Questions tagged [orthography]

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

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5answers
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What is the difference between a dieresis and an umlaut?

In my personal experience, many native speakers of U.S. English are familiar with the term "umlaut" as referring to the double dots above a letter, though they are not generally aware of its ...
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0answers
14 views

“Multiple step” syntax [closed]

How shall I write "multiple steps" in the following piece? a multiple-step process My first thought is "multiple-step" (singular, with hyphen) like I would write "two-step&...
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2answers
51 views

Is respect awarded, accorded or afforded?

I was revising a colleague's work, and saw the phrase "awarded the respect it deserves". This struck me as incorrect, but I was struck harder still by an uncertainty as to whether it ...
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0answers
29 views

Two-weeks' notice

For me it's uncountable, either two weeks' notice or two-week notice. Yet I've just come across two-weeks' notice. I cannot think of any similar examples. Is this used of the hyphen grammatical ?
1
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2answers
62 views

What rule governs “panic->panicking” and why? Would it apply to all -ic verbs? [duplicate]

It seems odd that the continual tense of "to panic" is "panicking". Or "picnic->picnicking". When did the "k" get added, and why? Surely the natural ...
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1answer
31 views

If I want to use “bountying” in a sentence, how might I construct a spelling for it? If not possible, what word could be used instead?

I frequently add bounties to Stack Exchange questions. I do a lot of bountying. I find this question fascinating and in need of bountying, but alas, I do not know how to attempt to spell bountying and ...
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1answer
65 views

Why do some spell checker mark “copiable” as an error?

Some of my spell checkers (including the one in vim, and the build-in one in gmail) mark the form "copiable" as an error, and insist on "copyable". This doesn't seem to make sense; ...
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1answer
45 views

Luscious, Vicious, Delicious, Nutritious? Why not Nutricious? [closed]

Why is nutritious spelled as such, and not as nutricious? What's the rule I'm missing here?
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0answers
22 views

Question Regarding Punctuation and Quotation Mark

I'm struggling to recall the answers to the questions below. Any assistance would be wonderful! Thanks! Does the comma go inside or outside the quotation mark in the sentence below? I submitted my ...
1
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1answer
37 views

Hyphenation usage in US English [duplicate]

I am writing my Ph.D. Thesis in US English and have two questions on hyphenating. Would it be re-entry or reentry? Would it be (re)training or (re-)training? Or would it be retraining at all times? ...
0
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3answers
88 views

In British English, is “bail” or “bale” more common? [closed]

In American English, let's say we have something like Dude, I want to leave this party. Let's bail. This holds up in various American dictionaries (with the exception of to bale out of an airplane, ...
1
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0answers
39 views

What's the origin of “-er” vs. “-re” endings?

There's some words that end in "er" or "re" depending on the word, and depending on what country you learned English from. There's words like reader with the "er" ending, ...
17
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4answers
3k views

Why was 'Jesus' spelt 'Jhesus' in Wycliffe's Bible?

I found that in Wycliffe's Bible, Jesus Christ is spelt as "Jhesu Crist". Why was it spelt with 'Jh' instead of 'J'?
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1answer
47 views

Abbreviating “of course” to course or 'course - is apostrophe needed to indicate missing word?

I'm looking at some dialogue that has been written as "'Course not!". Is the apostrophe here - indicating the missing word "of" - correct, incorrect or optional for clarity? ...
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0answers
68 views

What’s going on with "hot -> heat”? [duplicate]

I am looking for a particular linguistic term for this process of turning words like hot into words like heat. English has a bunch of pairs like these: Hot -> heat Whole -> heal (Folk)lore ->...
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0answers
29 views

meridional or meridianal?

The wikipedia article on the history of the metric system uses the adjectives meridional and meridianal (as the metre was derived from the length of the meridian passing through Paris). Which is ...
-1
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1answer
106 views

Why are 'electric', 'electricity' and 'electrician' pronounced differently?

