Sunday, June 17, 2018

Problem spellings

   Even the most experienced writers have difficulties with the spelling of some words. This is especially true in the case of pairs, like it’s and its, which sound alike but have different spellings
and meanings. In this section we disambiguate the most troublesome of these pairs.

Accept is a verb: You should accept his offer. Except is a
preposition : I like all types of music except jazz.

Advice is a noun: Ask your teacher for advice. Advise is a verb:
His doctor advised him to stop smoking.

Affect is a verb: Pollution in the atmosphere affects our climate.
Effect is a noun: What effect does pollution have? Effect is
sometimes used as a verb, meaning to bring about (change): The
National Health Service has effected huge social change in Britain.

Altar is a noun: The sacrifice was placed on the altar. Alter is a
verb, meaning to change: It’s too late now to alter your holiday

Both are forms of the same verb, choose. Choose is the base form: Choose your clothes carefully, It is difficult to choose.
Chose is the past form: We chose a site overlooking
the valley. The -ed form of this verb is chosen.

Council is a noun: The local council has introduced parking
restrictions. Counsel is a verb, meaning to guide or advise, usually
in relation to behaviour: We’ve hired a social worker to counsel
the children. The corresponding noun, counsel, means advice or

Both are adjectives. Discreet means tactful: I’ve made some discreet enquiries. The corresponding noun is discretion. 
Discrete means separate, distinct: 
The speech signal is first divided into discrete segments.
 The corresponding noun is discreteness.

Its is a possessive pronoun: The horse shook its head.
It’s is a contraction of it is: It’s a lovely day or it has: It’s been
ages since we met.

In British English, licence is a noun, as in driving licence, and
license is a verb, meaning to give permission: The restaurant is
licensed to sell spirits. Licence does not exist in American English.
License is used as the noun and as the verb.

Personal is an adjective: You shouldn’t ask personal questions.
Personnel is a noun, meaning staff: All personnel should report to reception.

Practice is a noun, meaning (a) training for sport, music, etc:  
I’ve got piano practice at six, (b) the exercise of a profession, e.g.
medical practice, legal practice. In British English, practise is a
verb: Amy practised her speech in front of a mirror. The word
practise does not exist in American English. Practice is used as the noun and as the verb.

Principal is most commonly used as an adjective, meaning most
important: The government’s principal concern should be
unemployment. As a noun, principal refers to the most important,
or highest-ranked, person in an organization, e.g. Principal of a
school. Principle is a noun, meaning rule of conduct: a person of
principle, moral principles.

Quiet is an adjective: a quiet child, keep quiet. Quite is an
intensifier, and is used before an adjective or an
adverb: It’s quite cold outside, I spoke to James quite recently.

Stationary is an adjective: a stationary vehicle. Stationery is an
noun, meaning pens, paper, etc.

Than is used in comparative constructions : Paul is
older than Amy, The professor is younger than I expected.  Then is an adverb of time: 
We toured the Museum and then we went home.
 As a sentence connector, then means in that case: Do you
like horror films? Then you’ll love Poltergeist.

Your is a possessive pronoun: Your car has been
stolen. You’re is a contraction of you are: You’re a real pal.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

British and American spelling variants

Spelling differences between 
    British English and American English are notas widespread as is often thought. The vast majority of words have thesame spelling in both varieties. However, the following systematic spelling differences may be observed:

                          British                            American  
                          English                           English      

-our / -or          behaviour                         behavior      
                          colour                               color            

                         favourite                          favorite        

                         humour                            humor          

                         labour                               labor            

                         neighbour                        neighbor       

-re / -er            centre                               center           

                         fibre                                  fiber            

                         theatre                              theater        

                         litre                                    liter            

                         metre                                 meter          

-ogue / -og       analogue                          analog          

                         catalogue                         catalog         

                         dialogue                            dialog         

ae, oe / e          anaemia                            anemia          

                         anaesthesia                      anesthesia     
                         diarrhoea                          diarrhea      

                          foetus                                 fetus           

                         haemorrhage                    hemorrhage  

-ence / -ense    defence                              defense       

                         offence                              offense        

                          pretence                           pretense     

miscellaneous  aluminium                       aluminum  

                          cheque                              check         

                          jewellery                          jewelry       

                           kerb                                 curb           

                           manoeuvre                      maneuver  

                          mould                              mold           

                           plough                            plow           

                           tyre                                 tire             

                           sulphur                           sulfur