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Thursday, November 21, 2019

Is the spelling nightime, nighttime, night time, or night-time?

A common issue with spelling is whether two words should be put together without a space (known as a compound word), include a space, or the words hyphenated. Sometimes words evolve over time starting as separated, then hyphenated and finally joined together.

A check of Google for Australian sites ending in .au, returns 1.76 million results for nighttime, 3.88 million results for night time (which includes night-time) and 101,000 for nightime.

Nightime should be considered a spelling error, but it is used for Codral Nightime Cold and Flu tablets, where misspelling a word is common in branding and marketing situations.

The compound word nighttime is a US spelling. In Australia the spelling is not listed in either the Macquarie dictionary or the Australian Oxford dictionary, so nighttime should be considered a spelling error in Australia.

The Macquarie dictionary lists night-time as a noun, with no reference to night time. The Australian Oxford dictionary also only lists night-time, again with no reference to night time.

I have to say I didn’t see that coming. The correct spelling for Australian usage is night-time with the hyphen.

A quick review of the first 100 sites for “night-time” shows only 30% of sites use the correct spelling, many using both night time and night-time in the one article which is considered an error. Given the number of people using the spelling nighttime, nightime and night time, it is conceivable that 80% or more of writers are using the incorrect spelling for Australia, according to the Macquarie and Australian Oxford dictionaries.

With Microsoft Word, if you enter nighttime Microsoft Word will mark nighttime as an error, but suggest both night time and night-time, which could easily lead writers to use the wrong spelling for Australia, depending on what they mean to write.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.Australian-Dictionary.com.au
The preferred Australian English spelling.

Monday, October 21, 2019

Microsoft Outlook does not correctly spellcheck flavor when in the subject field.

Recently I was sending an email using Microsoft Outlook and to my surprise, the incorrect spelling flavor was not picked up as a spelling error. In fact the correct spelling flavour was marked as a spelling error in the subject field.


If typing flavour in the body of the email message the spelling was correctly handled as the correct spelling for Australia and flavor was correctly marked as a spelling error.

It really is hard to believe after so many decades of Microsoft Outlook being available, there's still errors in the code. In this case the spelling language was set to Australian English. The body of the message is spellchecked correctly, but the subject field is checking the text entered against American English.

To get around this issue and check the spelling correctly, copy the subject text into the body of the email, check the text is spelt correctly, then cut and paste the text into the subject field. That way you know you're getting the text spellchecked using the selected language.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.Australian-Dictionary.com.au
The preferred Australian English spelling.


Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Nearest train station site reorganised to show nearest first when reaching the site, then all if selected.

The Nearest Train Station web app is a series of pages to show the nearest train stations, tram stops and Vline train stations. However, when I first created this site the first map people saw was to show all train stations. Since the name of the site is Nearest Train Station, showing all train stations first didn't quite sit right.

With a bit of time available I restructured the site so the first page people now see is the five nearest train stations. If people wish to see all the train stations they can now select the all option in the menu, or the Train, Tram or Vline options in the menus. The nearest five train stations, tram stops, or Vline stations can be shown by selecting the nearest five once you've selected Train, Tram or Vline.

I hope this change makes it faster for people to find the nearest train station to their current location.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.NearestTrainStation.com.au
Nearest Train Station

Friday, October 4, 2019

Is the spelling Afterall or After all?

Recently, whilst checking a Microsoft Word document, the word Afterall with the initial letter capitalised did not come up as a spelling error, whereas afterall without the initial capital, was shown as a spelling error. How could this be?

The compound word afterall is a common misspelling of after all. The Australian Oxford dictionary confirms the spelling is after all.

A check of Google for sites in Australia (sites ending in .au) returns 321,000 results for afterall and 19.6 million results for after all, which shows most people spell the word correctly. So why isn't Microsoft Word marking the word Afterall as a spelling error?

It may simply be the Microsoft Word dictionary is in error. Another possible reason is a check of the internet shows Afterall is used by a number of organisations as part of their name. As part of an organisation's name, Afterall can be capitalised.

In this situation, how the word Afterall is being used, is after all the only way to know if the word should be capitalised or not. If Afterall is not part of an organisation's name, it is a spelling error.

Kelvin Eldridge
The preferred Australian English spelling.

Monday, September 9, 2019

Is the spelling checkbook, check book, check-book, chequebook, cheque book or cheque-book?

It's been a long time since I've written a cheque. Remember ripping out those cheques. But how do you spell the thing you ripped the cheques out off?

The easy task is we can eliminate checkbook (and any variation) as checkbook is listed in the Macquarie Dictionary as the US spelling. The Australian Oxford dictionary lists cheque book and the hyphenated variation as in cheque-book journalism. The Macquarie Dictionary has the entry chequebook and chequebook journalism. Two dictionaries with two different spelling variations.

If we perform a search on the NAB, Westpac, Commbank and ANZ sites, our four main banks nearly always use cheque book.

A search of Google restricting sites those ending in .au for cheque book and chequebook gives  36,00 and 31,900 respectively. Using the plural cheque books and chequebooks gives 12,000 and 6,320 respectively. If we search for cheque book journalism and chequebook journalism the results returned are 508 and 74 respectively. Of the 508 results for cheque book journalism around 30% used the hyphen, as in cheque-book journalism. Finally, if we use chequebook diplomacy and cheque book diplomacy we get 70 results and 44 results respectively.

