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runebivrin 28th January 2005 01:21 PM

Defiant spelling...
I just have to ask the present expertise:

Why is it that the word definitely seems to be the hardest word in the English vocabulary to spell.
Favorite spelling by far appears to be definately, but I have also seen deffienetly, defiantly, deffinitly and even dafiniteley.

Strangely, it seems that non-Anglo Americans do far better on this particular word.

It's starting to get on my nerves!


kelticwizard 28th January 2005 01:31 PM


I must say, if that is all that's getting on your nerves, this forum must be doing well indeed. ;)

What can I say? The internet is largely a free fire zone for spelling and grammar. First, it inherited a tradition, left over from when saving characters counted, of shortening "you" to "u", and so forth. The fewer letters, the better.

Second, there is the informal nature of message boards that makes spelling mistakes allowable, where they would not be if we were submitting a letter to the editor.

Third, the close relative of message boards is real-time chat rooms, where mistakes are bound to be made and not corrected, as one person answers another and the conversation moves along rapidly. Also, such chat rooms put a premium on typing quickly, which encourges mistakes all the more. When people get inured to the spelling and grammar mistakes in chat rooms, it gets carried over to message boards and Emails.

The internet offers a huge opportunity for people of similar interests around the world to communicate and share their knowledge and interests. If spelling and grammar take a hit, so be it. :)

runebivrin 28th January 2005 03:46 PM

Well, bad spelling in general get on my nerves. Sometimes I believe it's because I work as a C++ programmer. Every spelling error results in at best a compilation error, and at worst in a subtle malfunction. However, I've not noticed the same obsession with my colleagues (to put it mildly), so I guess I'm just somewhat retentive in the spelling area.

But it's not a general lack of spelling capability that I'm curious about right now, it's the almost pervasive misspelling of that particular word: definitely. Evidently I'm not the only one: A blog
Searching with Google gives
  • Definately: 2,670,000 hits
  • Deffinately: 61,900 hits
  • Deffinatelly: 1,150 hits
  • Definatly: 414,000 hits
  • Definatelly: 8,280
  • Deffinatly: 36,000 hits
  • Deffinatlly: 531 hits
  • Definitely: 24,100,00 hits
, so apparently it's misspelled 1 time out of 8.

To a lesser extent, I worry about toroid, which tends to become either torroid or torrid, the latter which gets me thinking about spam of an - ahem - explicit nature.

Cal Weldon 28th January 2005 06:08 PM


I'm with you on the spelling. I'm also confused by mispronunciations.

As in data or status being pronounced with a short vowel sound instead of a long. But Keltic is right I guess. It must be put in perspective.

Like, why is abbreviation such a long word?


runebivrin 28th January 2005 07:10 PM

Yepp. And why is "oversimplification" so complex?


kelticwizard 29th January 2005 02:31 AM


Originally posted by Cal Weldon

I'm with you on the spelling. I'm also confused by mispronunciations.

As in data or status being pronounced with a short vowel sound instead of a long.

According to the Merriam Webster Online Dictionary, the short vowel is acceptable for both, being the second listed pronunciation.

So it's not a mispronunciation, just a lesser preferred pronunciation.

I must confess, I use the short vowel for status myself, sometimes.

Say Cal, do you say "aunt" rhymes with "plant", or "aunt" rhymes with "want" up there?

planet10 29th January 2005 06:49 AM


definitely is a word i often find myself mispelling.

I am also guilty of purposely (sp?) words in ways not official santioned by the dictionary... things like thru instead of through ... words that are left over from older Anglo Saxon days when all the letters were pronouned (i still spell knife knife, and knight knight even thou the ks are now silent)

With little exception the worst spellers of English on this forum are native English speakers...


wintermute 29th January 2005 10:43 AM

Yep definitely is a word I used to always spell definately (until I kept getting it corrected by my email spelling check) ;) Once I realised the correct spelling I associated it with finite and then I was ok, though I did start noticing how many other people spelt it incorrectly as well.

I miss having a spell check on the forum, as I often misspell words even though I know the "rules" Most common mistakes I make are using double letters when I shouldn't , not using double letters when I should and using apostrophes when I shouldn't.

Probably gets on peoples nerves, but I don't worry when I see other people making spelling mistakes, because I make so many myself ;)


ps. Just for the record I thought I better spell check this post, I had Allways and mispell :rolleyes: what did I say about double letters ;)

Cal Weldon 30th January 2005 12:42 AM


Originally posted by kelticwizard
According to the Merriam Webster Online Dictionary...
Yes, if I lived in America and used an American dictionary, that would apply.

There are many differences in our languages, there neighbour ;)


[i]Say Cal, do you say "aunt" rhymes with "plant", or "aunt" rhymes with "want" up there? [/B]
I say it ant with no apparent u but people from the old country often say aunt as in want.

Canadians say roof as in goof and I hear a horse hoof said both ways. Jury's out on that one.

I say tomato and potato with a long a


Originally posted by planet10
definitely is a word i often find myself mispelling.
Trying to see if we notice your other little gem Dave?


planet10 30th January 2005 12:50 AM


Originally posted by Cal Weldon
Trying to see if we notice your other little gem Dave?

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