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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224 views

Pronunciation of “of” and “off”: Is the similarity of f=/v/, ff=/f/ to Welsh a coincidence?

In English, both f and ff are usually pronounced /f/, though there are of course exceptions. Probably the most common exception is of (/ɒv/ or /əv/), while off is of course /ɒf/. These two closely ...
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0answers
51 views

spelling: αs or α-s, when referring to alphas as in more than one alpha? [duplicate]

When referring the more than one alpha, is the correct spelling αs or α-s?
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1answer
65 views

Spelling out numbers that appear as written

Numbers under ten should definitely be spelled out, but what about the case where your use of them indicates how they exist in the thing you are describing? For example: “I stepped into the elevator ...
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3answers
233 views

Two Questions: Capitalization After Colon; Syntax and Punctuation [closed]

Before I begin, I just want to mention that my first question is not a duplicate of Should the first word after a colon be capitalized? The accepted answer to the aforementioned query states that “[i]...
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3answers
2k views

Why “sovereignty” instead of “sovereignity”?

The common form of forming noun from some adjectives is to add the suffix "-ity" as in "verbose" -> "verbosity", "national" -> "nationality". But why does "sovereign" becomes "sovereignty" instead of ...
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4answers
659 views

Are “mmm” and “hmm” the only words in the English language without vowel letters? [closed]

Somebody told me that "hmm" and "mmm" are the only words in the English language without a vowel. Is that true? If not, please provide counterexamples. No acronyms please. I am not looking for ...
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0answers
789 views

Can I use a question mark and the a comma or semicolon here? If not, how can I write this coherently?

What is the correct way to punctuate a sentence like the following? The problem of descrimpivity challenges us to answer the following questions: (1) which is more important, the bibble or the ...
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2answers
953 views

The history of the English “postmeridian”

There's a question on English Language Learners that's been making the rounds recently, it's been on the Hot Network Questions list since January 5 this year and has attracted something like 36,000 ...
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3answers
532 views

Why isn't “examine” pronounced like “exhamyne”? [closed]

Since "mine" sounds like: https://translate.google.com/#en/en/mine Then "examine" should sound like: https://translate.google.com/#en/en/exhamyne But it does not, why? To hear the pronunciations ...
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1answer
98 views

“Its” or “it’s” in “Getting Over It's IMPOSSIBLE PHYSICS!” [closed]

While browsing through YouTube, I came across a video titled “Getting Over It's IMPOSSIBLE PHYSICS!” which references to a new game titled “Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy”. My question is, ...
2
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1answer
120 views

Usage of words between underscores

I noticed that there is people writing words between underscores, such as in the LKML mailing list where Linus Torvalds used to use the following pattern in his message: _hope_, _names_, _I_, _one_ .. ...
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51 views

Why is it spelt “pronunciation”? [duplicate]

Interestingly I couldn't find a similar existing question here, so I'll ask. Why is "pronunciation" spelt thus if the root word is "pronounce", with an "o"? In other words, why is it not "...
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1answer
1k views

Which spelling should I use: “grass roots” or “grassroots”?

Both Oxford Online and Merriam-Webster dictionaries show grass roots with a space between the two words in the compound noun. But this ngram shows substantially more hits for grassroots without a ...
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1answer
2k views

Are “worshiping” and “worshipping” interchangeable? [closed]

Every online source seems to agree with the preconceived notion I had that the correct usage is "worshipping" with two p's, saying that "worshipping" is an exception to a rule about doubling the ...
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0answers
3k views

Difference between authentication and authentification? [duplicate]

Is there any difference between authentication and authentification? I was reading a question on SO where I saw somebody using 'authentication', was this a typo or dose these two words mean the same?
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1answer
1k views

Is it yada or yadda?

