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

5
votes
2answers
312 views

Is “buffeted” the AmE version of the BrE word “buffetted”?

I am referring to the use of the verb "to buffet" meaning "(especially of wind or waves) strike repeatedly and violently; batter." The use of "buffeted" and "buffeting" is widespread. However use ...
1
vote
0answers
22 views

I know a word when I see it , but do not know how to spell it on my own [on hold]

What is it called when you know a word when you see it. But can not spell it on your own
11
votes
3answers
859 views

“Shaw” → “Shavian” – why “v”?

The spelling for the adjective derived from the name Shaw is Shavian and not Shawian. Similarly you can find Arrow → Arrovian and Harrow → Harrovian. This strikes me as odd. First of all, I accept ...
-4
votes
1answer
40 views

initialised or initialized which one is correct spelling? [duplicate]

I have often seen initialised in lots of text, but when I want to write it in Microsoft office word, it says it was misspelled and it should be initialized instead of initialised. so here is my ...
0
votes
3answers
103 views

“Sassanian” vs. “Sasanian”: Which one is more accurate? With one “s” or two?

Sassanian: Webster. Sasanian: Wikipedia. I am really confused which one is more accurate... Even the pronunciations are different.
-1
votes
0answers
26 views

How do you correctly show ownership of “one of the others”?

An similar but different example I know of is: We put cheese on each other's sandwiches. This is 's because "each other" is the singular usage. reference However, what happens when we want to ...
0
votes
1answer
33 views

“Open source” or “open-source”? [duplicate]

Would you say both are correct? I have a doubt about "open-source", but I've seen it quite a lot. Thank you.
2
votes
1answer
62 views

When do I use æ?

I've always seen this letter but didn't start learning about it until 10 minutes ago. What I was wondering most was when to use it. I have found some conflicting sources about it so if anyone could ...
0
votes
2answers
32 views

Using a designer's name or brand name as a substitute for the product itself

Example: A character owns a pair of Sophia Loren sunglasses. Before going out for the afternoon, "She drew on her Sophia Loren’s, flipped her long mane back, and tossed him a cheeky grin." If I'm not ...
0
votes
1answer
48 views

non taxable vs non-taxable [duplicate]

Is the correct usage of the non-taxable or nontaxable? I'm not sure what the correct use is. I want to say that it is with the hyphen however it ha become a debate that this could be incorrect.
26
votes
2answers
4k views

How did words like align get a g?

One answer for Is there an etymological explanation for the silent ‘g’ in “paradigm”? mentions that words such as align, apophthegm, arraign, assign, benign, campaign, consign, deign, design, ...
-2
votes
0answers
19 views

Mens vs. Men's vs. Mens' and Ladies vs. Ladies' vs. Lady's [duplicate]

MENS CLOSEST TO THE PIN CONTEST or MEN'S CLOSEST TO THE PIN CONTEST or MENS' CLOSEST TO THE PIN CONTEST also LADIES CLOSEST TO THE PIN CONTEST or LADIES' CLOSEST TO THE PIN CONTEST or LADY'S CLOSEST ...
19
votes
2answers
1k views

Is there an etymological explanation for the silent ‘g’ in “paradigm”?

Whenever I come across the word paradigm, I have to make a small conscious effort not to pronounce the letter ‘g’. In Italian, it is spelled paradigma and each letter is individually pronounced i.e. ...
1
vote
0answers
49 views

Consistency. If I write 'recognize' with a 'z' do I have to write 'characterize' with a 'z' too?

I'm translating a book and need to keep the English orthography consistent. I'm a native 'British English' speaker. I know in British English you can often use either 'ize' or 'ise' endings. My ...
0
votes
0answers
47 views

Is there a word that describes words that are/are not orthographically defective?

For example, in English words like "though" and "trough" are more orthographically defective (as one would not be able to discern pronunciation by spelling alone), while "sad" and "banana" are less ...
2
votes
1answer
91 views

Is “mediaeval” an outdated spelling of “medieval”?

