Posted by: Jack Henry | October 21, 2016

Editor’s Corner: Suppose

It’s been awhile since we’ve heard from Grammar Girl (Mignon Fogarty). Today I have something from her book, The Grammar Devotional (p. 5). This is definitely a pet peeve that some of you have mentioned to me.

A Supposed Rule: Supposedly Versus Supposably

It would be much easier if I could tell you supposably isn’t a word, but I can’t. It is a word, but the problem is that supposably doesn’t mean the same thing as supposedly and most people use it incorrectly.

The word you usually want is supposedly, which means roughly “assumed to be true” and almost always includes a hint of sarcasm or disbelief:

Supposedly, he canceled our date because of a family emergency.

She supposedly sent the check, but it was lost in the mail.

Supposably means “supposable,” “conceivable,” or “arguably.” It is only a valid word in American English; the British wisely refuse to accept it.

[KC – Apparently, Microsoft® has also refused to accept it, since it is marking is as an incorrect spelling. I think I’m okay with that.]

Note: I’m teaching a class Monday morning on MS Word—about templates and other topics people have asked me about. It’s aimed towards Symitar, but anybody from JHA is welcome. I’m told you just have to look for 60-Minute University on the LMS and register there. I hope to see some of you in class and online! Happy Friday!

Kara Church

Technical Editor, Advisory

619-542-6773 | Ext: 766773

Symitar Documentation Services

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