Certainly this is not an easy one. The banking industry appears to mostly use cheque book as two words. The results returned from Google for sites ending in .au also indicates cheque book is the preferred spelling. When used as an adjective with the word journalism, the most common usage was cheque book without the hyphen.

Based on these results, for Australian usage, the preferred spelling appears to be cheque book as two words and when used as an adjective, the spelling may not need to be hyphenated. Although this does make me wonder if it's because using hyphens is often a problem for people. Normally, going forward we'd probably expect to see chequebook become the preferred spelling, however since cheque books are being used less and less, there's a good chance cheque books may become a thing of the past.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.Australian-Dictionary.com.au
The preferred Australian English spelling.

Monday, August 5, 2019

Is the spelling free standing, free-standing, or freestanding?

Looking for kitchen appliances recently, the results returned In Google showed the use of free standing, freestanding, and free-standing, sometimes even in the one result. It is often said if there's multiple ways to spell a word, you should be consistent with the spelling you choose.

The Australian spelling dictionary aims to provide the single spelling preferred in Australia, but sometimes, as in this case, it can be quite difficult to identify the single preferred spelling. A search of Google for sites from Australia (sites ending in .au) returns 5.41 million results for free standing and 6.37 million for freestanding. Because of the way search engines work, searching for free-standing with the hyphen, usually doesn't return something we can have confidence in, as a hyphen is often treated as a word delimiter. Hyphens are also regularly used in the website URL  (address) and these results will be returned by Google as well.

The Macquarie dictionary has the entry freestanding, but not free-standing. The Oxford Australian dictionary has free-standing, but not freestanding. Microsoft Word is no help at all as it will suggest freestanding and free-standing with the same meaning, and both free and standing are legitimate words in their own right.

It appears this may be a situation where the spelling is evolving. Often when there's two words used as an adjective, the words will be hyphenated. However, as time goes on the hyphenated words drop the hyphen and the result is a single word. With freestanding exceeding free standing (and free-standing), this would indicate the preferred Australian spelling may now be freestanding, with the hyphenated version free-standing a secondary variation. The use of free standing as a two word adjective - when used in the sense of self-supporting, unconnected, independent – which is very common, would also not be the preferred spelling.

Kelvin Eldridge
The preferred Australian English spelling dictionary
www.Australian-Dictionary.com.au

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Is the spelling help desk or helpdesk?

A very common situation is whether or not two words should be separated by a space, or joined together as a compound word. The term help desk/helpdesk is one such situation.

A check on the internet of Australian sites (limiting sites to end in .au using Google) returns 12.6 million results for help desk and 379,000 for helpdesk. However, most people aren’t aware of how to limit results to just include sites ending in .au, so if they did the same test without restricting the results, they would get 66.8 million and 73 million respectively. The reverse of the usage in Australia. This is a perfect example of why it isn’t wise to just accept the information you receive from Google, without understanding more about the results you’re seeing.

Microsoft Word accepts both helpdesk and help desk equally, meaning writers using Microsoft Word are often unaware they’re using a secondary spelling variation.

If you check the Macquarie and the Australian Oxford dictionaries, both list help desk as the primary entry and helpdesk as an also entry.

The primary spelling in Australia is therefore help desk, with a space between the two words.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.Australian-Dictionary.com.au
The preferred Australian English spelling.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Is the spelling breakeven, break even, or break-even?

It's very common where a word can be used as a compound word, two separate words, or with the two words hyphenated. Sometimes all three can be correct based on your usage, but at other times one or more may be a secondary spelling, or may be incorrect usage.

If we check breakeven, break even and break-even using Google, and limiting sites to sites ending in .au, the number of results returned are: 67,400, 156,000 and 161,000 respectively. The Australian Oxford Dictionary only lists break even. The Macquarie Dictionary lists both break even and break-even. Neither dictionary lists breakeven which indicates breakeven as a compound word may not be correct. Those using Microsoft Word should take care as Word accepts breakeven as a valid spelling.

The Macquarie Dictionary describes break-even as a noun derived from the phrasal verb break even, thus break even is a phrasal verb.  E.g. Usage as a phrasal verb. The company aims to break even by year end. Usage as a noun. The company may never reach break-even. In addition break-even can be used as an adjective. The company needs to know their break-even point.

Whether break-even or break even is used depends on your usage. At least in Australia, breakeven as a compound word, should most likely be considered to be an error.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.Australian-Dictionary.com.au

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Is the spelling veranda or verandah?


One of the well known uses of the word verandah is in the song Home Among the Gumtrees, written by Bob Brown and Wally Johnson in 1974 and later recorded by John Williamson. The spelling used was verandah. Today if a person used Microsoft’s Word to write the lyrics, they’d most likely use the spelling veranda, as verandah is not included in the Microsoft spelling dictionary.

According to both the Macquarie and Oxford dictionaries the primary spelling is verandah, with veranda listed as a secondary spelling. For Australian sites (those ending in .au), according to Google the usage of verandah to veranda is approximately 2:1. 