I saw "mediaeval" on a Wikipedia page, and figuring it was a typo, edited it to "medieval", it was reverted as apparently mediaeval is the UK spelling. However, in all the dictionaries I've found from ...
1
vote
0answers
28 views

Examples and rules for one-letter change in spelling drastically changing pronunciation [closed]

I only have one example but it is striking for me as it showed how much I still do not know about spelling: breath /brɛθ/ vs. breathe /briːð/ Can you give more examples of this phenomenon? Are there ...
0
votes
4answers
79 views

If “cleanliness” is a word can I say something is “cleanly”?

As per the question, I might have spelt cleanly wrong...
0
votes
1answer
49 views

Reengineering or re-engineering?

I have seen both spellings of re-engineering used (with and without hyphen). Personally I prefer the hyphenated version as it aids with proper pronunciation of the word. Dictionary.com seems to ...
0
votes
2answers
56 views

If anonymous and anonymously are words, and so is onymous - why isn't onymously?

I need to write the following but apparently "onymously" isn't a word?... The user can post anonymously or onymously How can anonymously be ok to use - but not onymously? Can anyone suggest a ...
6
votes
1answer
87 views

What is the history of the spelling “imflammable” (with M instead of N)?

It's well known that some people find the presence of the in- prefix in inflammable to be confusing, and as a result, the form flammable has become more common over time. Although the spelling "...
0
votes
2answers
71 views

which one is correct and why “I will crack a joke or I will tell a joke” [duplicate]

This morning my bro told me “I will tell a joke” but my sister said “I will crack a joke.” I am confused. which one is right or why?
1
vote
2answers
67 views

Why is it necessary to continue to use the apostrophe in don't?

This is a case where afaik there is no existing word spelled "dont" which is confusing. Is there any evidence that this is becoming or will become acceptable spelling? More broadly, is texting and ...
0
votes
2answers
57 views

The term “ad hocness”

A strange compound of Latin and English. Reasonably common in epistemology and the philosophy of science. (Academic philosophers are not uneasy at creating new words when the need arises.) Questions: ...
0
votes
1answer
71 views

What is the proper usage of “high school” as an adjective?

I want to indicate that a friend's brother is in high school. For example, I was not close with my friend's high-school brother. Is this construction correct? Should it be high-schooler brother ...
1
vote
2answers
53 views

Uncataloged vs Uncatalogued?

I've googled around and is there a difference between these two spellings? Are both accepted. My initial instinct was that the first spelling is incorrect, but appears to have some usage.
0
votes
2answers
68 views

Could this use of “awhile” in a 1882 book be a mistake?

I found the following sentence in John Payne's translation of The Book of the Thousand Nights and One Night: So, when awhile of the night was past, he entered [...] I think I understand the ...
2
votes
3answers
80 views

Which is correct: “eucharistic” or “Eucharistic”? Or is there no hard rule? [closed]

Recently I have been writing a question at https://christianity.stackexchange.com. I have noticed that browser underlines word "eucharistic". As I am neither English nor catholic, I do not know any ...
0
votes
1answer
38 views

The correct way to refer to a drop list on a computer window?

For example: Type in the description for the event (or use the droplist to choose one of the predefined choices). My spellchecker is offering: drop list drop-list Isn't droplist valid?
2
votes
1answer
73 views

Defense vs. Defence in Canadian English

I recently came across this spelling of "defense/ce" in a Canadian newspaper: Canada is a close U.S. military ally and the top U.S. export market, more than the U.K., Japan and Germany combined. It ...
0
votes
0answers
33 views

Is the internet still capitalised in 2018?

I have seen two questions about this asked in 2010 and 2011. 2010: Should the words "internet" and "web" be capitalized? 2011: Capitalization of "Internet" The answers ...
0
votes
0answers
15 views

Why is high spelled that way? [duplicate]

Why is "high" pronounced "hiy" but is not spelled as the latter, but the former? Wouldn't "high" be read as "heeg-h" or "haig-h"? The other possible duplicate's examples all have a "t" prefixing, ...
0
votes
1answer
52 views

I'm looking for the spelling of the word which is pronounced [cashay] [closed]

I'm looking for the spelling of the word which is pronounced [cashay] and means "a desired status". eg. "being knowledgeable in popular TV shows has a certain [cashay] among teenagers today."
0
votes
2answers
75 views

