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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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1answer
35 views

“interactible” or “interactable”

I came across this when developing a computer system in an object-oriented way. That is grouping data and functionality which relate to each other into objects and give those objects names. Now, ...
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0answers
22 views

Writing letter name pronounciations in a simple way [duplicate]

Short version, I want to fill in this list of letter names suitable for use in dialog: ?, bee, cee, dee, eee?, eff, gee, aitch, eye, jay, kay, ell, em, en, oh, pee, queue/cue?, arr, ess, tee, you/yew?,...
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0answers
15 views

Lock picking, lockpicking, or lock-picking: Which is correct to use? [duplicate]

I am trying to identify which usage is correct or most common in American English: lock picking, lockpicking, or lock-picking. I found no results in Merriam-Webster online, and data from Google Ngram ...
4
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0answers
64 views

Use of superscript 'x'(?) as an abbreviation for 'yards'

I'm currently working with some handwritten notes that look like they could be quite old, or at least written by somebody who grew up a little bit earlier than I did. I don't really know when they ...
-1
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1answer
74 views

Should the first instance of an author-made word in a work use an accent mark? [closed]

If an author makes up proper nouns for their text, for example, Bilgebauth, should the very first instance in the text be typeset with an accent: Bilgebáuth to inform the reader of the proper stress ...
1
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1answer
50 views

Is “swap” an accepted alternate spelling for “swab” in Australian English?

A client from Australia sent us some documents that pretty consistently use "alcohol swap" to describe disinfecting wipes. So no, this is not a "what do I use if I don't have gin" type of situation; ...
0
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1answer
42 views

Capitalizing the first letter of each word in letter greeting [closed]

I have searched for an answer on the site, but all the questions I have found (e.g. this one) seem to be less general. Assuming that I'm writing a cover letter to join a team working on a project ...
0
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0answers
24 views

Macroregional or Macro-Regional?

I have searched for the correct spelling of "macroregional / macro-regional" on the Internet, but there are used both variants (sometimes even on the same website). Wiktionary spells it as "...
0
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0answers
44 views

Is “anymore” a word? [duplicate]

Quite often when I type the word "anymore" in software featuring built-in spell check, I get the following kind of warning: (this one is courtesy of TortoiseGit). i.e., the "anymore" word gets ...
0
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1answer
42 views

Hyphenate wrap-around porch? [duplicate]

I do not know if it is correct to use a hyphen between the words wrap, and around, in describing a porch that wraps around a house.
4
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3answers
168 views

Why is ‘Earth’ often spelt with a lowercase e, even when referring to the planet?

The word earth has several meanings; the most central one is ‘soil, dirt’, that thing we walk on when we’re outside. It’s also used as a name for the planet we live on. The Lexico definition for this ...
1
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1answer
48 views

Should a semicolon be used before both a coordinating conjunction and a conjunctive adverb?

Please see: http://academics.smcvt.edu/writingctr/semicolons.htm for reference. Now I understand that a semicolon could be used before a conjunctive adverb (eg: also, furthermore, therefore, etc..) ...
0
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1answer
59 views

Is there a Word to describe Words that have Differing Masculine and Feminine Forms?

Granted that English has few such words, blond/blonde and fiancé/fiancée are the only ones that immediately come to mind. Apart from calling them "words with gender-specific forms", the closest I've ...
3
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1answer
208 views

Why does the word “school” contain an 'h'?

Considering the low prevalence of words in English written with the letter combination "sch", why is the word "school" written the way it is, rather than simply "scool"? As far as I could tell, the ...
0
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2answers
143 views

Spelling of helium vs beryllium

Why is one of those spelled with a single L and not the other? For the etymology of Beryllium name it's unclear but could be either Greek or Latin, and Helium is named after Helios (so Greek here).
1
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1answer
51 views

Rase: another spelling of raze (literary) [closed]

Is the spelling using s as opposed to z really literary as the Microsoft® Encarta® 2009 purportedly explains? Raze 1. completely destroy place: to destroy or level a building or settlement ...
4
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1answer
44 views

What is it called when a prefix moved back for alphabetic sorting purposes?

