Questions tagged [spelling]

This tag is for questions which a dictionary cannot answer concerning the written representation of the English language, especially spelling and word breaks (including hyphenation).

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How should I spell the name of the ruling: 30%-ruling or 30% ruling?

The Dutch expat tax regime is commonly referred to as: '30%-ruling'. Or should this be spelled '30% ruling' without the dash?
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0 votes
2 answers
29 views

Why do some people like use in' to symbolize ing?

In some movies or songs, "in'" is used instead of "ing". For example: "Searchin' high". The "Searchin'" is "Searching". Or "Lookin' for a place ...
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-1 votes
1 answer
51 views

Correct British English Usage of Words [closed]

There are multiple words that are spelt differently in British English and American English. Which of these spellings is correct for British English? donut / doughnut aluminum / aluminium grey / gray ...
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0 votes
2 answers
56 views

Is there an English word subset which can demonstrate almost all familiar pronunciation?

For example, the pronunciation of "tube" is [tjuːb]. If I learned "tube", I know how to spell "student" which is [ˈstjuːdnt], because "tube" and "student&...
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0 votes
1 answer
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How is the rule of thumb to know whether to use "-or-" or "-our-"?

For years I kept struggling with differentiating between whether a particular word is using -or- or -our-. These are some examples of words that I'm often having problems with: Behaviour vs behavior ...
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2 votes
1 answer
311 views

Is there a difference between "artist" and "artiste"?

While we commonly use the word "artist" (for a person who knows any art), a lot of literary publications and even some news organisations spell the word as "artiste" - with an &...
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0 votes
1 answer
62 views

Old English versus Middle English [closed]

I am not English native and I just realized that some words are acceptable in different spellings. For example the word "amongst" often written as "among" or the word "towards&...
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0 votes
1 answer
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There are many exceptions for the mnemonic rule of thumb "i before e except after c" but have any new attempts arrived at any new rule?

Per title, there are many exceptions for the mnemonic rule of thumb "i before e except after c". Have any new attempts arrived at any new rule? For example, compile all the cases of a ...
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32 votes
2 answers
4k views

The Ö letter in "Coördinator"

I was watching some Pink Panther episodes on YouTube, and I noticed something weird. The word COORDINATOR is written COÖRDINATOR with an Ö. I searched for it in dictionaries and etymology references ...
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  • 423
2 votes
0 answers
63 views

Dangerously closely antonyms

We have a tag "pseudo-antonym" here ("flammable" vs. "inflammable", "get up" vs. "get down"), but I ask for the exact opposite. A classic is "He ...
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0 votes
0 answers
19 views

Is it correct to write "ebook"? [duplicate]

E-book (in full electronic book) traditionally has been written with a hyphen between 'e' and 'book' as far as I know. But nowadays, I have been noticing, it is written in many sites as 'ebook' ...
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0 votes
2 answers
889 views

"Pure" VS "Purer" VS "More pure" [closed]

Q.1) What's the difference between pure, purer, and more pure, and what's the correct situation to use each one? Q.2) What should I write (pure, purer, or more pure) in the following blank? Juice ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Is it breastfeeding, breast-feeding or even breast feeding?

I’ve now seen three spellings for the same term: The Wikipedia article is called Breastfeeding. The Unicode standard calls the 🤱 emoji breast-feeding. Google adds “Did you mean: breastfeeding?” to ...
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-1 votes
1 answer
57 views

Cancel(l)ed vs cancellation

cancel, vb., makes canceled and canceling in AmE. Yet, in cancellation the -l- is doubled (-ll-) because the accent falls on the third syllable. It's etymology is Can·ce(l)·la·tion Mid-16th c. Latin ...
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-2 votes
2 answers
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final letter "y", following a vowel, yet representing another syllable

Is there a word in English, in which the final letter "y", while following a vowel, would represent another syllable? For example, in the words "worry", "story", "...
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0 votes
1 answer
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Pre-school or preschool?