Fractions without slash on road signs

According to the UK Department for Transport Traffic Signs Manual, distances in fractions of miles are written without the dividing line or slash on traffic signs: What is the linguistic (i.e. ...
0
votes
1answer
105 views

curios vs curious

Is the spelling "curios" acceptable? Someone has given the title "The curios case of ..." for his talk (it does not follow by Benjamin Button!). At first, I thought that it is a misspell but after ...
0
votes
1answer
45 views

Alternate spelling of maximize & minimize [duplicate]

So I was writing a document for a piece of coursework and I started to struggle for the right words when I found this: You can spell 'maximise' as opposed to 'maximize'. The word 'maximalize' exists,...
1
vote
0answers
38 views

Must or should you use a hyphen in *Turing-complete* and *Turing-completeness?* [duplicate]

Here's quite a good general answer of when and how to hyphenate. This makes me believe, that Turing-complete is correct, even though most people are not writing it this way. However, Turing-...
1
vote
1answer
38 views

Why are there different vowels in the words “podiatry, podium” and “pedicure, pedestrian”?

There are some words like "podiatry, podium" and "pedicure, pedestrian" which are etymologically cognate and very close in their semantics. At least, the first morpheme in all of them is the same. Why,...
2
votes
1answer
45 views

Older English Term

My question is about a word I heard the other day in an audio book. Phonetically, it sounded like "SAW-sir-us" and had to do with a soft souind of the wind, or a soft wooshing sound. I believe it's ...
3
votes
2answers
162 views

Is “Pre-Raphaelite” capitalized? [closed]

Is the art term "Pre-Raphaelite" capitalized or is it spelled "pre-Raphaelite"? What is the general policy for the orthography of "pre-"? For example, The Pre‑Raphaelites emphasized attention to ...
0
votes
0answers
32 views

Alphabet letters

Why are the uppercase forms of approx 50% of alphabet letters so different from the equivalent lower case ? ie A and a, N and n, Q and q
0
votes
1answer
518 views

Non-existing or nonexisting [closed]

What is correct in English, non-existing or nonexisting? Searching sources on Google doesn't help much as both variants are widely present there. Onelook Dictionary Search doesn't show much about ...
2
votes
4answers
206 views

Who changed the way vacumn was spelled 40 years ago?

I noticed Robin Michael, who is on this site, stated she learned to spell vacumn as did I in school around 40 years ago. I always scored the highest in my English class and won spelling bees back then....
0
votes
1answer
24 views

Comma needed when applying these 3 adjectives to a noun being introduced? [duplicate]

Copyediting this sentence: Create a new, integrated and dynamic platform I'm unsure if the comma after "new" is needed or not, or if one should go between "integrated and dynamic". Is the quoted ...
2
votes
1answer
31 views

spelling change from verb form to noun form [duplicate]

Is there a reason why the verb is ABSORB but in the noun form the B becomes a P---ABSORPTION?
0
votes
0answers
23 views

Use of “day of”, “then”, and “closer to” as an adverb

Suppose you're coordinating an event with friends. Someone might say any of the following: Let's sync up day of. Let's sync up then. Let's sync up closer to. I have a few questions: I hear (1) and (...
1
vote
2answers
193 views

Are there words other than “friend” where “ie” is pronounced as /ɛ/ (“short e”)?

Are there any words in English other than friend where the spelling "ie" corresponds to the "short e" sound /ɛ/?
3
votes
1answer
119 views

The pronunciation of final “s”

(First question ever.) Fellow friends, I've stumbled upon a weird quirk in this language whose spelling-pronunciation correspondence at times works in mysterious ways. How am I to know for sure ...
1
vote
3answers
278 views

The curious case of “UChi” and its pronunciation

The Free Dictionary tells me that UCHI is the acronym for The University of Chicago. But if that were the case, shouldn't it be TUOC? I visited the official university website and it says said Our ...
1
vote
0answers
86 views

Why does American English spell center, theater and fiber, but not spell “appel, middel and titel”? [closed]

Why does American English spell center, theater and fiber, but not spell "appel, middel and titel" ? Did Noah Webster never think about this question in his spelling reform?