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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5
votes
2answers
386 views

Is “buffeted” the AmE version of the BrE word “buffetted”?

I am referring to the use of the verb "to buffet" meaning "(especially of wind or waves) strike repeatedly and violently; batter." The use of "buffeted" and "buffeting" is widespread. However use ...
12
votes
3answers
985 views

“Shaw” → “Shavian” – why “v”?

The spelling for the adjective derived from the name Shaw is Shavian and not Shawian. Similarly you can find Arrow → Arrovian and Harrow → Harrovian. This strikes me as odd. First of all, I accept ...
-3
votes
1answer
3k views

initialised or initialized which one is correct spelling? [duplicate]

I have often seen initialised in lots of text, but when I want to write it in Microsoft office word, it says it was misspelled and it should be initialized instead of initialised. so here is my ...
0
votes
3answers
141 views

“Sassanian” vs. “Sasanian”: Which one is more accurate? With one “s” or two?

Sassanian: Webster. Sasanian: Wikipedia. I am really confused which one is more accurate... Even the pronunciations are different.
0
votes
1answer
162 views

“Open source” or “open-source”? [duplicate]

Would you say both are correct? I have a doubt about "open-source", but I've seen it quite a lot. Thank you.
2
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1answer
692 views

When do I use æ?

I've always seen this letter but didn't start learning about it until 10 minutes ago. What I was wondering most was when to use it. I have found some conflicting sources about it so if anyone could ...
2
votes
2answers
153 views

Using a designer's name or brand name as a substitute for the product itself

Example: A character owns a pair of Sophia Loren sunglasses. Before going out for the afternoon, "She drew on her Sophia Loren’s, flipped her long mane back, and tossed him a cheeky grin." If I'm not ...
0
votes
1answer
100 views

non taxable vs non-taxable [duplicate]

Is the correct usage of the non-taxable or nontaxable? I'm not sure what the correct use is. I want to say that it is with the hyphen however it ha become a debate that this could be incorrect.
26
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2answers
5k views

How did words like align get a g?

One answer for Is there an etymological explanation for the silent ‘g’ in “paradigm”? mentions that words such as align, apophthegm, arraign, assign, benign, campaign, consign, deign, design, ...
22
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2answers
3k views

Is there an etymological explanation for the silent ‘g’ in “paradigm”?

Whenever I come across the word paradigm, I have to make a small conscious effort not to pronounce the letter ‘g’. In Italian, it is spelled paradigma and each letter is individually pronounced i.e. ...
0
votes
1answer
42 views

When did 'some one' turn to 'someone'?

I was recently reading a book from sometime in the first half of the 20th century and I noticed that the word ‘someone’ was spelled separately as ‘some one’. Was there an official change at some ...
1
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0answers
66 views

Consistency. If I write 'recognize' with a 'z' do I have to write 'characterize' with a 'z' too?

I'm translating a book and need to keep the English orthography consistent. I'm a native 'British English' speaker. I know in British English you can often use either 'ize' or 'ise' endings. My ...
2
votes
1answer
508 views

Is “mediaeval” an outdated spelling of “medieval”?

I saw "mediaeval" on a Wikipedia page, and figuring it was a typo, edited it to "medieval", it was reverted as apparently mediaeval is the UK spelling. However, in all the dictionaries I've found from ...
0
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4answers
610 views

If “cleanliness” is a word can I say something is “cleanly”?

As per the question, I might have spelt cleanly wrong...
0
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1answer
707 views

Reengineering or re-engineering?

I have seen both spellings of re-engineering used (with and without hyphen). Personally I prefer the hyphenated version as it aids with proper pronunciation of the word. Dictionary.com seems to ...
0
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2answers
104 views

If anonymous and anonymously are words, and so is onymous - why isn't onymously?

I need to write the following but apparently "onymously" isn't a word?... The user can post anonymously or onymously How can anonymously be ok to use - but not onymously? Can anyone suggest a ...
9
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2answers
1k views

What is the history of the spelling “imflammable” (with M instead of N)?

