LawProse Lesson #298: More anomalies of spelling.
Our last LawProse Lesson, on oddities of English spelling, sparked many e-mails suggesting additional candidates. Remember that there needn’t be an etymological association between the confusable words (although there often is). For present purposes, an appearance suggesting an orthographical association is enough to cause problems for people: archaeology but genealogy beautician but dietitian comme il faut but faute de mieux (both Gallicisms appearing in English dictionaries) equal but equidistant explain but explanation four but forty genial but genealogy graduate but congratulate liquid but liquefy palace but palatial Philippines but Filipino pilgrim but pogrom playwright but playwriting pronounce but pronunciation rarity but rarefy refrigerator but fridge religious but sacrilegious renounce but renunciation rhythm but algorithm secede but supersede write but playwright Some correspondents suggested email but e-commerce. There’s certainly been a great deal of progress toward dropping the hyphen in e-mail, most recently in the 17th edition of The Chicago Manual of Style. But the solid version still bothers enough people that traditionalists hold on to it. Ultimately, that hyphen seems doomed. If you can think of still more examples, please send them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Meanwhile, good words to you! For contributions to this week’s LawProse Lesson, many thanks to Trevor S. Cox, James T. Cronvich, Richard L. Galin, Richi Ganti, Roger W. Hall, Alan Hegi, Rebecca J. Hooley, Bernard Kabak, Eric Press, Zoran J. Segina, Carol Simpson, Jacqueline J. Mohalley Snedeker, James Tate, and Benjamin Taylor. SOURCE: Garner’s Modern English Usage 848–51 (4th ed. 2016) (s.v. “Spelling”).