So next time when you’re sitting in an old rocking chair pondering, you’ll know the primary spelling in Australia is verandah ending in an h.


Kelvin Eldridge
www.Australian-Dictionary.com.au
The preferred Australian English spelling.

Monday, July 15, 2019

Is the spelling pre recession, prerecession or pre-recession?

If you check the Macquarie and Australian Oxford dictionaries you’ll not find an entry for the spelling pre recession, prerecession or pre-recession. What are you to do if the dictionaries don’t help you?

Often words evolve over time. To-morrow became tomorrow. First, in general, if the word is not in an Australian dictionary, that would indicate the usage has not evolved enough to become a single word. If the hyphenated version doesn’t appear in the dictionary that doesn’t rule it out, but you still don’t know. Don’t fall for the trap of using dictionaries for other countries online as versions of English for different countries may evolve differently over time.

Is the usage of the two words an adjective, or adverb and perhaps should be hyphenated?

Sometimes if in doubt, perhaps the best approach, may be to rewrite the sentence. 


Kelvin Eldridge
www.Australian-Dictionary.com.au
The preferred Australian English spelling.

Monday, July 8, 2019

Is the spelling driver’s licence, drivers’ licence, drivers licence, or driver licence?


Sometimes it’s almost impossible to work out what the correct place an apostrophe should be, or even if it should be used.

Before we answer the above question, let’s first look at visitors book. The visitors book doesn’t belong to a visitor, so there is no possessive apostrophe. In a similar way a licence is a document we acquire when we pass a driving test.

If you visit the VicRoads site you won’t find an apostrophe in drivers licence where it’s used, but more often than not you’ll find driver licence, or licence. However, if you scan the internet you’ll find driver’s licence, drivers licence, driver licence and driving licence. In SA the government site uses driver’s licence. In NSW the government site uses driver licence. In QLD, often licence is used by itself and less often, driver licence.

By not using an ’s’ on the end of driver, the VIC, NSW and QLD government sites avoid the issue with the apostrophe.

In general the spelling should be driver licence without the s and apostrophe, however, often we need to conform to the standards of others. Depending on the state you’re in, you’ll most likely need to check the state’s governing body to see the preferred use or not, of the apostrophe. Alternately, it may be possible rewrite your sentence so no apostrophe is required.

Kelvin Eldridge
The preferred Australian English spelling.

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Is the spelling learnt or learned?


OK. This is one where I’ll stand corrected. Until writing this article I’d previously researched and found the spelling learnt was the preferred Australian English spelling, except for the usage of learned for a person with much knowledge pronounced “learn-ed”.  But today that changes. Our language changes over time and at times that means we need to change as well.

When it comes to the spelling of learnt or learned, in the usage such as “I learnt/learned to drive”, the preferred spelling in Australia is learned.

If you check The Australian Oxford Dictionary and the Macquarie Dictionary for the entry “learn”, you’ll find learned appears before learnt in both. The positioning of the word in the entry indicates the preferred usage in Australia.

To confirm the usage in Australia, a search of Google for sites ending in .au (Australian sites), for a phrase such as “l learned to drive” and “I learnt to drive”, returns over 90% of articles using learned compared to learnt.

After reading this article you’ll be able to claim you’re learned in the terms learnt and learned.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.Australian-Dictionary.com.au
The preferred Australian English spelling.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Is the spelling “awhile” or "a while"?


Both the spelling ‘awhile” and “a while” are correct. Both mean a period of time. The spelling to use depends on usage. The spelling “awhile” is for an adverb and “a while” for a noun.

An adverb needs a verb, that is a doing word.

Can we stay awhile?

Stay is the verb and awhile is the adverb.

Can we stay for a while?

While is a noun as a period of time, such as an hour or a day.

If you’re struggling with which one to use, a technique that can be useful is substitute a noun such as “day”. The noun “hour” isn’t good as then you’d need to use the word “an”.

Can we stay day.

Makes no sense, so “awhile” is correct.

Can we stay for a day.

Makes sense, so “a while” is correct.

Often in situations like this where usage can be confusing, it may be useful to consider rewriting the sentence, if that makes your life easier and helps your reader.

Kelvin Eldridge
The preferred Australian English spelling.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Is the spelling nana or nanna?


When talking about one’s grandmother we often use the terms nan, nana and nanna. In Australia, what then is the preferred spelling? Is nana spelled with one n, or is nanna spelled with two n’s.

First, we do have to remember nana and nanna are considered colloquial spellings and as such, are used informally. Also since people use Nana and Nanna as names, names can often vary in spelling. Having said that, the best approach is to refer to the authoritative references.

The Macquarie Dictionary lists nana as a secondary spelling of nanna and the entry nana refers on to nanna. Thus according to the Macquarie Dictionary the preferred spelling would be nanna. The Australia Oxford dictionary entry nanna states a variation of nan, with nan listing nana and nanna as variations for nan. The Australia Oxford thus doesn’t directly give us answer for nana and nanna.

The online Oxford dictionary doesn’t directly list nanna, but interestingly, states nanna as the British form for nana under the nana entry.

