LawProse Lesson #301: One more on anomalies of spelling—by popular demand.

LawProse Lesson #301: One more on anomalies of spelling—by popular demand.

Here’s our final “final” installment in this series of anomalies of spelling. amble but ambulate annual but biennial armorial but armoire Cambridge but Cantabrigian circumstance but circumstantial crustacean but patrician enforce but reinforce enviable but permeable epicurean but millenarian evidence but evidentiary fisc but bosk float but flotation Glasgow but Glaswegian grisly but gristly inequitable but iniquitous jeweler but jewelry Liverpool but Liverpudlian measly but paisley mutual but parimutuel novice but novitiate ocular but flocculate panic but panicky personal but personnel personnel but fontanelle placid but flaccid Providence but providential quarter but quaternary representative but preventive sacred but sacerdotal satiate but satiety Shakespearean but Faustian Shaw but Shavian sirloin but surtax testimonial but testamentary tonsure but tonsorial traffic but trafficker In short, English orthography remains a vexing matter. Almost every “rule” of English spelling has exceptions. At least we have spell-checkers today—a boon to correct spelling (to the extent that people actually use them!). The idea of a simplified English spelling system—George Bernard Shaw’s pet project—can be declared dead. Thank you to our most recent contributors: Charles E. Damon, Melinda Hartnett, Bernard Kabak, George Olson, Larry Rothenberg, David A. Silk, Sterling R. Threet, and Charles M. (Chip) Watkins. Feel free to keep sending examples to (copy to SOURCE: Garner’s Modern English Usage 849–51 (4th ed. 2016) (s.v. “Spelling”); see also id. at 702–05 (s.v. “Plurals”); id. at 5–6 (s.v. “-able”).

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