst writing the word 'glamourisation'. I want to adhere to the British spelling, which I think would be with and but the Oxford English Dictionary has no entry for '...
user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
16 views

Plural "-i" vs. "-uses" [duplicate]

Similarly to Latin words with no plurals in English I still have trouble with some plurals when the word ends in -us. For example, I have often been told that the plural for cactus is cacti, but then ...
user avatar
  • 1,006
-1 votes
1 answer
67 views

Accent marks on nouns [duplicate]

English does not use accent marks basically. However, some foreign names and nouns (like Dalí, Gaudí, café, fiancé) contain accents symbols. Then, the question is "is it ok to write without ...
user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
121 views

How does the word "today" make sense?

So I'm currently reading a book from the 1930s (Lost Horizon), where some language conventions are quite different than the language conventions I am used to today. One thing piqued my interest: The ...
user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
29 views

Can you ever place a comma ᴀꜰᴛᴇʀ the word "which"? [duplicate]

Is there any scenario in which a comma is used right after the word which? For example, is this sentence correctly written as is — or not? The sensitivity to material AAA, which, in fact, is ...
user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
21 views

correctness of "and the smallest last" vs "and the smallest, last"

Which is correct? If both are correct, is one more correct than the other? The largest pixie should be eaten first, and the smallest last. The largest pixie should be eaten first, and the smallest, ...
user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
161 views

Did quotation marks have other applications or uses, like for emphasis?

I have frequently observed instances of quotation marks being used in interesting ways, often with rather funny implications. Here are some notable examples of unnecessary or suspicious quotation ...
user avatar
2 votes
5 answers
395 views

Is the hyphen in the adjective phrase “just-[past participle]” mandatory?

I came across the following sentence: The target can be resolved through one of the just mentioned record types. I believe it should have been written as “… just-mentioned record types”, with a ...
user avatar
  • 1,438
1 vote
0 answers
73 views

What do we call the shift in the orthography of words like "cuppa, fella, attaboy and attagirl"? [duplicate]

I know that words like cuppa, fella, attaboy and attagirl are contractions of, respectively, cup of tea, fellow, that's the/a boy and that's the/a girl. I wonder if there is a term which would ...
user avatar
  • 12k
5 votes
1 answer
183 views

Why did word final S get replaced by "CE" in Middle and Modern English?

There are many words in English that have ce at the end in Modern English. The roots they have come from had s but replaced by ce in Modern English. Is there any reason why the s's got replaced by ce? ...
user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
43 views

'Frame' or "frames' of reference [duplicate]

I am stuck on whether to use 'frame' or 'frames' of reference. Example sentences: This study seeks to add value to the theologies of the Hebrew Scriptures in both its Hebrew and Greek frame/frames of ...
user avatar
  • 17
1 vote
0 answers
45 views

Georeferencing vs. Geo-referencing [closed]

What would be the correct spelling: georeferencing or geo-referencing? I'm writing my PhD on the topic and would prefer to write correctly, of course. Some research I've conducted already: Merriam-...
user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
44 views

"quantum mechanical" vs "quantum-mechanical" [duplicate]

I'm currently writing a short report, where one (sub-)chapter heading reads: The quantum(-)mechanical basics I am now wondering, whether it is preferable with or without the hyphen. When googling ...
user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
189 views

Capitalization of "neo-scholasticism" [duplicate]

Is the word 'neo-scholasticism' capitalized in academic writing, or not? It is lowercase in the Merriam Webster dictionary, but capitalized in the Collins English dictionary. So in a thesis, which ...
user avatar
  • 17
1 vote
0 answers
101 views

Why does ou change to o when adding the suffix -ous in words such as ‘humorous’?

Background I realised today that humour when made an adjective by adding the suffix -ous, loses its -ou- spelling to -o-. There are some other words which have a change in spelling, such as miracle → ...
user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
127 views

When is the "Short A" sound actually spelled with an AE?

I was reading a book on English spelling (Dictionary of the British English Spelling System, by Greg Brooks) and it mentioned that the Short A sound (æ) can be spelled using the following graphemes: ...
user avatar
  • 148
3 votes
1 answer
448 views

Why are "mobile" and "automobile" pronounced differently?

I just came across the words and then I looked them both up in the dictionary app, which shows the word "mobile" pronounces as /'məʊbaɪl/, whereas the other word-"automobile", ...
user avatar
-3 votes
4 answers
366 views

How do you tell a spelling mistake from a grammar mistake? [duplicate]

How do you tell a spelling mistake from a grammar mistake? For example: Your the best. This iz the end. I likes music. She preatend to be asleep. One method is to read the erroneous sentence aloud (...
user avatar
  • 138
5 votes
3 answers
506 views

Publick or Public? in the 18th and 19th Century Britain

The spelling of -ck was more popular than -c in many words in Britain. But in America, Noah Webster proposed around 1800 to replace -ck by -c, which caused the widespread of this -c spelling in US. In ...
user avatar
  • 767
4 votes
1 answer
142 views

Term for intentional inaccuracies that better convey meaning?

Is there a term or concept that describes instances where an author/speaker intentionally or knowingly uses wrong spelling/pronunciation/grammar because it better conveys the intended meaning, and is ...
user avatar
  • 411
1 vote
1 answer
133 views

Does English allow /eɪʃ/ in the end of a syllable (in the same syllable)?

The sound /ʃ/ is almost always spelled with more than one letter i.e. with a digraph unlike, say, /p/ which is spelled with a single letter (pan, pen, pie). I have noticed a particular pattern: vowels ...
user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
183 views

Which letters do not appear consecutively in English words?

Are there any letters in the English alphabet that never appear twice consecutively in a word? For example: the word running has the letter n repeated consecutively in it. What letters never appear in ...
user avatar
  • 147
0 votes
1 answer
149 views

How did words like rubbish, ribbon and cabbage get "BB"?

Certain words that have double B in Modern English didn't have "BB" in the word they are derived from. Rubbish: "c. 1400, robous, from Anglo-French rubouses" (Etymology Dictionary)...
user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
222 views

Approach to or for? [closed]

My sentence: ---The exploitation of natural and ecofriendly resources could be an alternative approach to creating a sustainable environment. Is the preposition correct or should I rearrange the ...
user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
125 views

Is counter example a valid form of counterexample?

In student writing about math, I see the term "counter example" instead of "counterexample" too often. Does anyone have good ideas about why people think "counterexample" ...
user avatar
  • 111
0 votes
1 answer
55 views

which is correct here, break or broke? [closed]

which one is correct? "Steve was amazing before his leg break." "Steve was amazing before his leg broke."
user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
457 views

Why does the word ‘suffix’ have a double ‘ff’ while ‘prefix’ has a single ‘f’?

While writing the word ‘suffix’, I stopped to do a spellcheck as a result of the ‘ff’. I did not do so with the word ‘prefix’ as I was comfortable with the ‘pre’ and ‘fix’. I looked up ‘ff’ vs. ‘f’ ...
user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
123 views

Cosmetics: Make up, make-up, or makeup? [closed]

When referring to cosmetics, which is correct? Make up, make-up, or makeup? And does it matter in case of a noun, verb, adjective? The actor playing Frankenstein's monster wore 6 pounds of [makeup | ...
user avatar

1
2 3 4 5
31