I've heard both variants and now can't really tell if using 'specially' is ever correct in such cases:

  1. You mustn't listen to loud music, especially at night.
  2. You mustn't listen to loud music, specially at night.
  • 2
    This question gets asked on the internet often. I wonder if you managed to find any of these articles and grammar blogs when you were doing your research. – J.R. May 4 '18 at 21:02
  • I'm kinda sleepy, really, 0:16am here. – SovereignSun May 4 '18 at 21:17
  • 1
    Most likely, when you hear 'specially', it is simple a contraction of the word 'especially', rather than the actual word 'specially' – Mr Chasi May 4 '18 at 22:08

Here's my short and sweet explanation. The adverb especially basically means specifically. The adverb specially, on the other hand, means in a special manner or for a special purpose or occasion. So, your first example is fine while the other one is not:

You must not listen to loud music, especially at night. (You should not listen to loud music in general and specifically at night.)

An example with specially:

This meal was prepared specially for you, sir. No one else here gets treated like you. (The meal was prepared for a special purpose.)

  • ldoceonline.com/dictionary/specially: "spoken much more than usual, or much more than other people or things SYN especially"; besides, especially can also mean "for a special purpose". – user3395 May 5 '18 at 2:06
  • To mark this use of "specially" as dialect of especially, add an apostrophe to represent the missing syllable: The teacher done told me I outta be 'specially good at lawyerin', 'cause anytime I'm late to class I always seem to come up with an outrageous but believable excuse why. – Andrew May 5 '18 at 4:09

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