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The following information passed a request for deletion.

This discussion is no longer live and is left here as an archive. Please do not modify this conversation, but feel free to discuss its conclusions.


It's only an alternative spelling if you don't know how to spell the word right in the first place (compare miniscule). This is a misspelling more often seen in plural form, curiously enough. — Paul G 11:28, 13 July 2007 (UTC)

Ditto idiosyncracies. — Paul G 11:29, 13 July 2007 (UTC)

keep, with 903 b.g.c and ~6,300 g.g.c. hits for "idiosyncracy" and 1512/~24,800 for "idiosyncracies" I'd say this is used often enough to be considered an alternative spelling. Thryduulf 11:43, 13 July 2007 (UTC)

I was listed as a misspelling at one point, but I changed it to "alternative" as our criteria for such was developing. I do not recall seeing this word spelled "correctly" as idiosyncrasy, but indeed, other dictionaries list it as such. I probably just never noticed the highly unusual spelling with the "S" instead of a "C". The etymology of idiosyncrasy looks like a possible copyvio. --Connel MacKenzie 18:37, 13 July 2007 (UTC)
re etymology - possibly, but note the references at the bottom to two out of copyright dictionaries (1911 and 1913). Worth investigating though. Thryduulf 18:49, 13 July 2007 (UTC)
As per Paul G, different spellings should only be tagged as alternative if they reflect intention. As idiosyncrac(y/ies) as a misspelling of idiosyncras(y/ies) almost certainly arises due to its confusion with -cracy-terminal words such as democracy, it ought therefore to be listed as a common misspelling. † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 18:52, 13 July 2007 (UTC)
It seems more like an alternative spelling (possibly regional) to me. Lewis' Dictionary of Toxicology. Prescription is fine when it is correct, but I'm not sure the terminal "sy" is valid, even etymologically. As I said, I don't recall ever seeing it spelled the prescriptively "correct" way. --Connel MacKenzie 20:22, 13 July 2007 (UTC)
I must confess that in all likelihood, I would have spelt it incorrectly (that is, with the terminal -cy) too. It’s unclear what Lewis’ Dictionary of Toxicology is doing — it opts for the -sy-terminal spelling for idiosyncrasy and its subheading chemical idiosyncrasy (parenthetically mentioning the -cy-terminal spelling, without explanation), but for the other subheading, drug idiosyncracy, it only gives the -cy-terminal form, without any mention of the -sy-terminal “alternative”; furthermore, to add to the confusion, the next heading, idiosyncrasy of effect, doesn’t mention the -cy-terminal “alternative”. I’d feel uneasy about calling the -cy-terminal form an alternative spelling unless it were listed in a (reliable) dictionary as such. By the way Connel, are you questioning the veracity of the etymology given? –Does it conflict with another that you’ve seen? † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 20:59, 13 July 2007 (UTC)
I was trying to suggest (without counter-reference) that the transliteration might be erroneous, in the manner in which it suggests "-sy." But, rereading it, I'm not sure it even does suggest that. The Toxology dictionary was an example (I thought) of a secondary source listing it as an alternate spelling...though I suppose that would take a lengthy reading of that text's front-matter to be sure. --Connel MacKenzie 03:48, 14 July 2007 (UTC)
A googlefight returns 616K for the -sy spelling, to 99K for the -cy spelling. Personally, I would have misspelled this word before today and thought -cy was correct. --EncycloPetey 23:41, 13 July 2007 (UTC)
Unless someone references a dictionary, shall we agree to retain idiosyncracy and idiosyncracies, but as common misspellings of idiosyncrasy and idiosyncrasies? † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 00:42, 14 July 2007 (UTC)
We haven't had any really earth-shattering test cases for what does or doesn't qualify as a "misspelling" vs. an "alternative" but it certainly seems that the 10% to 50% guideline that seemed to have agreement would indicate this as an alternate, not a misspelling. On closer inspection of b.g.c. hits, the preponderance of medical references suggests (to me) it may have a more specific meaning with this spelling. --Connel MacKenzie 03:48, 14 July 2007 (UTC)

To me it's always been a misspelling and I think we'd be unwise to label it otherwise. Widsith 08:07, 14 July 2007 (UTC)

I concur with Widsith. —msh210 19:30, 16 July 2007 (UTC)
Done. If the change is disagreeable to anyone, feel free to change it back and discuss why here. † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 13:33, 17 July 2007 (UTC)

I'll remove the rfd notice since clearly the page is going to be kept in some form. Widsith 16:46, 18 July 2007 (UTC)

I don't think that is wise - it is a discussion link to a discussion that is far from resolved. Likewise, changing it to "misspelling" over at least three objections is unwise. Adding a usage note indicating which other references say it is a misspelling would be acceptable, as long as the definition itself identifies it as an alternative spelling. But it seems more likely to be a regional issue, than I first suspected. Judging the veracity of the b.g.c. hits that "spell it correctly" vs. those that "spell it -cy", my overall impression is that the "-cy" camp is the more academic collection, therefore more likely to be correct. --Connel MacKenzie 00:24, 21 July 2007 (UTC)
You should probably move this to RFC then. No one is suggesting we actually delete the page. Widsith 12:11, 23 July 2007 (UTC)
I sense some disturbing bias here: two Americans and one British English speaker support calling it an "alternate", yet four other British English speakers suggest following the OED blindly? And you step up in defense of an out-of-process change? Say what? It is still under discussion - why is this guy being cut so much slack? British English bias? Or is there some less harrowing conclusion that eludes me? --Connel MacKenzie 00:14, 24 July 2007 (UTC)
For goodness’ sake, stop being so melodramatic. Look — I changed it back until this discussion is concluded, since you’ve kicked up so much of a fuss. I suggest you pay a little more respect to the bases of the decisions of the “four other British English speakers” here. This scenario is an example of a failure of the purely statistical method of establishing misspellings vs. alternative spellings — calling it an alternative spelling would not reflect writers’ intentions (as I argued elsewhere). Ditto miniscule, geneology, et cetera. † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 01:06, 24 July 2007 (UTC)
I don't wish to start an argument here (since we've already got the one going at my talk-page), but I'll state for the record that by my reading, only two people here (you and Thryduulf) have supported calling it an "alternat(iv)e" spelling; all others' comments have labeled it a misspelling. —RuakhTALK 05:46, 24 July 2007 (UTC)
Eh? Connel, I don't understand, who is being cut slack? Also what does being British have to do with it? Sure, the OED spells it idiosyncrasy. So does the American Heritage Dictionary. So does Everyone does: that is the way the word is spelled. "Idiosyncracy" is a common misspelling. As far as I can see, the only source you have which supports it is a dictionary of toxicology. Surely you can see that it would be much more bizarre and biased to follow that over the authority of all other established dictionaries. Widsith 09:35, 24 July 2007 (UTC)