Based on the Macquarie Dictionary it would appear the preferred spelling in Australia is nanna. The spelling preference in Australia appears to be: grandmother, nan, nanna and then nana.

Kelvin Eldridge
The preferred Australian English spelling.

Friday, June 14, 2019

Is the spelling behaviour or behavior?


At first glance, deciding between the words behaviour and behavior, the choice appeared obvious. Many people would believe behaviour is the Australian spelling and behavior is the American spelling. The spelling behavior in Australia would be considered a spelling mistake. Certainly Microsoft Word marks behavior as a spelling error.

However, I decided to check Google for Australian sites and found approximately 54 million sites used the spelling behaviour, whilst 22 million sites used the spelling behavior. That’s a staggering one third of Australian sites (sites ending in .au), use the spelling which would be considered an error in Australia. Due to the high number of sites using the behavior spelling, it was felt important investigate the spelling.

According to the Macquarie and Australian Oxford dictionaries, both list behaviour as the primary Australian spelling and behavior is listed as an “also” and thus a secondary spelling variation. The authoritative references do not refer to behavior as a purely American spelling. It is common in Australia for people to incorrectly believe a spelling variation is only American, because that is the spelling used in America. In Australia, it is very common for words to have two spelling variations such as behaviour and behavior.

In Australia it is best to use the primary spelling behaviour, unless it’s not your preference, or there’s some reason to use the secondary spelling variation.

Kelvin Eldridge
The preferred Australian English spelling.


Thursday, June 13, 2019

Is the spelling in-store, in store, or instore?


You can’t miss the word in-store being used in the retail industry. The word appears on shop windows, in catalogues and online. All three spelling variations are used when the retailer is talking about getting products in the store or shop.

You really can’t blame retailers for the inconsistent spelling. Microsoft Word has instore as a valid spelling, the Macquarie Dictionary lists instore and the Oxford Dictionary lists in-store. Those using in store are using a wrong spelling for this usage and that’s many retailers.

If you prefer the Oxford Dictionary as your spelling guide, you’ll use in-store and if you prefer the Macquarie Dictionary, you’ll use instore. It’s hard to say which is right. however, if you’re more conservative the spelling in-store is most likely the spelling to use. Because the spelling instore is a valid spelling in Microsoft Word (which may perhaps be an error), it is easy to see the Macquarie Dictionary, which is generally less conservative, may find an increased usage of instore, due to Microsoft’s Word being the leading document writing software used by businesses.

Which spelling you use is your choice. If you want guidance on which word to use, perhaps use the spelling in-store. This is the spelling indicated in the online Oxford Dictionary for British spelling and the Merriam Webster for US spelling. Because both the US and UK references agree on the spelling in-store, this further supports instore, may be an error in Microsoft software. A check of Australian sites online for Australian usage, indicates the main spelling is in-store.

Kelvin Eldridge
The preferred Australian English spelling.

Monday, June 10, 2019

Is the spelling forego or forgo?

This is actually a trick question. Like the words to, too and two, forego and forgo are known as homonyms. Two or more words that sound same, that are spelt the same or differently, but have different meanings.

Forgo has the meaning to go without and forego has the meaning to precede. A couple of tips to help remember when to use which spelling are: forgo has no e, so goes without, forgo starts with the same letters as does forget, whereas forego starts with the same letters as before.

Forego is listed as a secondary spelling variation of forgo. This would appear to be because so many people incorrectly use forego when they actually mean forgo, that the spelling becomes recognised as a secondary spelling variation.

The following sentences show the different usage. When dieting I will forgo dessert. Often soup will forego the main course.

Because forgo and forego are so similar, it’s a foregone conclusion people may confuse the two words.

Kelvin Eldridge
The preferred Australian

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Is the spelling Labor or Labour?


There’s considerable rejection against the use of American spelling in Australia. We’ve caved on some words, but our Australian English is often different to UK and American spelling.

Every few years at election time, one thing that stands out is the incorrect spelling of the Australian Labor Party. Yes our leaders use the incorrect spelling for Australian usage, but most people find little issue in the usage. If a student used the same spelling in a spelling test, they’d be marked wrong.

The reason the Australian Labor Party use the spelling Labor instead of Labour, is, in the early 1900s there was a push towards using American spelling and a remnant of that time, is the spelling of Labor in the Australian Labor Party’s name. Rather than get hung up on spelling that ideally should be changed for consistency, if it makes things easier, it’s perhaps better to think of this as branding. In branding, incorrect spelling variations are often used.


Kelvin Eldridge
www.Australian-Dictionary.com.au
The preferred Australian English spelling.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Is the spelling disorganised or unorganised?


It is unusual for a word to be used with two different prefixes. Often people use the word unorganised when they really mean disorganised and it can be very obvious to others.

Unorganised relates to structure or a system. The data was unorganised. The staff were unorganised as they had not formed a union. Disorganised relates more to the current state, The person was disorganised.