Why are the words electric, electricity and electrician pronounced differently? Electric -> /iˈlek.trɪk/ Electricity -> /ˌel.ɪkˈtrɪs.ə.ti/ Electrician -> /ˌɪl.ekˈtrɪʃ.ən/ My main question ...
5
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1answer
996 views

Rules for pronouncing the “gh” sound [duplicate]

In English, we have many words ending in or containing “gh”, but in some cases, the two letters are silent, while in others, it is pronounced as “f” . We have the words tough, rough, and draught, ...
0
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1answer
20 views

Adjective: attributive “leftover”, predicative “left over”

Wiktionary's entry for left over reads: Use left over after a verb, in a predicate phrase. When directly before a noun, use leftover. Is this a general productive pattern? Otherwise, any reference ...
2
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2answers
179 views

Why is letter E the most common used letter?

It is well known that the letter E is the most common letter. In my corpus, I found 12.478% of letters is letter E. What makes me surprise was 64.219% of words contain the letter E. I also found that ...
0
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0answers
41 views

“Bias”: reason(s) for doubling the last consonant before inflectional endings

Forms such as concussed or discusses may lead people to wrongly double the final consonant of focus ―at least that's the only reason I have come up with. Yet, I cannot come up with a potential ...
0
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1answer
58 views

<ie ⟷ y> before the ·ing suffix

Page 1579 of the CambridgeGEL reads For die the ie is the default spelling, so that the replacement works in the opposite direction: ie is replaced by y before the ·ing suffix. Why was a replacement ...
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2answers
27 views

Can 'postsynaptic' be written as 'post-synaptic'?

Under the heading "Excitatory and inhibitory postsynaptic potentials" in this article on Khan Academy, the word 'postsynaptic' is written with and without a hyphen. Does this imply that both ...
1
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1answer
176 views

Is “bestfriend” an acceptable spelling now?

I'm a non-native speaker and I'd like to know if it has been grammatically acceptable in the UK or the US to write "best friend" as "bestfriend". I've seen such spelling used a lot ...
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0answers
63 views

How did English final /əl/ come to usually be spelled “le”?

English has suffixes spelled "-le" and pronounced /əl/ with several meanings. However, they variously come from Old English -el, -ol, -ul, and -lian. Of these, only -lian has a vowel after ...
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0answers
26 views

Captialization after a colon

Should I captialize the word after a colon if its a dependent clause? For example You are banned: violating our Terms and Services. OR You are banned: Violating our Terms and Services. Which one ...
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0answers
43 views

Spelling “-sed”, like in analysed, for some other words

I'm writing a paper in Brithish English so I write "analysed" instead of "analyzed" but there are some other words that I'm not certain what would be the appropriate spelling, ...
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2answers
40 views

these are the people or this is the people?

In the following paragraph, it is correct to write: ...that this is the people who I want to learn from? or instead it should be.... that these are the people who I want to learn from? The high level ...
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0answers
36 views

Is a punctuation error also a morphological error at the same time?

Are punctuation errors counted as morphological errors? For example, is writing Johns car instead of John's car a morphological error?
0
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1answer
26 views

Photosynthesizing (American English vs British English) [closed]

For British English, does the word photosynthesizing include a 'z'? Or is this the American English spelling?
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0answers
10 views

Markup vs mark-up vs. mark up for prices [duplicate]

I am very confused by the use of the above three terms. According to wikipedia "A markup is the difference between the selling price of a good or service and cost". However, I very often see the use ...
3
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1answer
169 views

Why does the noun “assumption” lose the “p” when it goes to verb form: “assume?”