I was looking at a question on ELU, when I saw “yada yada”. My friends usually text me yadda yadda. So I looked on the internet. Urban dictionary says: yadda yadda yadda A phrase that means ...
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0answers
55 views

Why is the correct spelling of “referrer” with double “r”? [duplicate]

Why is the correct spelling of "referrer" with double "r"? Comparison with for example "referee" or "laborer" would lead one to conclude "referer" is the correct spelling. Is there some rule that ...
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1answer
47 views

Data Vs information [closed]

We have been using this for quite a long time,but still I need the minute difference so that I can use it based on context perfectly
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0answers
60 views

Difference between set up and setup? [duplicate]

I have been working on some piece of code recently, and I noticed a subtle tweak in the usage of a word. When creating a method about setting things in place, I noticed it was called setUp. In this ...
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1answer
3k views

Confusion between Grammar mistake and spelling mistake [closed]

I am preparing for Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academics for further study.I score less in spelling and I know that this forum is for English Language not for any 'test regarding English language ...
2
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1answer
42 views

Synonym of No in an escalating context

What is the exact spelling of the word pronounced [nei], when you mean to escalate your point by stating something, [nei] something with greater power ? Example: With this book you shall learn, [nei] ...
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1answer
256 views

Backburner, Back Burner or Back-Burner?

When in the context of Putting something on the *. which is correct? Backburner, Back Burner or Back-Burner? Are there international differences here, or are some of them really just wrong?
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0answers
49 views

Yours sincerely or Your's sincerely [duplicate]

Yours sincerely or Your's sincerely which one is correct when yyandou write complimentary close and how?
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2answers
982 views

Why is the noun for subscribe spelled subscription? ('b' vs 'p') [duplicate]

Why is the verb when paying for a service subscribe, but the noun form is subscription? Is there a rule that changes "b" to "p"?
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1answer
2k views

Why does “today’s lesson” seem to be possessive?

Why do we say the following? I'll have an hour's wait at the airport Today's lesson Yesterday's programme Two weeks' worth of groceries. They are not possessive, or are they? ...
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1answer
65 views

Is a hyphen required after “much”? [duplicate]

Compare the two phrases: ... at a much reduced price... versus ... at a much-reduced price... Is a hyphen required here or it's unnecessary?
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1answer
840 views

What do the parentheses inside quotation marks mean in this Dickens quote?

Miss Havisham had seen him as soon as I, and was (like everybody else) afraid of him. She made a strong attempt to compose herself, and stammered that he was as punctual as ever. "As punctual as ...
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1answer
10k views

What's the proper way to handwrite a lowercase letter A?

There were two ways of writing the letter A, as seen in figure 1 and figure 2. I'm a non-native English speaker and I was explicitly taught to write figure 2 by my Irish teacher. However, on computers ...
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1answer
58 views

Pulchraphilia or Pulchriphilia?

'Pulchraphilia' or 'Pulchriphilia' or 'Pulchrophilia'? Does anybody know what the spelling of such a word would be? Should I take the cue from the spelling of pulchritude and use an i, or is an a ...
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1answer
320 views

How should I spell this made up word that's a combination of “squeeze” and “snuggle”?

I hesitate to call this a portmanteau but my husband and I have been using a word since we met that is a combination of "squeeze" and "snuggle". Unfortunately, due to the letters involved, a word that'...
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4answers
822 views

How is “erm” pronounced in the UK, and why is it spelled that way?

I see the interjection "erm" written in internet forum posts fairly often, and I have occasionally seen it in British novels, in opinion pieces and articles on cultural topics in newspapers and ...
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1answer
1k views

Is it physics’s or physics’? [duplicate]

For a sentence such as "physics’ greatest...", would you use physics’s or physics’ ? Microsoft Word highlights physics's as incorrect; however, I have seen it be used.
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2answers
2k views

“The species/species'/species's survival…”

Ok, I am really confused regarding apostrophe with the s and the end of the word. I have looked through multiple sites only to see multiple viewpoints. And, on tests they test it differently. So, can ...
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1answer
381 views

Correct spelling of Chinese name in English? [closed]