To confuse things further, both words could be used in the same sentence. The person’s desk was disorganised. The person’s desk was unorganised. The use of disorganised implies the desk may have once been organised. The use of unorganised implies the desk had not been organised. We’ve all been there. Tight deadlines, lots of work, can result in a disorganised desk. A new job with a new desk, that is unorganised. Although keep in mind, sometimes using different words may be better for the reader. A new job with a new desk, that has not been organised.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.Australian-Dictionary.com.au
The preferred Australian English spelling.

Monday, June 3, 2019

Is the spelling Fathers Day, Father’s Day, or Fathers’ Day.


There are three variations that can be used for Father’s Day and all to a degree make sense, but only one is correct.

Modern usage of the apostrophe means that when there is a tenuous link between ownership, the apostrophe is no longer used. E.g. visitors book, which has no apostrophe as no particular visitor owns the book.. Since Father’s Day is not owned by anyone, it could be Fathers Day with no apostrophe. There are many fathers so it makes sense to use the plural version and place the apostrophe after the s, as in Fathers’ Day. However, Father’s Day is an officially declared day with the apostrophe before the s, which follows the convention used for Mother’s Day.

Trying to work out logically where the apostrophe should appear in the case of Father’s Day doesn’t work. The placement of the apostrophe is a result of how the day was officially declared.

Some of you may have noticed recently shops using the apostrophe incorrectly in their Father’s Day promotions, if you didn’t, you probably will next year.

Kelvin Eldridge
The preferred Australian English spelling.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Is it percent or per cent?

In business using percentages is very common. However when writing, do you use the spelling per cent or percent?

Both the Macquarie and Oxford dictionaries list the Australian spelling as per cent. The Oxford dictionary lists the spelling percent as the American spelling and the Macquarie dictionary lists percent as a secondary spelling.

A quick check of Australian sites using Google, reveals around 35% of pages returned, use the secondary, or American spelling percent.

The preferred spelling in Australia is to spell per cent with a space. 


Kelvin Eldridge
www.Australian-Dictionary.com.au
The preferred Australian English spelling.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Is the spelling defence or defense?


At first glance this is appears to be an easy one. The spelling in Australia is defence. Both the Macquarie and Oxford dictionaries have defence as the Australian spelling, with defense being the American spelling. No ambiguity there.

However, a check using Google for sites ending in .au, shows the number of pages returned for defence as 5.12 million and defense as 1.33 million. With so much usage of the American spelling in Australian sites, we see some usage is correct, (referring to American defence organisations), there is quite a lot is laziness, (American news articles not edited for Australian consumption), some incorrect usage, then some sites using the two  different spelling variations in the same article. 

Australian defence companies with Australian sites are faced with the same dilemma as Australian authors when marketing to a global audience. Do they use Australian English, or do they use American English? Perhaps different editions for different markets may be a better approach.

For Australians creating content for Australian usage, the spelling is defence.


Kelvin Eldridge
www.Australian-Dictionary.com.au
The preferred Australian English spelling.

Monday, May 20, 2019

Is it licence plate or license plate?


A recent trip to the Queen Victoria Market showed us even government organisations get spelling wrong. As you approach the car park you see a sign displaying the parking rates. The bottom of the sign read: “LPR LICENSE PLATE RECOGNITION. LICENSE PLATE RECOGNITION TECHNOLOGY IS USED IN THIS CAR PARK”.

Signs like this are read by hundreds, if not thousands of people per day. Viewers of the sign may consider the Melbourne City Council to lack care in their signs, or perhaps give an insight the supplier may be an American based company. Neither of these messages would be intended.

Interestingly, in Australia, according to a Google search of Australian sites ending in .au, the term number plate is used four times as often as licence plate. Using the phrase number plate recognition could have avoided the incorrect spelling license plate.

In Australia, it is good to remember licence with a ‘c’ is the noun and license with an ’s’ is the verb. The American spelling uses license with an ’s’, for both the noun and verb.


Kelvin Eldridge
www.Australian-Dictionary.com.au
The preferred Australian English spelling.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Is the spelling cash flow, cash-flow or cashflow?

If you refer to Wiktionary where all variations based on worldwide usage are listed, you could be excused for being confused. The Australian Oxford dictionary only lists cash flow as a noun. The latest edition of the Macquarie dictionary lists cash flow as a noun and cashflow as the verb.

In general, if according to the Macquarie dictionary definition you’re referring to, “the amount of cash generated by a company”, or “the overall pattern of income and expenditure of a company, organisation, or person, and the resulting availability of funds at any given time”, then the spelling would be cash flow.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.Australian-Dictionary.com.au
The preferred Australian English spelling.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Is the spelling comradery or camaraderie?


Two words with quite different spelling and yet they have the same meaning. The spelling comradery is the North American spelling and camaraderie, the Australian spelling. The spelling comradery isn't included in the Macquarie or Oxford dictionaries, even as a secondary spelling variation.

The spelling comradery can catch people out who use Microsoft Office products, as the American spelling is incorrectly included in the Australian spelling dictionary.


Kelvin Eldridge
www.Australian-Dictionary.com.au
The preferred Australian English spelling.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Is it doughnut or donut?


Now this is a tricky, or perhaps I should say, a sticky one. According to the Australian Macquarie and Oxford dictionaries, the spelling should be doughnut.

