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Questions tagged [orthography]

This tag is for questions about the written representation of the English language, especially spelling and word breaks.

2
votes
1answer
15 views

How to tell the time in written form

It is correct to write four thirty for (4:30am/pm)? I do know that sometimes we will tell the time in that way but is it correct when it comes to writing? Or would it only be correct when we write "...
0
votes
2answers
16 views

Problems when add “s” to a nouns/verbs

My horse paints beautiful photos. {Here I understand why the "s" is used} These pigs usually cook[s] dinner. {Why the "s" isn't used here?} Your dog, cat and chicken get[s] along well. {Neither here}...
0
votes
2answers
71 views

'Should not be able' [closed]

I asked a question: Why India should not be able to make such a huge expenditure for a region, which is urgently needed? Is the sentence grammatically correct? Does the question mark make ...
1
vote
1answer
49 views

Is it “mid-air”, “midair” or “mid air”

The bird feels the breeze all around it when it's in mid-air. Is it "mid-air", "mid air" or "midair"? I have seen all three of them in various context, so I am not sure if all of them are valid.
2
votes
2answers
42 views

Where does the apostrophe go in “participant(s) ratings”?

Which of the following sentences is correct? I'm unsure regarding the participant(s). Figures showing the distribution of the participants' ratings on the math tasks. Figures showing the ...
0
votes
2answers
139 views

Over think or overthink?

I saw both over think and overthink are used. Are they correct? Is overthink preferable or I can use no matter which one?
2
votes
2answers
222 views

Is “goose bumps” one or two words?

I would like others to explain this to me. Which is correct? goosebumps goose bumps Thank you!
4
votes
2answers
3k views

“6-foot tall” or “6-feet tall”?

I have heard/seen people say/write "She is 5 feet 10 inches tall" and "She is 5-foot-10." But in formal writing, is there a convention? I found both "8-foot-tall" and "nine-feet tall" in online ...
2
votes
2answers
34 views

Hyphenation rules (rec-ommendation?)

Can you recommend me a good source of hyphenation rules in English? Something that would begin with explaining how words are divided into syllables, which I am not entirely sure about. For example, ...
0
votes
1answer
204 views

Difference between pronounciation [closed]

Is there a difference between how we pronounce the: The verb "use" and The noun 'use" In other words, the transcription for the verb use is juz is the transcription of the noun "use" ...
5
votes
1answer
91 views

Letter “s” in a shape of a sail

Sometimes in archaic books and in different scrolls, books and texts in old games I meet the letter "s" resembling a sail (Wikipedia article here calls it the cursive form). Is it still used in ...
3
votes
2answers
77 views

How to cure bad spelling? [closed]

A friend who is a lawyer and reads a lot spells badly and it's affecting her practice. Spellcheckers are ok but they don't work in all cases, for instance when there are two words that sound the same ...
2
votes
2answers
247 views

How do I know when to start a word with “r-” or “wr-”?

How do I know when to spell a word with "r-" or "wr-"? For example, (wr)ap and (r)ap, (wr)ing and (r)ing. Both sets have the same R sound but different spellings. Is there a way of working out ...
0
votes
2answers
1k views

Use of “this” and “It”

In te next sentence: We use "this" only in the first question. The answer and the other questions use "it" Is correct? If the above is correct, then the following example: - Is this a gull? - no, ...
2
votes
1answer
141 views

How to pronounce correctly final Y in words such as “city” or “story”?

I am interested in pronunciation of the letter Y at the end of the words, such as city, story, belly, penny and so on. Wonder what sound it denotes. I understand it is some kind of [i] sound. But is ...
3
votes
3answers
392 views

Where do we put the apostrophe in this phrase: the 90s burgers?

Do we say the 90's burgers, the 90s' burgers , or do we simply not add an apostrophe to it?
-1
votes
1answer
5k views

a ten-year period of documenting…?

This book is the first volume and part of a ten-year period of.. This book is the first volume and part of a ten years period of.. This book is the first volume and part of the ten year period of.. ...
0
votes
1answer
71 views

Why do I have to use 's in some sentences? [duplicate]

For example: Brandon's house instead Brandon house. How is that rule named, I'm trying to improve my English.
21
votes
4answers
13k views

“Rollbacked” or “rolled back” the edit? And what about “double-click”?

The noun (and verb) rollback on Stack Exchange means to undo or reverse an edit. I'm not sure if there is a difference between the two, but that's how I understand it. Recently, I posted the past ...
0
votes
1answer
2k views

When to use double-t (“-tt-”), when to use a single-t (“-t-”) in spellings?

I have the following questions: Why do words like "Committee" have a double-t ("-tt-") while words like "satisfy" have a single-t ("-t-")? Is there a general rule concerning when should one use a ...
0
votes
1answer
14 views

Proximizable or proximitizable?

Math terminology: uniformity → uniformizable proximity → proximizable? or proximitizable?
-3
votes
1answer
55 views

“Blätterkreis”, “Dornenkreis”, “Herzkreis”, in Englisch

I need to translate the three terms - in the heading - into Englisch. Blätterkreis: with Blätter I mean the leafs that fall down from trees. Is Leafcircle the correct translation? Dornenkreis: Is ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

When we write, do we have to write “OK” instead of “Ok” or are both correct?

