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
43 views

How did the unusual German-influenced words "spruik" and "spruiker" end up in Aussie and New Zealand slang?

I've recently come across the words spruik and spruiker that are used in Australian and New Zealand slang. Spruik has a quite unusual formation as it is extremely rare in English that a word ends with ...
user avatar
  • 54.3k
-2 votes
0 answers
24 views

Pluralization of a question in quotation marks

Is this grammatically correct? If not, how would I fix it? As I have advanced in my academic career, I have found that with each question answered comes a multitude of new "why?"s.
user avatar
  • 1
-1 votes
0 answers
24 views

Is "dataframe" written separately or combined? [closed]

I am not sure how to use this word in the text since we are writing compounds while writing code. Below is an example. In this example, while the top paragraph is separate, it is combined in the ...
user avatar
  • 11
1 vote
0 answers
61 views

Question about English Spelling. What is the rule for compound words? [closed]

This came up today because I couldn't determine if "handwriting" should be written as "hand writing" or "handwriting". I know now it's "handwriting". I also ...
user avatar
-1 votes
2 answers
375 views

Why are "just" and "justice" written with a "j", while "language" is written with a "g", when they all come from Latin?

The word "language" comes from Latin and is written with a "g". The adjective "just" and its noun form "justice" also come from Latin. These are the only words ...
user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
40 views

Which one is correct: "..., respectively, ..." or "..., respectively; ..."

I am trying to understand which one is correct: Calculation of A and B matrices requires solving an equation 1 and an inequality 2, respectively, which are known to be difficult in general. OR ...
user avatar
  • 169
6 votes
1 answer
213 views

When is "more than one" singular or plural?

I always learnt that "more than one" takes a singular verb because it is followed by a singular noun as in: more than one child has bad grades. But what happens when it is followed by a ...
user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
96 views

Does the spelling of suffixes change in some cases like prefixes?

I know that prefixes never change the spelling of the stem. However, their spelling changes in some cases. For example: well+come = welcome (not wellcome) all+ways = always (not allways) in+regular =...
user avatar
10 votes
2 answers
2k views

Why "monatomic" and not "monoatomic"?

"Mono" means singular, and "atomic" stands for the atom. So combining them will give a single atom - "monatomic". But why is this so? Why can't it be "monoatomic&...
user avatar
  • 791
3 votes
2 answers
153 views

Why is "hammock" spelled the way it is?

The word hammock comes from Spanish hamaca. type of hanging bed, 1650s, alteration of hamack, hamaca (1550s), from Spanish hamaca, from Arawakan (Haiti) word apparently meaning "fish nets" (...
user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
63 views

What is the difference between "presume" and "preassume"?

Preassume (third-person singular simple present preassumes, present participle preassuming, simple past and past participle preassumed) (transitive) To assume in advance; to presume. Wiktionary How ...
user avatar
  • 159
5 votes
1 answer
104 views

Meaning of 'the consonant s, which no more belongs to the word, than any other letter in the alphabet'

The following is a passage from Noah Webster's Preface to his Compendious Dictionary published in 1806. Could anyone help me understand the part of 'the consonant s, which no more belongs to the word, ...
user avatar
  • 819
0 votes
0 answers
24 views

"Past" as a Verb [duplicate]

I have come across a sentence in a financial media website Investopedia, which reads, "Time-barred debt is typically debt that has past the statute of limitations and cannot be collected." ...
user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
378 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
90 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
52 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
20 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
7 votes
1 answer
130 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
  • 71
1 vote
1 answer
56 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
78 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
58 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
46 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
97 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
58 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
147 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
487 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
  • 28.5k
4 votes
1 answer
397 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
  • 697
1 vote
0 answers
70 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
504 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
256 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
68 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
  • 2,237
0 votes
0 answers
62 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
69 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
138 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
30 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
3 votes
3 answers
210 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
448 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
  • 1,458
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
  • 16k
5 votes
1 answer
202 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
51 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
45 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
221 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
123 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
136 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

1
2 3 4 5
31