The problem is with usage in Australia, there is roughly a four to one ratio of donut to doughnut. Coles and Woolworths use the spelling donut, but Krispy Creme uses the spelling doughnut. Based on usage alone you’d have to go with donut, but it’s best if you stick with the guidance offered by the authoritative references and use the spelling doughnut


Kelvin Eldridge
www.Australian-Dictionary.com.au
The preferred Australian English spelling.

Is the spelling judgment or judgement?


A discussion of the spelling judgement/judgment will often cause an argument. In the legal community the spelling judgment is predominantly used, but for the general community, the spelling in Australia is judgement.


Kelvin Eldridge
www.Australian-Dictionary.com.au
The preferred Australian English spelling.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Is it spellchecker or spell checker?


Have you ever typed spellchecker into a document and found it’s marked as an incorrect spelling. You’re then offered the suggestion spell checker as two words, which most people would then accept as the correct spelling.

In Australia spellchecker is a single word, and in America, it would be hyphenated. The problem is the word processing software we use doesn’t know about the word spellchecker and thus marks it as an error. When an error is found in a single word, the spellchecker will try various substitutions, with one being to insert a space. If by inserting a space two correct words are found, the spellchecker then returns the two words as a suggestion. In the case of spellchecker, the suggestion spell checker is wrong and causes people to create a spelling error in their document.

Spellcheckers are a great writing aid, but sometimes we need to keep in mind they aren’t perfect.


Kelvin Eldridge
www.Australian-Dictionary.com.au
The preferred Australian English spelling.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Is it enquiry or inquiry?


I read recently businesses need more inquiries. I thought the last thing a business needs is an inquiry. Whilst in America there’s only the single spelling inquiry, in Australia the words are different and are used in slightly different ways. The word inquiry is used more in a legal sense, such as the government held an inquiry. The spelling enquiry, is used in a less formal situation, such as when you go to a store and wish to make an enquiry. Businesses want more enquiries, but shouldn’t be so keen for an inquiry.


Kelvin Eldridge
www.Australian-Dictionary.com.au
The preferred Australian English spelling.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Is the spelling co-operation or cooperation?


Over time our language changes. It is hard to imagine anyone spelling the words today or tomorrow as to-day and to-morrow, but if you read an early copy of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, to-day and to-morrow is how Lewis Carroll spelt today and tomorrow.

If you read a dictionary from the 80s you’ll see cooperation spelt as co-operation with a hyphen. Times change, styles change. Today the preferred spelling of cooperation is without a hyphen.


Kelvin Eldridge
www.Australian-Dictionary.com.au
The preferred Australian English spelling.

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Is the spelling Organisation or Organization?


In this post we discuss the words Organisation and Organization. I’ve capitalised the words for a particular reason. First we need to consider the ise versus ize spelling. Both spelling variations are valid in Australia. The most commonly used and thus the preferred spelling, is Organisation using the ise spelling .

A common error made by media companies is to use the ise spelling when referring to the World Health Organization. In this case to use the ise spelling is incorrect. WHO, the Word Health Organization, spells its name with a z. It isn’t correct to change the spelling of the name of an organisation.


Kelvin Eldridge
www.Australian-Dictionary.com.au
The preferred Australian English spelling.

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Is the spelling practice or practise?


The words ‘practice' and ‘practise' are very tricky for many people to master. Practice with a ‘c’ is the noun and practise with an ’s’ is the verb. As an example, 'you go to practice to practise'. The idiom “practice makes perfect” doesn’t quite look right, but is correct. A common error is the use of 'Accounting Practise' to refer to the firm or company, which should in Australia be 'Accounting Practice'.

When reading articles on the internet keep in mind the American spelling is always ‘practice”, for both the noun and the verb. You’ll sometimes find incorrect usage as articles may be sourced from overseas, or the journalist themselves may originally be from America.

Kelvin Eldridge
The preferred Australian English spelling.

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Is the spelling forego or forgo?


This is actually a trick question. Like the words to, too and two, forego and forgo are known as homonyms. Two or more words that sound same, that are spelt the same or differently, but have different meanings.

Forgo has the meaning to go without and forego has the meaning to precede. A couple of tips to help remember when to use which spelling are: forgo has no e, so goes without, forgo starts with the same letters as does forget, whereas forego starts with the same letters as before.

Forego is listed as a secondary spelling variation of forgo. This would appear to be because so many people incorrectly use forego when they actually mean forgo, that the spelling becomes recognised as a secondary spelling variation.

The following sentences show the different usage. When dieting I will forgo dessert. Often soup will forego the main course.

Because forgo and forego are so similar, it’s a foregone conclusion people may confuse the two words.

Kelvin Eldridge
The preferred Australian English spelling.

Friday, April 26, 2019

Is the spelling Aging or Ageing?


Whether it’s debtors ageing/aging or ageism/agism in business, a search of the internet reveals around a third of articles on Australian sites use the secondary spelling aging. The American spelling is aging without the ‘e’, but in Australia there are two spelling variations.

According to both the Macquarie and Oxford dictionaries, the preferred Australian English spelling is ageing with an ‘e’. Aging without the ‘e’ is listed as a secondary spelling.

