Spellings – Part 2 – Ten You Should Know
Unfortunately, the spellchecker in Word doesn’t catch all our errors, especially if we hyphenate words or it doesn’t agree with the style guide we’re using (in my case, for my work and this post, the New Oxford Style Manual). Below is a list of ten spellings that I have come across in my work and which sometimes cause difficulties. This is the second of the spelling lists in the bite-sized tips series.
1. any more = two words. But it’s one word in US English
2. no one = two words, no hyphen. However,
3. nobody = one word (so are somebody, anybody, everybody), and
4. someone = one word (so are everyone, anyone)
5. Internet = capital letter. This one causes some controversy, because people’s preferences and style guides differ. The Chicago Manual of Style seems to agree with Oxford on this one (see section 7.76); the AP Stylebook and Reuters also state that it should have an initial capital, and so does the National Geographic Style Manual. The Guardian and Observer Style Guide and The Telegraph Style Book, on the other hand, do not capitalise it. As I said in my post on style guides, these differences between style guides is one of the reasons why you need to choose which one to follow and then stick to it. Otherwise clients can argue with your choices or they could come across as random.
6. intranet = lower case
7. on-site = hyphenated
8. above-mentioned = hyphenated
9. copywriter = one word, but
10. copy-editor (and copy-edit) = hyphenated. However, I note that the New Oxford Spelling Dictionary says copy-edit but copy editor (two words), whilst the New Oxford Dictionary for Writers and Editors hyphenates both. The Oxford Dictionaries online do the same as the former. The SfEP (Society for Editors and Proofreaders) seems to favour the hyphenated versions. For what it’s worth, Merriam-Webster also has “copy editor”. Judging by how often copyediting is written as one word, I suspect this is one of those cases in which the hyphen will be dropped and the words will be written as one in future.
This post was first published on 10/03/2014 on my previous blog.