Nouns such as "consumption," "assumption," and "presumption" all have the letter "p" but their verb forms, "consume," "assume," and "presume" do not. Why is that? Is there a simple linguistics reason?...
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2answers
36 views

Can we use “Person's name, When he verb to …”

Can we say for example "Oussama, when he wants to do something he does it" rather than "When Oussama wants to do something he does it"? What is the correct sentence grammatically, because someone ...
0
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2answers
170 views

Why is the 'cy' in cycle and cynic pronounced differently

Consider the following example: Cynic → /ˈsɪn.ɪk/ Cylinder → /ˈsɪl.ɪn.də(r)/ Cycle → /ˈsʌɪk(ə)l/ Cynic and cylinider are stressed on first syllables yet the cy is pronounced /sɪ/ and not /saɪ/ (as ...
2
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1answer
76 views

Why is h silent in honor but not in hone

Hone and honor both start with "hon" but h is silent in honor but not in hone. I googled it and searched everywhere but didn't find the answer. Can you help me please?
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2answers
4k views

Why does “signature” have a “g” sound but “sign” doesn't?

The following words don't have /g/ sound: sign, resign, design. But why is there a "g" sound in the following derived words? Signature, resignation, designate. I searched their etymologies because I ...
2
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3answers
189 views

Reduction of diphthongs to short vowels (/waɪz/ -> /'wɪz.əd/)

I've noticed this phenomenon / process in many words where a diphthong (or a long vowel as well?) reduces to a short vowel when it's inflected. Consider the following examples: Pronounce /...
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5answers
3k views

Why do words that end with “gue” sound different? [closed]

Why do some words ending with "gue" sound different from other similar words? Examples: rogue and argue. Rogue -> /'rəʊɡ/ Argue -> /ˈɑːɡjuː/ They both sound different. What's the reason?
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3answers
141 views

Why did 's' in 'wisard' change to 'z'

Wizard: a man in stories who has magic powers someone who is very good at something Origin and usage: The word wizard comes from the Middle English word 'wys' meaning 'wise'. In this sense, it first ...
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0answers
15 views

“Tired of” or “tired from”? [duplicate]

Which is correct to say... are you not tired of being in pain because of football or are you not tired from being in pain because of football?
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7answers
6k views

WhAt iS tHiS kINd oF caPiTaLiSAtIOn cAlLeD? - random capitalisation or intermittent capitalisation

We have upper case and lower case in English — Letter case Examples: UPPER CASE, lower case. We have word lengthening/ word elongation. Examples: Nooooooooooooooooooooo, hiiiiiiiiiiii, ...
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1answer
44 views

Can there be a circonflex on a “w” in Welsh? [closed]

Consider the page Wrexham Glyndŵr University. Why is there a circonflex on the w? Does this exist in Welsh spelling?
1
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3answers
291 views

Why don't we double the final consonant in the word cooking

SO here is the rule I find about doubling consonant if a word ends with a short vowel sound plus a consonant, and the stress is on the last syllable, then the final consonant is doubled if you add ...
0
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1answer
90 views

Why is the word “triple” spelt with 1 p although tri is an open syllable?

nipple has a double p. tripod and triangle are pronounced tr/I/
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2answers
82 views

Modelling or modeling? [closed]

When I want to talk about creating a structural model of a building or bridge, should I say modelling the structure or modeling the structure?
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0answers
39 views

Hyper-parameter or hyperparameter - which one is correct?

Question Which form is correct: hyper-parameter or hyperparameter? What I found I searched a few sources and it seems that both spelling are commonly used: hyper-parameter big conference paper (...
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1answer
76 views

Is “pronunciable” or “pronounceable” more correct, considering etymology?

The former seems more natural to me, and is personally what I've used, but the latter is easier to pronounce.
4
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1answer
129 views

Why did the “-re” spelling persist in the British spelling of some words?

The -re ending in British English spelling derives from French -re. However, most French loanwords originally ending in -re in Old/Middle French or Anglo-Norman had their spelling changed to -er in ...
0
votes
2answers
161 views

-t- and -tt- in present participle and past participle of words

Why present participle and past participle of some verbs have -tt- and others have -t-? Examples: accept -> accepted, interpret -> interpreted, elicit -> elicited have -t-. Admit -> admitted, submit ...
2
votes
1answer
146 views

Why some words ending in -ke become -cable (and/or -cative), while others become -kable (or -keable)

Today I learnt that revoke + able would make revocable. What's the reasoning for this? Are there any other examples like this?

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