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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What is "Sock Puppet"? Does it mean "Sockpuppet"?

I've seen the word Sock Puppet used here. The page says to earn this hat: ask and answer your own question, each with a score of 1 or more. Does this use of "Sock Puppet" actually mean "Sockpuppet"?
6
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5answers
10k views

What is the use of letter "Q" instead we can spell using letter "C" or "K"

This morning my son asked me the following question that I was unable to answer: What is the point of the letter Q? Why can't we just always use C or K instead? For example, "Question" ...
78
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6answers
347k views

What's the difference between "center" and "centre"?

Which one is correct: examination center or examination centre? What is the difference between center and centre? Is the difference only in spelling? What is the usage difference?
1
vote
2answers
9k views

In American English, why is the past tense of "plan" spelt "planned"?

In American English, a lot of words are spelt with a single consonant plus "-ed", rather than two consonants as you often find in British English. Why isn't "plan" spelt with a single consonant?
1
vote
2answers
2k views

Does "recenter" have a British spelling?

I know that "center" and "centre" are the respective American and British spellings of the word, but is "recenter" spelt "recentre" in the British way, or not? I tried to Google for "recentre", but ...
1
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2answers
9k views

Can "fish" really be spelled "pheti"?

My teacher has a sign in his room that says: The English Language is a Challenge: This is why "Fish" can be spelled "Pheti"! Is this true or is just to confuse students?
6
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2answers
2k views

Shortening similar compound words in an enumeration

In Dutch - a language with many compound words - it is common to leave out the common last part of compound words in an enumeration, and write a hyphen instead. In English it would look like this: ...
8
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3answers
10k views

When is the suffix -tor and -ter used?

Can someone help me in understanding the suffix -tor and -ter? I am not able to understand it properly and I always mix the spelling like: "computor" when it should be computer "administrater" when ...
1
vote
1answer
169 views

"hand-dug well" or "hand dug well" [duplicate]

I'm writing a text about wells, some of them are dug by hand. On the internet I see many times the term "hand dug well" is used, but also "hand-dug well" and even "handdug well" are quite frequently ...
13
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2answers
95k 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 ...
4
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4answers
6k views

Is "Nanjing" as likely to be understood as "Nanking"?

When describing the city in China, is the spelling "Nanjing" as likely to be understood by the general population of native English speakers as "Nanking" is? An examination of Google NGrams indicates ...
10
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1answer
1k views

Is there a strategy Japanese ELLs can use to spell English words derived from Japanese?

I would like native speakers of Japanese, when writing in English, to use the correct English spelling of words that are derived from Japanese. For example, I'd like them to write "tsunami" rather ...
5
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3answers
9k views

Why is there a hyphen in ‘to-night’?

How are you to-night, Helen? Have you coughed much to-day? —Jane Eyre Why does Jane Eyre have a hyphen in to-night? Does it signify that the pronunciation in Emily Brontë’s day was [tunáit], not [...
3
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1answer
3k views

How many consonant and vowel combination types are there in English? [closed]

I'm an ESL learner and I'm not so good at English yet. I want to find official documents, links, guides, etc. which contain rules about consonants and vowels blending together. Which rules decide ...
7
votes
1answer
252 views

Spelling: "number", "enum(b)erate", "num(b)erator", and so on

Why has the English language preserved the letter "b" in the word "number", but not in words like "enumerate" or "numerator" or "numerology" and so on?
15
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2answers
14k 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?
29
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5answers
6k views

How are silent letters important?

Some words use silent letters in the spelling. I often ask myself: why are they used? English is a global language and it is changing day-by-day. Even if I have to believe they exist as they were in ...
14
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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; ...
4
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2answers
2k views

Pronunciation of "bush" versus "rush"

I have learned that "bush" and "rush" are pronounced differently. Is there any rule to decide between these two pronunciations for similar words?
9
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2answers
2k views

Spelling of noun for 'absorb' - 'absorption' or 'absorbtion'

Can anyone tell me which noun should I use for absorbing; is it absorbtion or absorption? I read some articles in which (in my opinion) both words were used interchangeably. Or maybe it was a typo.
5
votes
1answer
2k views

Why do some words end with -or and others with -er or -ar?

Some words end with -or: Resistor Capacitor Transistor Others end with -er: Compiler Driver Speaker Or with -ar: Beggar Liar Why is this the case? Is there a ...
12
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2answers
1k views

I before E- A good rule or not?

Everyone learns the I before E except after C or as sounded like A as in neighbor and weigh. But as an English Learner, how much trouble can you get into with this rule? What else do you have ...
6
votes
3answers
12k views

What is the pronunciation of "gn"?

In Italian, the group gn is pronounced differently from English. (See for example magnolia, which is pronounced /ma'ɲoːlja/ in Italian.) What is the correct pronunciation of gn, in English, for ...
21
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7answers
6k views

"Its" and "it's" - how to remember?

What is a good mnemonic rule that an English learner can use to remember the difference between its (possessive adjective: a team has started its lunch) and it's (verb: it's raining)?
8
votes
1answer
2k views

Plurals ending in -es in words for which the last letter is not e

There are words, like potato where the plural form ends with es (potatoes). In which cases does a word have a plural ending with es, but the singular doesn't end with e? Is there a rule for that, or ...
6
votes
3answers
248 views

Is there a mnemonic that helps remembering when I should use "hate," and when "ate"?

Being an Italian native speaker, I sometimes write ate when I should have written hate, and vice versa. Is there a mnemonic I could use to remember when I should write ate, and when hate?
8
votes
2answers
6k views

When should I use "phantasy" rather than "fantasy"?

I am a native speaker of Italian, and since the equivalent word in Italian is fantasia, I write fantasy. A friend of mine told me that phantasy is also an English word. Considering that generally, ...
8
votes
2answers
673 views

Lite instead of Light

I commonly see lite version, lite cream, etc. When is it acceptable to replace light with lite? Is Lite already accepted as correct English or is it just an informal/incorrect spelling? Are there any ...
21
votes
3answers
7k views

Is it common to use "gonna" in written English and even in business English?

Gonna is a short form of going to. That sounds a little bit like slang. Is it common to use it in written English and even in business English?
15
votes
4answers
7k views

When do we double the consonant before '-ing' affix?

My son is learning how to spell. He is doing a good job listening to sounds and working out spelling that way (which doesn't work for many words, but at least a lot of common ones), but although he's ...
37
votes
5answers
3k views

Is "thru" for "through" acceptable? "Tho" for "though"?

I've been told that in American English, sometimes words ending in -ough are written -u: for example thru instead of through. Is this correct English, or is it simply a common error? If it is ...

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