It's well known that some people find the presence of the in- prefix in inflammable to be confusing, and as a result, the form flammable has become more common over time. Although the spelling "...
0
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2answers
770 views

which one is correct and why “I will crack a joke or I will tell a joke” [duplicate]

This morning my bro told me “I will tell a joke” but my sister said “I will crack a joke.” I am confused. which one is right or why?
1
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2answers
113 views

Why is it necessary to continue to use the apostrophe in don't?

This is a case where afaik there is no existing word spelled "dont" which is confusing. Is there any evidence that this is becoming or will become acceptable spelling? More broadly, is texting and ...
0
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2answers
110 views

The term “ad hocness”

A strange compound of Latin and English. Reasonably common in epistemology and the philosophy of science. (Academic philosophers are not uneasy at creating new words when the need arises.) Questions: ...
0
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1answer
334 views

What is the proper usage of “high school” as an adjective?

I want to indicate that a friend's brother is in high school. For example, I was not close with my friend's high-school brother. Is this construction correct? Should it be high-schooler brother ...
1
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2answers
296 views

Uncataloged vs Uncatalogued?

I've googled around and is there a difference between these two spellings? Are both accepted. My initial instinct was that the first spelling is incorrect, but appears to have some usage.
0
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2answers
80 views

Could this use of “awhile” in a 1882 book be a mistake?

I found the following sentence in John Payne's translation of The Book of the Thousand Nights and One Night: So, when awhile of the night was past, he entered [...] I think I understand the ...
2
votes
3answers
711 views

Which is correct: “eucharistic” or “Eucharistic”? Or is there no hard rule? [closed]

Recently I have been writing a question at https://christianity.stackexchange.com. I have noticed that browser underlines word "eucharistic". As I am neither English nor catholic, I do not know any ...
0
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1answer
42 views

The correct way to refer to a drop list on a computer window?

For example: Type in the description for the event (or use the droplist to choose one of the predefined choices). My spellchecker is offering: drop list drop-list Isn't droplist valid?
2
votes
1answer
651 views

Defense vs. Defence in Canadian English

I recently came across this spelling of "defense/ce" in a Canadian newspaper: Canada is a close U.S. military ally and the top U.S. export market, more than the U.K., Japan and Germany combined. It ...
0
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0answers
16 views

Why is high spelled that way? [duplicate]

Why is "high" pronounced "hiy" but is not spelled as the latter, but the former? Wouldn't "high" be read as "heeg-h" or "haig-h"? The other possible duplicate's examples all have a "t" prefixing, ...
0
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1answer
71 views

I'm looking for the spelling of the word which is pronounced [cashay] [closed]

I'm looking for the spelling of the word which is pronounced [cashay] and means "a desired status". eg. "being knowledgeable in popular TV shows has a certain [cashay] among teenagers today."
0
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2answers
177 views

Fractions without slash on road signs

According to the UK Department for Transport Traffic Signs Manual, distances in fractions of miles are written without the dividing line or slash on traffic signs: What is the linguistic (i.e. ...
0
votes
1answer
1k views

curios vs curious

Is the spelling "curios" acceptable? Someone has given the title "The curios case of ..." for his talk (it does not follow by Benjamin Button!). At first, I thought that it is a misspell but after ...
0
votes
1answer
103 views

Alternate spelling of maximize & minimize [duplicate]

So I was writing a document for a piece of coursework and I started to struggle for the right words when I found this: You can spell 'maximise' as opposed to 'maximize'. The word 'maximalize' exists,...
1
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0answers
43 views

Must or should you use a hyphen in *Turing-complete* and *Turing-completeness?* [duplicate]

Here's quite a good general answer of when and how to hyphenate. This makes me believe, that Turing-complete is correct, even though most people are not writing it this way. However, Turing-...
1
vote
1answer
65 views

Why are there different vowels in the words “podiatry, podium” and “pedicure, pedestrian”?

