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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32 views

Is it Pharaoh or Pharoah? [closed]

I know it is the first one but I was doing a test and it said which is the correct spelling. The options were Paroah, Phahoa and Pharoah. I pressed the last one and it was surprisingly correct. Please ...
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3answers
84 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, ...
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25 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, ...
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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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35 views

Conveying the spelling of a word by pronouncing it as-written instead of following any pronunciation rules

When I talk to people who speak not only English, but also some other language in which pronunciation of words is tied more strictly to particular letters of which the word is composed, like Russian ...
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1answer
39 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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66 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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25 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 ...
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1answer
90 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 ...
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1answer
853 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, ...
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1answer
18 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 ...
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2answers
160 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 ...
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39 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 ...
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1answer
54 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
23 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 ...
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1answer
45 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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60 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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25 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
39 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
37 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
34 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?
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1answer
23 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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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 ...
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1answer
164 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
35 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 ...
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42 views

Why is 'equation' pronounced with /ʒ/ sound rather than /ʃ/

We often make nouns by adding the suffix -tion to verbs. Almost all the words that end in -tion are pronounced with /ʃ/ sound. Examples: Inform + tion → information /ɪnfəˈmeɪʃ(ə)n/ Relate + ...
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2answers
156 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 ...
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1answer
63 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
159 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
116 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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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
41 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?
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3answers
218 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 ...
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1answer
56 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
77 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
23 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
69 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.
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1answer
128 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 ...
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2answers
139 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 ...
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1answer
143 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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2answers
40 views

Should I say “One-Click RemovER” or “One-Click RemovAL”?

I'm building a software and am wondering if I should say "remover" or "removal" for its name. What is the correct way to describe the process? "One Click Color Removal" or "One Click Color Remover"?
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1answer
53 views

What is the proper way to spell and pronounce the name Yoanna or some certain names?

My name is "Yoanna" but I am not sure of how to pronounce or spell it properly in English. It is derived from "Joanna". Should I write it "Joanna" and pronounce it "Yoanna" or do I stick with "Yoanna" ...
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0answers
57 views

'MURDER“ or ”MURTHER" ? — Question on when distinct (archaic) spellings for words were used and when not

Salutations, I am currently writing a play that is being regulated to the very distinct notions of authentically replicating the English language and its archaic spellings during its usage in London, ...
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2answers
1k views

Is it CoViD? Or COVID? Covid? How should the word be spelled?

I have seen it spelled COVID-19, but I have also seen Covid-19. In addition, I believe I have seen CoViD-19, capitalising only the first letter of each word from which it was abbreviated (for it isn't ...
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0answers
12 views

What is the correct spelling of two fold? [duplicate]

Two fold, twofold, or two-fold: which one is the best option?
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2answers
55 views

Question on spelling “two drink minimum” (two-word adjectives) [duplicate]

Due to an argument, I must ask: Is it "two-drink minimum" or "two drink minimum"? Are both valid? To me, the latter feels wrong because it has neither plural on "drink" nor the dash/hyphen to imply ...
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0answers
51 views

the plural of the name of the letter e is ees [duplicate]

According to the wikipedia article of letter e The plural of the name of the letter e is ees (the plural of the letter itself is rendered E's, Es, e's, es). Therefore, is ees then a regular ...

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