When I check my various dictionaries (Longman; Cambridge; Merriam-Webster and a bilingual dictionary), preschool is spelt without a hyphen. Still, when I google it, I get a fair number of hits for ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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Cannonical or canonical? [closed]

I found spelling "cannonical" in this answer: https://dba.stackexchange.com/a/133641 My text editor marks it with red line as word error. Please tell me which form is correct, I have doubts.
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6 votes
1 answer
1k views

Why do we have pronunciation for the word “liquorice” as ‘liquorish’?

Is there any difference in pronunciation between the American and British speakers?
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8 votes
2 answers
1k views

Irreproducible, unreproducible, non-reproducible or not reproducible, which one to use?

I was going to add a tag for issues of my GitHub repository, to describe an issue that would not be able to be reproduced. Here are the four versions of this word I can think of: Irreproducible ...
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2 votes
1 answer
374 views

Which is (most) correct: "permille" or "per mille"?

The spelling "percent" (one word) is generally accepted, I think. Thus I presumed that "permille" (one word) would be correct, but the Cambridge Dictionary only mentions "per ...
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12 votes
3 answers
1k views

How do I decide if an "i" is pronounced long or short?

I am an English teacher who has never really learned the complex rules of teaching pronunciation. Many learners here in Spain have difficulties deciding whether an "i" in a word is long or ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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Does web-related English (or "Web English") constitute a dialect of English? Should I write technical documentation using Web English?

As we know, English exists in many dialects. In another life, over 20 years ago, I spent a year and a half in Japan, teaching English. I was under no obligation to teach standard American English but ...
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0 votes
1 answer
43 views

Demonopolise or de monopolise?

I'm preparing for academic IELTS by writing some essays and then correcting those using a grammar correction app. In the following sentence, If governments will find ways to effectively minimise ...
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1 vote
2 answers
86 views

Is ”Physical”'s IPA spelling not unique?

Could you come up with an explanation why the same adjective "physical" has two IPA renderings of the same pronunciation? Oxford Learners Dictionary: /ˈfɪzɪkl/ (that is the /ə/ is missed in ...
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12 votes
3 answers
4k views

Why are "LOse" and "LOOse" pronounced differently?

I know that both the words are pronounced and used differently. I also found another question on this site: "Use of loose and lose [closed]", but that is about the usage of the word. My ...
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2 votes
1 answer
104 views

Pronunciation of adjectives ending with "-ate" [closed]

Legitimate How should I pronounce it? It's confusing me. There are so many vocabularies of adjectives ending with "ate" as in meet or as in "it" : like "tim -it" as in ...
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4 votes
2 answers
2k views

Why does "wind" have two different pronunciations?

The word "wind" seems to be problematic (with almost all other English words that behave strangely). When it is used as a noun to mean the movement of air, it is pronounced to rhyme with &...
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-1 votes
1 answer
30 views

Visualize and Visualise national recognition? [duplicate]

Which spelling is recognized more as the proper spelling globally?
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12 votes
2 answers
3k views

Why is the <th> in "posthumous" pronounced as <ch> (/tʃ/)?

I have always pronounced the th in "posthumous" as if it was the "th" in think (/θ/), but when I searched itd it was actually the ch /tʃ/: UK: /ˈpɒs.tʃə.məs/ US: /ˈpɑːs.tʃə.məs/ ...
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30 votes
1 answer
6k views

Was "twelve" pronounced as "TPELF"?

I came across this piece of text and I for the life of me can't understand why "twelve" is written tpelf. I have encircled other numbers that are strange. My friend who lives in New York ...
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0 votes
1 answer
88 views

Any there other pairs similar to "advise/advice" and "devise/device"?

I was wondering if there are other similar pairs for "advise/advice" and "devise/device"? Updarte: I found this useful tip here (b) remember that 'ice' is a noun and therefore the ...
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9 votes
3 answers
3k views

"Backyard" vs "Front yard" - same but different

Not really a serious English question, more like a curiosity. I am wondering, why "backyard" is written as one word but "front yard" is written as two separate words. Equivalently, ...
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0 votes
1 answer
88 views

Why does "don't be" sometimes sound like "dombe"?

Why does "don't be" sometimes become "DOMBE"? There is no M in the spelling then why?
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4 votes
3 answers
815 views

Why the K is silent in "know" and "knowledge"? [duplicate]

Why is the K silent in "knowledge" and "know"? I have heard many non-natives pronounce the K but not natives. In dictionaries there is no K in the pronunciation but there is a K in ...
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25 votes
2 answers
3k views

Why is there a 'p' in "assumption" but not in "assume"?