I have seen this many times, but I am not sure what to call this. For example, the People's Republic of China is often written as China, People's Republic of. Thanks in advance!
13
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2answers
3k views

How did “ordnance” lose the “i”?

All the dictionaries and etymology sites I've checked say that the word ordnance, meaning weapons and ammunition, was derived from ordinance, which means a regulation or law. Etymonline says that the ...
1
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0answers
31 views

Comma - American versus British, Really? [duplicate]

So, from my writing infancy, my High School Teacher Mom taught me never to place a comma before the conjunction in any list of more than 2 things and yet there seems to be quite some debate about it, ...
0
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0answers
21 views

Should I put a comma after “well”? [duplicate]

Good news. Peter is doing well(,) considering the circumstances.
0
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2answers
69 views

Can “either” be used as an adverb, and if so does it require, allow, or prohibit the use of a comma when so used?

Can either be used as an adverb, and if so, does it always take a comma when it is? And is the following statement correct in congruence with my question? I believe there is some mistake that I don't ...
0
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2answers
53 views

regarding the correct/incorrect use of the comma [duplicate]

There is a building which is taller than all others known as the Burj Khalifa. Is a comma necessary after "others", which makes the sentence: There is a building which is taller than all others, ...
0
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1answer
39 views

What's the proper plural for file extensions? [duplicate]

I have one .msi. Then I get another. Do I now have: two .msis or two .msi's or two '.msi's or something else?
0
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2answers
156 views

“One of my friends'” or “One of my friends's”? [closed]

When specifying possession, my understanding is that one adds an apostrophe if modifying a plural ending with an 's', or adds apostrophe followed by an s if not. How does one specify possession of one ...
1
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0answers
42 views

What is the correct use of hyphens and capitals in “Big Brother style pop competition”? [duplicate]

Not sure it technically should have any, but a Big Brother style pop competition feels like quite a mouthful as it is so I’m wondering whether hyphens might help. Also want to check the ...
25
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3answers
5k views

Why is there an extra “t” in Lemmatization?

When we say : Specify, it becomes Specification (no t) Value, it becomes Valuation (no t) Custom, it becomes Customization (no t) Lemma is a code used in programming, to describe the ...
1
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1answer
93 views

What is the plural form of musical score?

The title of a Spotify playlist from Disney is "Disney Score To Study To". The name surprised me because I would have thought it would be titled "Disney Scores To Study To". Seeing as this is an ...
6
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1answer
194 views

The spelling “ui” and the pronunciation /uː/ in juice, fruit, bruise, cruise, sluice, suit, nuisance, recruit, bruit

The words juice, fruit, bruise, cruise, sluice, suit, pursuit, suitcase, lawsuit, nuisance, recruit, bruit are spelled with ui and pronounced with the IPA phoneme /uː/. Full pronunciations from OED: ...
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2answers
53 views

spelling the word Resemblance with E

I came across 'resemblance' spelled as 'resemblence' in a set of Proficiency tests printed by Cambridge University Press. Since this spelling was kind of an eyesore, I looked it up and never found any ...
6
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1answer
275 views

How did “Papa” become “Pope”?

Pope, according to Etymonline is from: Old English papa (9c.), from Church Latin papa "bishop, pope" (in classical Latin, "tutor"), from Greek papas "patriarch, bishop," originally "father." ...
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0answers
55 views

Origin of “ight” [duplicate]

So many words end in "ight", such as "light", "might" and "sight". I am curious about this -- is there an etymological reason why "ight" is used for many seemingly disparate words? Thanks.
2
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2answers
730 views

NORMINAL — normal or with nominal mistake?

At the very end of the live-stream for the nominal SpaceX STP-2 mission, the presenter places what appears to be a baseball cap onto the table. It reads "NORMINAL" (sic). My first thought was how ...
10
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4answers
3k views

Spicket or spigot?

I recently was making a list and for the first time using a digital device, typed in what I grew up referring to an outdoor faucet 'spicket' as into my iPad. My mother grew up in Utah and my father ...
3
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1answer
92 views

How can enforce and reinforce have slightly different spelling and still be valid?

