The Spelling Mistake Hiding in Plain Sight: A Revealing Look at the Dictionary

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The dictionary is a staple in every home, school, and library. It’s a tool that we use almost every day, whether to check the spelling of a word or to find out its meaning. But did you know that there is a spelling mistake hiding in plain sight in most English dictionaries? That mistake is the spelling of the word “judgement.”

If you look up the word “judgment” in any reputable English dictionary, you’ll find that it’s spelled with an “e.” However, a quick Google search will reveal that the more common spelling of the word is actually “judgment,” without the “e.” So why then, do most dictionaries spell it with an “e”?

It turns out that the “e” in “judgement” was added by lexicographers in the 18th century. At the time, there was a movement to add more letters to words to make them look more sophisticated. The “e” was added to “judgment” to give it a French-like feel. This addition was accepted by most English speakers and became the standard spelling for the word.

However, over time, the use of the “e” has dwindled, and now the most common spelling of the word is without it. Despite this, most dictionaries still include the “e” in their entries for “judgment.” This is because dictionaries are traditionally prescriptive in nature, meaning that they aim to tell users how a word should be spelled, even if the spelling is no longer in common usage.

The debate over the inclusion of the “e” in “judgment” is not a new one. In fact, many proponents argue that the inclusion of the “e” adds an air of formality to the word, making it more appropriate for use in legal or academic contexts. However, opponents argue that the “e” is now largely unnecessary and often confuses non-native English speakers.

So what should we do about the spelling of “judgment”? Should we continue to include the “e” in dictionaries, or should we adopt the more common spelling without it? The answer is not clear-cut, as it ultimately depends on how prescriptive we want our dictionaries to be.

In conclusion, the spelling mistake hiding in plain sight in most English dictionaries is the inclusion of the letter “e” in the word “judgment.” This mistake was introduced in the 18th century and has persisted ever since. Despite the fact that the more common spelling of the word is without the “e,” most dictionaries continue to include it. Whether we should continue to include the “e” or adopt the more common spelling is a matter of debate, but it ultimately boils down to how prescriptive we want our dictionaries to be.

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