1. SethLoki

    SethLoki Unemployed Autodidact Contributor

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    Spelling Dictionary Promiscuity...

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by SethLoki, May 14, 2018.

    I just had a moment. We've got the Chambers, the Collins, the Oxford—and possibly a few others...

    I understand it's not cricket to mix US and UK spelling, but like committing to the Oxford comma, is it then the done thing say, to commit to the same for spellings and word availability?
     
  2. Lawless

    Lawless Member

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    Not a native speaker, I'm not entitled to say what is right ot wrong in English, but when I see something like "color" and "favour" in the same text, I perceive it as sloppiness.

    That said, I used to use British spelling, but I just couldn't bring myself to calling an elevator "lift" or a sidewalk "pavement" or the subway... what was it, "underground"?

    Today I am using almost exclusively the American spelling, yet I would never call a restaurant bill "check", and it feels kind of weird to write "judgment" instead of "judgement".

    The point is, with so many English-language texts being written by non-native speakers these days, mixing British and American English is really commonplace.
     
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  3. Mink

    Mink Senior Member

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    It depends on the word.

    For example, the color "grey". "Grey" is primarily used in the UK whereas "gray" is primarily used in the United States. However, you won't get terribly fussed at when using "grey" in the United States. "Theatre" and "Theater" are other examples (my computer's currently fussing about me spelling it "theatre"). I spell the word "theatre" (I'm in the United States and am American) and I'll be damned before someone makes me change it.

    Now, if you were trying to mix British-English spellings and American-English spellings in the same sentence, then it might throw the reader off. I would suggest trying to stick to one type of spelling throughout the book barring certain words that are used in either country.
     
  4. matwoolf

    matwoolf Contributor Contributor

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    It would piss me right off. The London Subway! Nnng.

    The main problem is my computer telling me to spell marvellous with a single l. Then, I begin to think it is me and not them. Same goes for porpise. You'd have to be dreadfully brave to mix Anglo/American punctuation in your prose submissions, although maybe stick a maple leaf on the cover, and you get away with anything.

    I'm always forgetting what Oxford comma is, will have to re-bore my face.

    I knew an Irish sub once, she was lovely. I wonder what the Lon/Dublin 'shit-heads,' the litbreath bar belly brethren, heh, I wonder if there's much difference there in the style guides there?
     
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  5. SethLoki

    SethLoki Unemployed Autodidact Contributor

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    Thanks guys, wasn't so much venturing over the Atlantic (or being tempted across the Oirish Sea for that matter) for my word jollies. It was more a case of sleeping locally—I had the word "whereunder" flagged as invalid on my untrustworthy Mac's dictionary. Yet it appears fully defined and allowed in others. The wondering then set in as to whether a publishing house (in distant future) would mark me down for perceived inability to spell/use valid words. :meh:
     
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  6. Wreybies

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Supporter Contributor

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    whereunder

    I would mark that one up to just being an unusual/rare use. In my strange world of legalese, whereunder is a known word, as is thereunder, wherein, whereof, heretofore, therein, thereof, etc. They aren't the commonest of words in daily discourse.

    Interesting thing, though:

    Screen Shot 2018-05-16 at 3.48.08 PM.png

    That's my Mac - as American as apple pie - flagging the same word, yet not thereunder. Well, they're just machines. The day they reach perfection and rise up against us, we'll hove more to worry about than spelling. ;)
     
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  7. Privateer

    Privateer Active Member

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    Trust only the OED, forsaking all others.
     
  8. Iain Aschendale

    Iain Aschendale The Caliph of al-Abama Contributor

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    Merriam Webster Learner's Dictionary

    That's what I use professionally, but when I'm not sure, I usually just use google. Spelling used to be very much my thing though, so I don't get caught out too often.
     
  9. SethLoki

    SethLoki Unemployed Autodidact Contributor

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    Ha, OCD for the OED.

    In OED we trust!

    Uncommon, agreed, but useful I'd say for imparting an archaic flavour into a piece in the strange world of being a story writer. The skill would be to avoid being perceived as gimmicky. By the by, I'm a fan of words prefixed with 'be' too, like bedecked, bejewelled, befouled...

    Have you got your Mac's dictionary prefs enabling the writer's thesaurus btw?

    Aye, you're pretty bob on—I've enjoyed a few of your stories now. I thought it was a gift of mine (being spellingly accurate too), until I attempted 'The Times Spelling Bee' — the wily buggers slipped in some really complicated words. It was quite a leveller.
     
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  10. Iain Aschendale

    Iain Aschendale The Caliph of al-Abama Contributor

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    This popped up in my feed earlier on, seems appropriate to drop it here:

    Dictionaries.jpg
     

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