Kelvin Eldridge
The preferred Australian English spelling.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Word of the Month appearing in Credit Matters newsletter celebrates nearly 3 years of articles.

Sometimes when we look back we wonder where has the time gone. Today I was writing my latest Word of the Month for the Credit Matters newsletter. Much to my surprise I'd written 33 Word of the Month articles. That's three years of Word of the Month articles. Where has the time gone?

The following are the artiles which have so far appeared in the Credit Matters newsletter. Many of these articles have also been published in this blog.

debateable or debatable
nana or nanna
disruptor or disrupter
adaptor or adapter
“awhile” or "a while"
learnt or learned
driver’s licence, drivers’ licence, drivers licence, or driver licence
pre recession, prerecession or pre-recession
veranda or verandah
forego or forgo
in-store, in store, or instore
Labor or Labour
program or programme
grey or gray
business person or businessperson
Aging or Ageing
disorganised or unorganised
Fathers Day, Father’s Day, or Fathers’ Day
curb or kerb
percent or per cent
defence or defense
licence plate or license plate
ensuite or en suite
cash flow, cash-flow or cashflow
comradery or camaraderie
doughnut or donut
judgment or judgement
spellchecker or spell checker
enquiry or inquiry
thank you or thankyou
co-operation or cooperation
Organisation and Organization
practice and practise

Hundreds of people have read these articles and it is my hope people have enjoyed reading about words which they may also have trouble with. Hopefully the articles have added value to people's lives.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.Australian-Dictionary.com.au
The preferred Australian English spelling.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Is the spelling disruptor or disrupter?

The words disruptor and disrupter are very similar to the words adaptor and adapter. You may even feel it is easy to then guess which is the primary spelling.

The Australian Oxford Dictionary and the Macquarie Oxford Dictionary both agree the primary spelling is disrupter and the secondary spelling is disruptor. The opposite of adaptor and adapter.
If you check the overseas online English dictionaries including the British Oxford and US Merriam Webster, both agree the spelling disrupter is the primary spelling.

If however we check the usage in Australia for sites ending in .au using Google, we see the overwhelming usage is disruptor, with a ratio of 8:1 to disrupter. Checking government sites ending in .gov.au has a ratio of disruptor to disrupter as 3:1.

Far more people use the secondary spelling in Australia compared to those using the primary spelling. This also appears to be true in the UK. Microsoft Office is no help as both spelling variations are considered correct.

At this stage, all I can suggest is to stick to the primary spelling suggested by the authoritative references, which in this case is disrupter. If anyone challenges you, at least you can refer them to the authoritative references. But do keep an eye on this one as the primary spelling may change in the future.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.Australian-Dictionary.com.au
The preferred Australian English spelling.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Is the spelling adaptor or adapter?

If we check the online British Oxford Dictionary, we’ll see the spelling as adapter, with adaptor listed as a secondary spelling. Because there’s no free online Australian dictionary complete with descriptions, Australians often refer to overseas dictionaries such as the British Oxford Dictionary, Wikitionary, Collins, or the Merriam Webster. Unfortunately, the overseas English dictionaries can lead Australians to use the wrong spelling, or a secondary spelling of a word. Using word-processing software such as Microsoft Office also doesn’t help the writer, as Microsoft Office includes thousands of secondary spelling variations, leaving it up to the writer to decide their primary spelling.

If we check the Macquarie Dictionary and the Australian Oxford dictionary, adaptor is the primary spelling and adapter is listed as a secondary spelling.

Even though both Australian authoritative references agree on the primary spelling, actual usage as shown by searching Google for sites ending in .au shows a fairly close usage of both spelling variations. For “double adaptor” versus “double adapter”, the search results are 15,000 and 11,800 respectively. Certainly not as clear a margin as you’d expect. For other searches the results can flip.

The US dictionary the Merriam Webster, states for the adapter entry, “less commonly adaptor”. It is possible, with so much American technology influencing our lives, the American spelling may be having a significant impact on Australian spelling.

For the moment, adaptor can be considered the primary spelling based on the Australian authoritative references, however, don’t be surprised if this changes in the future.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.Australian-Dictionary.com.au
The preferred Australian English Spelling.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

When to use which or that?

Recently a person asked about the use of which and that. Whilst the Australian Dictionary site is about the preferred Australian English spelling of words and not grammar, I had recently read an article I felt useful and worth sharing here.

The following is the link from the Oxford dictionary site.

https://blog.oxforddictionaries.com/2012/09/07/that-who-which/

Kelvin Eldridge
www.Australian-Dictionary.com.au
The preferred Australian English spelling.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Is the spelling program or programme?

In the 60s I was taught the spelling was programme. As time went on the main spelling became program, with programme used in some instances, for e.g. theatre programme. A search today for “theatre program" and “theatre programme”, using Google for Australian sites, shows program and programme are used in a ratio of 195:1, so even theatre program has become the preferred spelling. The Macquarie and Oxford dictionaries list program as the primary spelling and programme as a secondary spelling, except for computer program where the spelling is always program.

