Debated spellings

Dr Dan J Bell and Dr Jeremy Jones et al.

There are a number of debated spellings in our world. We are well aware that there are accepted differences between British and American English. We tend towards British spelling on the site, but realise that with an international audience, we will have British and American spelling on the site. 

Because of the vagaries of language, we find that there is some inconsistency with the use of some words, which warrant some discussion:

  • artefact vs artifact
  • echoes vs echos

Artefact vs artifact

Artefact is the original British English spelling. Artifact is the American English spelling.

Interestingly, unlike most American spellings, artifact is the accepted form in some British publications. Artifact also has a derivative spelling that is closer to words that are related to it, e.g. artificial.

Therefore, some would argue that artifact should be the preferred spelling - it has an American and British following, and a spelling that is closer to related words. Although one may favour either spelling, for these reasons and because we adhere to consistency the preferred spelling on is "artifact".

Echoes vs echos

Both "echoes" and "echos" are correct plural forms of "echo". Although neither of them is specifically linked to UK or US English spelling and both are technically correct, at we aim for uniformity as much as possible.

One can debate which spelling should prevail, but we feel that "echoes" leaves less room for mispronunciation of the long O sound and therefore prefer the plural form "echoes" to be used.

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rID: 31056
Tags: help, style
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:

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