There are some words like "podiatry, podium" and "pedicure, pedestrian" which are etymologically cognate and very close in their semantics. At least, the first morpheme in all of them is the same. Why,...
2
votes
1answer
52 views

Older English Term

My question is about a word I heard the other day in an audio book. Phonetically, it sounded like "SAW-sir-us" and had to do with a soft souind of the wind, or a soft wooshing sound. I believe it's ...
3
votes
2answers
388 views

Is “Pre-Raphaelite” capitalized? [closed]

Is the art term "Pre-Raphaelite" capitalized or is it spelled "pre-Raphaelite"? What is the general policy for the orthography of "pre-"? For example, The Pre‑Raphaelites emphasized attention to ...
1
vote
1answer
6k views

Non-existing or nonexisting [closed]

What is correct in English, non-existing or nonexisting? Searching sources on Google doesn't help much as both variants are widely present there. Onelook Dictionary Search doesn't show much about ...
4
votes
4answers
2k views

Who changed the way vacumn was spelled 40 years ago?

I noticed Robin Michael, who is on this site, stated she learned to spell vacumn as did I in school around 40 years ago. I always scored the highest in my English class and won spelling bees back then....
0
votes
1answer
27 views

Comma needed when applying these 3 adjectives to a noun being introduced? [duplicate]

Copyediting this sentence: Create a new, integrated and dynamic platform I'm unsure if the comma after "new" is needed or not, or if one should go between "integrated and dynamic". Is the quoted ...
2
votes
1answer
123 views

spelling change from verb form to noun form [duplicate]

Is there a reason why the verb is ABSORB but in the noun form the B becomes a P---ABSORPTION?
2
votes
2answers
1k views

Are there words other than “friend” where “ie” is pronounced as /ɛ/ (“short e”)?

Are there any words in English other than friend where the spelling "ie" corresponds to the "short e" sound /ɛ/?
3
votes
1answer
242 views

The pronunciation of final “s”

(First question ever.) Fellow friends, I've stumbled upon a weird quirk in this language whose spelling-pronunciation correspondence at times works in mysterious ways. How am I to know for sure ...
1
vote
3answers
396 views

The curious case of “UChi” and its pronunciation

The Free Dictionary tells me that UCHI is the acronym for The University of Chicago. But if that were the case, shouldn't it be TUOC? I visited the official university website and it says said Our ...
1
vote
1answer
277 views

Why is the spelling of “company” different from the pronunciation?

My students regularly pronounce the word "company" with [o] in the first syllable. Why do we pronounce [ʌ] in this syllable? but write "o"? Thank you.
7
votes
3answers
2k views

Why is cat spelt with a 'c' while kitten is spelt with a 'k'?

On the one hand I would expect these words to come from the same roots, and yet one is spelt differently from the other. I've encountered this phenomenon in a few other words as well (revoke and ...
0
votes
3answers
116 views

Trade marks or trademarks?

What is the correct format to use when referring to trademarks in British English? Is "trademarks" generally preferable? I've seen both used in different contexts, the UK GOV page uses "trade marks", ...
0
votes
2answers
1k views

The use of hyphen in “twentieth-first-century reader” and “twentieth-first century reader” [closed]

Which variant is correct: "twentieth-first-century reader" or "twentieth-first century reader"? Is the use of the second hyphen in the first example a matter of taste or not?
1
vote
2answers
745 views

Would you please explain to me the morphology of the word retroviral?

I cannot understand the morphology of the word retroviral. is "re" the prefix? I think the prefix might be retro, is that true? is "al the suffix? I am assuming that "viral" is the root, is ...
4
votes
1answer
299 views

Notepad++ insists “dependancy” is the correct spelling, while Google Chrome insists it's “dependency”. Who's right?

So I started off using dependency in a text file I was making in Notepad++, and then corrected to dependancy when the red underlining appeared. However, going to Google Chrome, the red underlining ...
0
votes
1answer
151 views

who(m):whose::who(m)ever:?

I am actually asking about the spelling of this word, not whether it exists... which in fact makes it rather difficult to write about. I will spell it as "whoever's" for the purpose of explaining the ...
5
votes
4answers
284 views

Seeking etymological explanation of card game Euchre based on its spelling

Am seeking etymological explanation how, Euchre, the United States’ most popular card game in the late 19th century, might have come to be spelled in that manner. It is speculated that the game ...