When I initially wrote inforce the dictionary told me that enforce was the correct word. However, when I wrote reenforce it told me that reinforce was the word I was looking for. So, I searched this ...
1
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1answer
181 views

Why is the Turkish president's surname is spelt in English as Erdogan, with g?

I recently got puzzled as to why American journalists spell the surname of the current Turkish president in articles written in English as Erdogan, with g (see, e.g., this article in New York Times). ...
1
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0answers
27 views

Is it ok to have a semicolon after a colon or em dash? (or other variations)

I've looked all over but have not found this example. Can one use a semicolon after a colon or em-dash (or similar doubling up combinations). Is it a matter of style or is there a fast rule? e.g.: ...
1
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0answers
48 views

Tying. Is Tieing really that unusual?

When tieing two things together, e.g: Two distinct ideas, but with a common theme tieing them together Tieing shoe laces is easy. I have always spelt it with an ie. Now I am being told by ...
2
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0answers
379 views

Pre-requisite vs prerequisite

Looking up this on English exchange I couldn't seem to find a single source of truth: Instance 1 - "Prerequisite" in search: "Prerequisite for" vs. "prerequisite to" Instance 2 - ...
3
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0answers
40 views

First use of capital letters [closed]

The first latin script which consisted of both majuscule and minuscule letters (lowercase and uppercase, or small and capital letters) is Carolingian minuscule. It is a fact. But what is unknown to me ...
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0answers
18 views

is it okay to start a paragraph with Due to? [duplicate]

Due to the severe foot injury, I was recommended to stay on bed rest for three months and also attend physical therapy to heal completely
2
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4answers
55 views

Prime-square or prime-squared? [closed]

I am not so sure which one is the correct spelling. When we try to say a square/cube of a prime, we should call it a "prime-squared/cubed" or a "prime-square/cube" number? It sounds to me that "...
2
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1answer
43 views

I am trying to find out if there is a convention of correctness for writing Arabic proper nouns starting with 'Al'

The news channel 'Al Jazeera' writes its name like I have i.e with a space between 'Al' and 'Jazeera', in text but in the logo it is 'ALJAZEERA'. One come across variations like 'Alqaeda', 'Al-Qaeda', ...
1
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0answers
47 views

Spelling changes

There was a word I learned to spell when I was 11 in which there was a silent G. It is no longer used. Right now I cannot remember the word, but I am interested in finding out how to locate U.S. ...
4
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1answer
2k views

The meaning of the Middle English word “king” [closed]

Why was the word (?verb?) "king" used in this (page 63) Mk.2:6 part of the Wycliffe Bible? The King James Version Mk.2:6 But there were certain of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their ...
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0answers
37 views

The name of the letter, which is related to two English letters “gh” [duplicate]

What is the name of the marked letter, which in my opinion relates to the two modern English letters "gh"?
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1answer
93 views

The etymology and the Middle English spelling of “beginning” [closed]

This question is about historical spelling, but in my opinion the knowledge of the historical spelling relates with the etymology knowledge. The questions are: 1. Is the fourth letter in image 1 (y) ...
2
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2answers
186 views

What is the use of the double L in Llama and double A in Aardvark? [duplicate]

Always wanted a clear explanation as to why these animals had double letters at the beginning of the spelling. What’s up with that?
0
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1answer
63 views

“Sic on” or “Sick on”? [closed]

What is the actual spelling of "sic"/"sick" in a phrase like "I will sic my dog on you"? This is a tricky one to look up in an online dictionary, every match seems to be referring to an editor's mark ...
0
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2answers
92 views

Is it deodoriser/deodorizer/deodouriser/deodourizer? In British English as well as American [closed]

British English would usually use "-our" and "-ser" and American English would use "-or" and "-zer". I don't seem to find an appropriate answer to this. Which combination is actually correct for ...
0
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2answers
83 views

Should it be “doxxed/doxxing” or “doxed/doxing”?

The Oxford Style Guide says, for example, that: When the final consonant is w, x, or y this is not doubled: tow, towing, towed vex, vexing, vexed However, it seems that doxxed/doxxing ...