In Australian government usage there has been flip-flopping. In 1998 John Howard issued an edict for programme to be used. Reportedly in 2007 Kevin Rudd reversed John Howard's edict. In 2013 some government ministers’ departments started using programme, as that was the preferred spelling by Tony Abbot, although no such edict was issued from Tony Abbot’s department. As you can see, a single person’s spelling preference has had an impact on government documents. In the future however, as older politicians move on, it is likely the spelling program, will also become the primary spelling for government documents.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.Australian-Dictionary.com.au
The preferred Australian English spelling.


Thursday, January 10, 2019

Adding the Word Check bookmarklet to the bookmarks bar.

Recently I received an email from a person having troubles setting up the Word Check bookmarklet on their bookmarks bar. I thought I'd take this opportunity to share some tips and things I found out as a result of the person's question.

First let me explain the Word Check bookmarklet and why it can be handy.

Most of us know what a bookmark is when using the internet. For those who don't, when you visit a website using your browser, you can add a bookmark to the site. Later you can go back to your stored bookmarks, find the bookmark you want and using that bookmark, quickly return to the site. When I research a topic, or even a holiday, I may add quite a few bookmarks to help me quickly revisit the sites I found interesting. I also have bookmarks for sites I regularly visit.

Bookmarks are stored in the browser and are usually accessed via the menus. Browsers also usually have a bar which you can display where you can save your favourite bookmarks. This is called the bookmarks bar. If you use a bookmark frequently, having the bookmark right there in front of you on the bookmark bar can save quite a bit of time. I've also found for people less familiar with technology, having their favourite sites listed on the bookmark bar can improve their experience with the internet.

A bookmark basically holds a web address. Select the bookmark and you'll go to the web address or site. A bookmarklet however is quite different. Bookmarklets are mini programs or scripts software developers can create and make available to others. Bookmarklets come in handy when you do the same task often, because instead of taking a number of steps to do something, by automating what you do, you can take less steps.

Let's take an example.

When Julia Gillard mentioned the word misogynist and it was reported in the media, the word misandry was also mentioned. I didn't know what misandry meant. When I find a word I don't know the meaning I look it up. This means going to a dictionary site, typing the word in and pressing enter. I could also have selected the word and then done a copy and paste.

I use Word Check (a tool I wrote) to check first if the word is a valid or preferred Australian English spelling and then use the links in Word Check to look up the meaning in the Online Oxford or Wikipedia.

I look up words frequently so for me, automating the process helps to save quite a bit of time. This is where a bookmarklet comes in handy. I've written the Word Check bookmarklet which means I can highlight the word (using the mouse to drag across the word, or double click on the word) and then click on the Word Check bookmarklet on my bookmarks bar. The Word Check bookmarklet takes the highlighted word, opens the Word Check page, passes the highlighted word to Word Check and Word Check displays the result. One highlight, one click to check the word and then one more click to get the meaning. Much faster than highlight word, copy word, enter or search for dictionary site, paste in word, press enter.

Now hopefully we're all on the same page with bookmarklets. On the Word Check page (http://www.australian-dictionary.com.au/wordcheck/) towards the bottom I've included the link for the Word Check bookmarklet.

In most browsers all you need to do is click on the link and drag and drop the link onto your bookmarks bar to set up the bookmarklet for easy access. The following are more detailed instructions on how to install and test the Word Check bookmarklet on the bookmarks bar in Google Chrome.

1. Show the bookmarks bar as follows.

Click on the three vertical dots at the right
Click Bookmarks
Click Show bookmarks bar

2. On the Word Check page (http://www.australian-dictionary.com.au/wordcheck/) drag the bookmarklet link to the bookmarks bar.


As you drag the link (left mouse click and drag) a circle with a cross through it will appear.
As you reach the bookmarks bar the circle will change into a +.
Release the left mouse button to drop the link onto the bookmarks bar.

You should now have a bookmark named Word Check on the bookmarks bar.

To test, highlight any word on the current web page using the mouse, or double click on a word so it is selected.

Now click on Word Check in the bookmarks bar.

This passes the selected word to Word Check. The same as entering the word manually but much easier to drag and drop if you do this a lot.

Now you know what a bookmarklet is and how to install the Word Check bookmarklet in Google Chrome. What could possibly go wrong!

Whilst bookmarklets generally work this way, not all browsers across all operating systems work exactly the same way.

The following is a list of browsers which work this way.

Safari on macOS
Edge on Windows 10
Chrome on Windows 10
Internet Explorer on Windows 7
Chrome on Windows 7

Chrome on macOS does not allow you to drag and drop the link to add the bookmarklet to the bookmarks bar. For Chrome on macOS you'll need to do the following.

1. Right click on the bookmarklet link on the Word Check page (http://www.australian-dictionary.com.au/wordcheck/).
2. Select Copy Link Address
3. Right click on the bookmarks bar
4. Select Add Page
5. Type in Word Check as the Name
6. Paste into the URL field using Command+V the previously copied link address
7. Click Save

You now have the Word Check bookmarklet saved on the bookmarks bar in Google Chrome.

In the past, and I can't remember which browser it was, one technique I used was to edit an existing bookmark on the bookmarks bar and change the Name and URL to the values for Word Check.

Hopefully this post now provides you with sufficient information if you have issues installing the Word Check bookmarklet.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.Australian-Dictionary.com.au