In no. 20 of this series, Watch out for the Dragon, I started highlighting some differences between what Dragon Naturally Speaking (DNS) dictates and correct spellings according to the New Oxford Style Manual, which I base both my work and this series on. If I cannot find what I’m looking for in the style manual, I turn to the Oxford English Dictionary (OED).
In my opinion, it’s important to be consistent in our work and following a particular guide (in the absence of alternative instructions from the end client) is a great way to do that. As I also mentioned in the post Why All the Fuss about Spellings and Style Guides?, if you get into the habit of using a style manual on a regular basis, it will help you learn what you need to look out for when a client gives you a translation or revision and a fat guide and a short deadline to accompany it.
If you’re interested in reading more about this topic, you’ll find the full list of previous posts in the Bite-sized Tips series here.
Today’s list is ten spellings that DNS gets right according to Oxford, but not necessarily the spellchecker in Microsoft. They are also all one word.
1. airbase and airfield
2. subdiscipline = one word according to the OED. DNS agrees, but the Microsoft spellchecker does not.
Unfortunately, judging by the entries in both Oxford and the OED, words starting with the prefix sub are mostly either written as one word or hyphenated, so looking them up if in doubt seems the only option.
7. markup = one word (except when it’s used as a verb), yet most words adding up include a hyphen.