List of words that may be spelled with a ligature

List of words that may be spelled with a ligature

This list of words that may be spelled with a ligature in English encompasses words which have letters that may, in modern usage, either be rendered as two distinct letters or as a single, combined letter. This includes "AE" being rendered as "Æ" (an "æsc" or ash) and "OE" being rendered as "Œ" (an "œthel"). Note that when a "c" is before a ligature, it makes the sound /s/ rather than /k/ as might be expected (because "c" makes the sound /k/ before an "a" or "o" in English).

The use of the œ and æ is obsolescent in modern English, and has been used predominantly in British English. It is usually used to evoke archaism, or in literal quotations of historic sources.

The fl and fi ligatures, among others, are still commonly used to render modern text in fine typography. Programs such as QuarkXpress and Adobe InDesign can be configured to automatically replace the individual characters with the appropriate ligatures.


Note that some words contain an "ae" which may not be written "æ" because the etymology is not from the Greek "-αι-" or Latin "-ae-" diphthongs. These include:

* In instances of "aer" (starting or within a word) when it makes the sound IPA IPA| [ɛə] / [eə] ("air"). Comes from the Latin "āër", Greek "ἀήρ".
* When "ae" makes the diphthong sound IPA IPA| [eɪ] (l"ay"), or [αɪ] ("eye").
* When "ae" is found in a foreign phrase or loan word and it is unacceptable to use the ligature in that language. For example, when in a German loan word or phrase, if the a with an umlaut (ä) is written as "ae", it is incorrect to write it with the ligature.



#The variants that change '-æ' or '­-œ' to '-s' are not variants in spelling, but the same meaning of the word with a different way of forming plurals.
#"caesium" (see article) is preferred by the IUPAC.

Also, ligatures may be used in personal names as well, ie. Maecenus as Mæcenus, or Timothy as Timothæ, etc.

ee also

*Ligature (typography)

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