xiven.com stating the blatantly obvious since 2002

Manoeuvre, Manoeuvrable, Manoeuverability??

Oh, the joys of the English language!

This little saga was started by this bug report on Voidwars. Actually it started a little before when I first looked up the word manoeuvrable for use in Voidwars (we have to indicate manoeuvrability of ships for example). I looked it up by starting up my word processor, setting the dictionary to UK English and just typing in what I thought was the correct spelling: maneouverable. To my suprise, upon running the spell check, it said I was right, and so that was the spelling I used throughout.

Then came that bug report. From the original post, I could see that the bug reporter was going by the American spelling (maneuverable) so I quickly responded by saying that we're using UK English (proper English ☺) and that it was in fact correct.

Unfortunately however, a later post by someone who had looked the word up on dictionary.com said that I was in fact still wrong and that the correct spelling was in fact manoeuvrable. So I checked this out and it seemed to be the case.

I also needed the spelling of manoeuvrability so, going by the spelling already given, I guessed how it would be spelt and checked it on dictionary.com.

No entry found for manoeuvrability. 1 suggestion found: manoeuverability

Eh? Where on Earth did that extra 'e' come from? Puzzled by this, I went downstairs to get the big guns: the Oxford English Dictionary, which most UK English speakers consider as being The foremost authority on current English.

It turns out that I was in fact correct with my guessed spelling for manoeuvrability and that the spelling on dictionary.com was in fact incorrect.

So endeth the saga (I hope). Sorry for boring you all.

Posted: 2002-12-31 15:53:48 UTC by Xiven | Cross-references (0) | Comments (4)




  • Dan (2011-01-24 16:53:07 UTC)


    it did not bore me, I had the same issue only 5 minutes ago and thats what brought me here. Also google spell checker has both spellings.


  • Anonymous (2012-08-13 03:30:01 UTC)

    It didn't bore me either.

    I thought I was a pretty good speller, but I had this one marked as mispelt as I wrote an MS Office email.
    Taking out the second e removed the mispelling marker - and I wouldn't have thought of it without seeing your entry.

    I particularly appreciated your check via the reputable source, the online Oxford English Dictionary. Particularly because so many following webpages that came up when I googled this had not done this check! (That is 10 years after your original post!) I tried to have a look at the OED myself, but had to abort when I found I needed to pay an excessive amount to do so. This made me appreciate your effort even more.

  • Xiven (Registered) (2016-01-06 16:04:40 UTC)

    Thanks to Muphry's Law, I misspelt "surprise" as "suprise" in the text above. No-one seemed to notice though, until some automated checking service decided to e-mail me about it today.

  • Willy Scott (2016-04-26 07:21:02 UTC)

    Not one bit boring.
    What you can't find on the Internet is not worth knowing.
    Who am trying to reach Americans or British? British every time!