from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The forming of words with letters in an accepted order; orthography.
  • noun The art or study of orthography.
  • noun The way in which a word is spelled.
  • noun A person's ability to spell words.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A story; a relation; a tale.
  • noun The act of one who spells; the manner of forming words with letters; or thography.
  • noun A collocation of letters representing a word; a written word as spelled in a particular way.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun The act of one who spells; formation of words by letters; orthography.
  • adjective Of or pertaining to spelling.
  • adjective [U.S.] a spelling match.
  • adjective a book with exercises for teaching children to spell; a speller.
  • adjective a contest of skill in spelling words, between two or more persons.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb Present participle of spell.
  • noun uncountable The act, practice, ability, or subject of forming words with letters, or of reading the letters of words; orthography.
  • noun uncountable The manner of spelling of words; correct spelling.
  • noun countable A specific spelling of a word.
  • noun US, rare, dated, countable or uncountable A spelling test or spelling bee.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun forming words with letters according to the principles underlying accepted usage


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

1400s, from spell (verb) + -ing.



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  • Suport You're Local's!

    I saw this handwritten sign in a window a few days ago. The "local's" referred to are local craft makers. I like it because every word is either misspelled or grammatically incorrect.

    October 22, 2007

  • OUCH! That hurts my head!

    October 22, 2007

  • It's also surprisingly difficult to read, isn't it?

    October 22, 2007

  • Wait. What if we rearranged the punctuation?

    "Support! You're Locals."

    October 22, 2007

  • That reminds me of a story (possibly apocryphal) about the wife of Peter the Great (or was it Ivan the Terrible...?) who had a merciful streak as well as being more literate than her husband. She intercepted a note from the emperor to one of his officers about the fate of a man who was imprisoned. The note supposedly said: "Pardon impossible. To be sent to Siberia."

    Allegedly the woman changed the punctuation to read: "Pardon, impossible to be sent to Siberia." And the man's life was saved.

    I don't really know or care how true it is. I just thought the use of punctuation to change the meaning was interesting.

    October 22, 2007

  • And the famous "Woman, without her man, is nothing." Changed to "Woman: Without her, man is nothing." :-)

    October 22, 2007

  • I have to wonder about people who go out of their way to insert unnecessary punctuation. It's easier to type your than you're! It's easier to type locals than local's! It's a two-for-one deal: save yourself the trouble of typing extra characters, AND get the added bonus of being correct. Who wouldn't want that?

    A frightened part of me suspects that these people assume using more letters and punctuation marks equals being more grammatically intelligent. Like refusing to acknowledge that its really is the possessive form of it, because it's not as "complete" as it could be.

    October 23, 2007

  • On the nosey, U. It's the same phenomenon that we experience when people say "Bruce was really mean to she and I," but that's another story...

    October 23, 2007

  • Or "Myself and Bob decided not to go." *shudder*

    October 23, 2007

  • Or, like the sign I saw the other day:

    Lost "Keys"

    Please return to... (etc.)

    Perhaps the author really did mean that the misplaced object masquerades as keys. AGH!

    Skipv, one of my (least) favorites is similar to your example, but mixes up the cases entirely: "I can't believe he did that to her and I." STABBY!! STABBY STABBY!!

    October 23, 2007