In Buddhism, there is a deity called Skanda. In Chinese, his name is Wei Tuo. See for example this link https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skanda_(Buddhism) However, my question is, what is the actual ...
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1answer
1k views

When to use an apostrophe when your last name ends with an s [duplicate]

Shortly after my wedding day my wonderful mother-in-law sat me down to say that my new name Barnes was to be spelled (in Christmas Cards) Love from the Barnes'. She went on to explain that her German ...
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1answer
56 views

How to correctly write my t-shirt text? [closed]

I work in a school with different institutes (one for math, one for computer science, etc.). I like to print some t-shirts for an event. Our institute is called "IsMd", so i like to print t-shirts ...
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1answer
789 views

Why is it forbidden for English words to contain the same letter 3 times in a row?

I am wondering why it is forbidden for English to have the same three letters in a row, as in Goddessship? Why is it that words like Goddessship, frillless, beeeater, and skulllike either are ...
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0answers
34 views

Why does my spellcheck disallow themself, but not themselves? [duplicate]

When I type "themself" my computer browser spellchecker underlines it in red. It's an error. When I right click the word I'm offered 3 alternatives "them self", "them-self", and "themselves". Why is ...
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0answers
189 views

Terminal “f” versus “ff” in anglicized Russian surnames

Today, foreign names are anglicized more or less systematically from their original spelling: the Russian surname "Петров" generally becomes "Petrov", not the calqued "Peterson" or the more phonetic "...
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3answers
3k views

Wrot vs. Wrought?

I came across this word "wrot" while looking for information on plumbing fittings. For instance, the Copper Development Association has a page that includes the words Wrought (Wrot) copper ...
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1answer
390 views

Accidently vs accidentally [closed]

Is the form 'accidently' a correct adverb alternative to 'accidentally'? My kid got this as a spelling exercise and I never encountered the "short" form before. Is this a British thing?
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1answer
67 views

Phrases inside parenthesis and hyphens

I usually use parenthesis to add a sort of explanatory sentence in a passage... you know, the typical use (like this, for example). But then, I have seen in articles, and some other places I can't ...
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0answers
23 views

Are line references capitalised? [duplicate]

When I write, I treat references as though they are proper nouns; for example, Chapter 10, Section 10, Line 10, Page 10. (As opposed to chapter 10, section 10, line 10, page 10 - no capital letter.) [...
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2answers
110 views

What punctuation should I use? [closed]

What punctuation should I use here? Hester needs to be more grateful and focus on: her baby, Pearl; and her sewing.
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7answers
6k views

What happened to the “ch” in moschito?

Mosquito > Moschito > Mosquito /məˈskito/ — [mɒˈskiːtəʊ], [məˈskiːtəʊ], [mɒˈskitoʊ], [məˈskitoʊ] The name of this insect is spelled with the letters ‹qu› in several languages, including Catalan ...
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0answers
94 views

Rules for pronuciation [closed]

What are the pronunciation rules for words ending with the 's" sound ? I simply can not remember these rules and can not seem to find the answer in any of my text books. Can anyone by chance help or ...
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1answer
5k views

How to use rendezvous in its singular and plural forms?

While I was reading a book I encountered the use of the word rendezvous, this is originally a French word according to the dictionary. The usage in the book was plural followed by “are”. Let me ...
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2answers
35k views

Nana or Nanna? (When Referring to Grandmother)

So, according to the Oxford Dictionary (English Dictionary), Nana is defined as one's grandmother, and Nanna redirects to Nana. According to Dictionary.com (American Dictionary), Nana is one's ...
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1answer
41k views

Why is the plural form of piano “pianos” and not “pianoes”?

The rule says that if a singular noun ends in consonant + "o" then the plural form will be consonant + "oes". e.g. tomato => tomatoes. Then, why this rule does not apply to piano?
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2answers
3k views

Was Zink ever valid spelling for Zinc?

On the Genealogy & Family History Stack Exchange I asked What might 'pitt Zink' in 1873 South Australian diary mean? and the first answer I received more or less aligns with my thinking that Zink ...