Below are another ten spellings I’ve looked up to make sure that I’m getting them right according to the style guide I try to base my work on (theNew Oxford Style Manual). As you will see, the spellchecker in Microsoft Word doesn’t agree with Oxford a lot of the time, which, in my opinion, is another reason why it’s so important to have a clear idea of the style guide you want to follow (you might like to read this post I wrote on the subject).
I expect some people will see my latest bite-sized tips post and wonder what it’s all about and why I bother with these lists of spellings and occasional forays into a bit of grammar based on the New Oxford Style Manual. If you’re one of them, then wonder no more because I’m going to reveal my main reasons below.
Today we look at another ten spellings, based on the New Oxford Style Manual, which can cause some confusion. Sometimes people add hyphens when they’re not necessary, and other times they leave them out and write the term as two words when it should really be hyphenated. I hope today’s post will confirm what you already know and/or prove useful. All of today’s spellings can be found in the New Oxford Spelling Dictionary, and most also appear in the New Oxford Dictionary for Writers and Editors, which occasionally provides a brief comment on the spelling rule.
This is a stylistic minefield and the most important aspect to remember is to be consistent throughout your document and in all the documents for a particular client. If you are ever asked to use a specific style guide, then this is an area you’ll definitely need to look up because there are so many variations. This post is going to focus on the recommendations in the New Oxford Style Manual and compare them with those found in The Chicago Manual of Style, so essentially the difference between UK and US usage.
Pesky = annoying, disagreeable, hateful. I guess that does just about sum up how I feel sometimes when trying to grapple with the use of hyphens in the English language. Some of today’s words may surprise or even exasperate you, but I can assure you that I’m only trying to be helpful with these posts. Honest.
Today I’m going to put my warpaint on (and that’s one word too) and help you fight the spellcheckers, because the annoying things don’t always know what they’re talking about. Please bear in mind that, as far as possible, I base the spellings on The New Oxford Style Manual and the OED.
The weather was miserable when I looked up the first of the sea words in today’s list (because the spellchecker in Word didn’t like seabed), so I let myself get carried away for a few minutes thinking about beaches, sand and sunshine and looked up a few more. I must admit, I was surprised to find that the New Oxford Style Manual says sea horse is two words, especially as the Microsoft spellchecker does not mark seahorse as being incorrect. You live and learn.