I'm confused when I have to write "Ok" in a writing, because I don't know if "OK" and "Ok" are both orthographically correct or just one is.
2
votes
2answers
5k views

Graham vs. Graeme

Scotish English is very strange (like some dialects of my language, Czech). It is not easy to read, speak or even understand it for foreign speakers, and also for (almost) native speaker (my teacher ...
3
votes
1answer
442 views

Why is “advanced english class” not capitalized in “The Perks of Being a Wallflower”?

In the following passage from The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Cbhosky, "english" isn't capitalized: There is this one girl in my advanced english class named Susan. In middle school, ...
2
votes
2answers
900 views

How to use the underline character in English?

I've been learning English for 5 years, but I don't understand when or how to use underline character (_) in English. Please can you help me explain it to me? Example about hyphen, I read here and ...
15
votes
3answers
3k views

Why does spell sound like “|sbel|” while in dictionary it is “|spel|”?

I listened to the pronunciation of spell in Wiktionary, and it sounds to me that it's pronounced as |sbel|—it sounds to me very clearly as a b sound. But in dictionaries, such as my Mac dictionary ...
2
votes
3answers
361 views

Why do “thermometer” and “parameter” have different syllables in different dictionaries?

For example: parameter See definition in Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary Syllabification: pa·ram·e·ter merriam-webster Dictionary thermometer noun ther·mom·e·ter thermometer ...
0
votes
2answers
6k views

Why does “life-saving” have a hyphen?

When I listened to a new program, I heard a word "life-saving" and I thought it was life saving without the hyphen. Medical community is outraged after a life-saving drugs. I have seen other forms ...
-1
votes
1answer
59 views

Is this usage of abbreviation of “it is” correct?

I just complimented a user on how quickly he answered my question, upon which he replied: A lot of it's luck, really. I'd definitely not write it like that. Although using contractions quite ...
3
votes
2answers
591 views

A sentence may contain two nouns back-to-back. How are these nouns written?

A sentence may contain two nouns back-to-back. How are these nouns written together? I went to that book store. I went to that bookstore. I went to that book-store. Why can these two nouns be ...
4
votes
4answers
46k views

“24 hours' notice” or “24 hours notice”?

Which one is correct? 1: Well, you canceled on Tuesday and our policy is 24 hours' notice for all cancellations. 2: Well, you canceled on Tuesday and our policy is 24 hours notice for all ...
8
votes
3answers
4k views

Using ('s) for “is”

Can I write name then using ('s). For example Janny's 18 years old?
1
vote
4answers
16k views

Should there be a comma before ‘too’ in: “Me too”?

I was taught that it is properly written as "Me, too." But a book (The sixty-eight rooms, by Marianne Malonne) I've recently read uses "Me too." Which one is correct? Are tone and pronunciation ...
0
votes
1answer
322 views

How come US Date format is month/day/year? [closed]

Whenever I read a US date I have the problem of figuring out what each number represents. So when I see: 10/11/12 I assume it means "10th November 2012" (which would be the norm for my country) or "...
2
votes
3answers
494 views

English spelling/pronunciation example

I think most of us can agree, English pronunciation vs spelling (vs conjugation) is strange: Read (present tense) Read (past tense) Red (color) Reed (plant) contrast with Lead (direct, present ...
2
votes
1answer
4k views

“Well dressed” vs “well-dressed”

In my English exercise book there is this sentence: The young lady is well dressed. It asks to rephrase it in a new sentence, and provides this solution: The well dressed young lady. I think ...
15
votes
5answers
43k views

Do decades ever get apostrophes?

In researching whether to write 1960s or 1960's, I have found several sources stating that 1960s is correct: one, two, three. On the other hand, this source states that: In British usage, we do ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

A comma followed by “and” rule [duplicate]

I'm not a native english speaker. I have been taught in school that if you use a comma, you should not use and after it. I went to university, my university teacher said the same and he said that if ...
8
votes
2answers
60k views

Visualization or visualisation

Both of them are used: visualization and visualisation. Visualisation is more commonly used in UK. But, visualization is more common in US. What is the history of this word? Which is officially ...
19
votes
2answers
621 views

Past tense: learned/learnt, dreamed/dreamt?

In my very first question, Carlo made an edit stating that learnt is a rare past tense of learn. I am accustomed to using learnt for past tense and learned as an adjective (as in He is a learned ...
14
votes
2answers
9k views

Why should the “T” in “T-shirt” be capitalized?

Wiktionary says that the "T" in "T-shirt" should be capitalized, with "t-shirt" an alternative spelling. Why is an upper case "T" preferred?
6
votes
1answer
937 views

Is it ok to use guillemets for quotations?

Is it okay to use guillemets (1) for quotations in English? They are used in French. (1) Guillemets are angle quotation marks, «, », ‹, and ›
15
votes
7answers
2k views

Should I use diacritical marks?

Being a speaker of several European languages, I'm always getting upset when I see people are using certain loanwords ignoring accent marks: Sending my resume for your review; We went to cafe; ...