I know a little bit about the suffix -tion. It is usually added to verbs. Examples: -domination (from dominate), -admiration (admire), -deviation (deviate), -ejection (eject). "Exemption (...
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-2 votes
2 answers
172 views

Reason or rule for pronunciations [closed]

I am not a native English speaker and I am learning English. Sometimes I will get baffled by the pronunciations used in English. It is very difficult to pronounce something just by looking at it. ...
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0 votes
0 answers
61 views

Why "admit" with T but "admissible" with SS?

I just noticed that when the suffix -ible is added to "admit", it becomes "admissible" rather than "admittible". There are few other examples: "omit" = "...
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32 votes
1 answer
10k views

Why is the W silent in "sword" but not in "swore"?

The word "sword" is pronounced /sɔːd/ (AmE: /sɔrd/) while "swore" is pronounced /swɔː/ (AmE: /swɔr/). The W in "sword" is silent because of the following round vowel; the ...
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42 votes
3 answers
22k views

Why is "iron" pronounced "EYE-URN" but not "EYE-RUN"?

I just noticed that the word iron is pronounced EYE-URN in standard Englishes instead of what the spelling suggests. I have always been pronouncing it "EYE-RUN" but I just checked its ...
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0 votes
1 answer
869 views

Is it "glowed" or "glown" when conjugating "glow"?

I want to say he's glown with brilliance but the spell checker barks at me for misspelling, like if it prefers glowed. This resource commands the latter, while this one the exact opposite. I've also ...
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2 votes
1 answer
9k views

Is 'resetted' a word?

Link 1 Link 2 I entered "resetted" and for the spell check, I searched and got the first link. I thought it is correct because (I thought all words are not included in a spell checker)1 and ...
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0 votes
1 answer
496 views

Capitalization and hyphenation in words like 'southeastern' [closed]

Is it South-Eastern Ukraine, Southeastern Ukraine, or South Eastern Ukraine ? What about capitalization? I saw various spellings. Which one is the most advisable? Don't close the question.
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3 votes
3 answers
398 views

The silent "u": "forty" and "fourteen"

We all know that the cardinal and ordinal numbers 4 and 4th are spelled ‘four’ and “fourth” respectively. Then we have 14 and 14th which are spelled “fourteen” and “fourteenth”. Yet the numbers 40 and ...
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0 votes
1 answer
94 views

Why "Acquire" instead of "Aquire"?

What does the "c" add to the word "aquire" when it already sounds correct meaning the verb "to gain; to possess"?
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1 vote
1 answer
78 views

General spelling rule: no double (repeated) consonant after another consonant?

Is it correct to tell ESL students that there aren't any words in English that have a double repeated consonant after another consonant? For example: Sttrugle Inffection dispposal Thanks!
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0 votes
2 answers
543 views

How many vowels in each syllable?

I'm trying to improve my spelling, and I came across this article, which states that "Every syllable has one vowel'. How can this be true while words like room, pain, eat, grow, etc. Have one ...
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1 vote
0 answers
38 views

What is the effective way to practice spelling for new words

I'm learning GRE vocab and they are quite a lot. Roughly in the range of 1000-3000 words. Reading, probably, is the most effective way to gain new words and reinforce them but I'm facing an issue with ...
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  • 567
4 votes
1 answer
158 views

Expressing potayto-potahto, tomayto-tomahto correctly in writing

There's a saying expressing that the presented concepts are distinct without a difference. It's based on the pronunciation of potato and tomato. How would one go about writing that differnece in an ...
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2 votes
1 answer
51 views

Do I need to make the following changes when writing an abbreviation?

In math, there is a concept called random variable, and for convenience people usually just write r.v. I have some questions regarding writing the abbreviation r.v. in a sentence. Would a native ...
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0 votes
1 answer
123 views

Is the correct spelling “fulfil” or “fulfill”? [closed]

Which of the spelling is correct? “fulfil” or “fulfill”? I can find both spellings on the web, although “fulfil” is more common.
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