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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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2answers
437 views

Pronunciation and syllables of pre-Modern English “belewe”?

I know the word "belewe" from traditional astronomy as a precursor to the phrase "blue moon", also known as the "betrayer" thirteenth moon in one of every three years that would disrupt a lunar ...
2
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1answer
151 views

consonant assimilation in linguistics

In Old English, the word was "leofmann" and in ME, the word is "lemman (‘lover’)" What is the change that took place to change the word? a. simplification of word-initial consonant clusters ...
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1answer
381 views

How to write name 'Jonas' to force /j/ sound?

In Poland and many European countries Jonas is a popular name, spelled slightly differently in each language (Jonasz, Jonàs, Jonáš, Joonas). In most of Europe and Africa it is pronounced with initial /...
2
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1answer
93 views

Term for alternative spelling, which is not incorrect, but very sparsely used

First to be clear this is not a shameless plug for my company, for that reason, I will only use the first word even though the full question should include the 2nd word to provide the better example. ...
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2answers
2k views

Why do we write “fixing” instead of “fixxing”?

When we have one vowel and one consonant and we want to add 'ing', we usually double the last consonant. Why don't we add an extra 'x' to the word 'fix'? We don't double 'w' and 'y' maybe because they ...
4
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2answers
5k views

Why is it “argument” instead of “arguement”?

Why would you replace the <e> in argue before affixing <-ment>?
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1answer
584 views

Word Formation: Noun Suffixes and their Spelling and Stress Shift Rules

I've been having a real hard time trying to gather information about word formation in English, more specifically about the rules involving suffixes that turn verbs and adjectives into nouns. But not ...
31
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2answers
5k views

Why is “myrrh” spelled the way it is?

The question I am asking is about the -rrh sequence at the end of the word. About that 'h' especially. The word is of Semitic origin but entered Latin (and then English) via Greek (according to ...
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0answers
81 views

How to write in letters numbers that have symbols in between?

I am translating a document that has the identification numbers 2017-976 written in letters this way: two thousand seventeen-nine hundred seventy-six. I was doubting about placing the dash like that ...
2
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2answers
970 views

Is “occurence” a word?

https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/search?utf8=%E2%9C%93&filter=dictionary&query=occurence It seems that occurence is not a word, but a friend said it is because he says he found it in the OED....
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1answer
222 views

How do you spell singular and plural forms of 'coohs' of contentment in text form…? [closed]

Contented sound a sound made when feeling pleasure
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1answer
128 views

spelling of “layed off” as in "lay off from a job [closed]

I am writing a resume. I am stuck on how to spell a word. In a case of loosing a job due to a lay off, is it spelled "layed" or "laid?" Thank you, Barbara
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2answers
757 views

Using square brackets in quotes

I understand how to use square brackets in quotes when adding full words, but if I am quoting something that was misspelled initially and want to correct the spelling, is it proper to do this? For ...
0
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1answer
215 views

Right to left or right-to-left? [closed]

Which is right? right to left or right-to-left? The same question goes for left to right and left-to-right Can't find this in any dictionary I use. Context: the way the text is written is usually ...
1
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1answer
254 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
58 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
68 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
257 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
729 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
868 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 ...
9
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2answers
1k 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
658 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 ...
1
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1answer
101 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
178 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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0answers
53 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 ...
1
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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?
4
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1answer
2k 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
60 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
105 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] ...
0
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1answer
297 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
52 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?
11
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2answers
1k 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"?
1
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1answer
3k 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? ...
0
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1answer
71 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?
2
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1answer
884 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 ...
2
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1answer
12k 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 ...
0
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1answer
65 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 ...
4
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1answer
386 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'...
7
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5answers
1k 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 ...
1
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1answer
415 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 ...