"dialog" and other -log's

Charles C Doyle cdoyle at UGA.EDU
Tue Jul 12 14:18:10 UTC 2011

I always use the spelling "dialog," and I had never given it much thought until I found myself using it in the same sentence with "eclogue."

The OED marks "dialog" as only a "ME" spelling--even though the appended "draft addition" for "dialogue box" gives "dialog box" (from 1984) in one of the two illustrative quotations.  In fact, the spelling "dialog box" gets 17 million raw Google hits, versus a mere 2 million for "dialogue box."

Indeed, the spelling "dialog" is extremely common in post-ME times (like today)--three or four times as many raw Google hits as "dialogue"--and the OED should certainly list it as a current variant spelling.

I tend to use the spelling "prolog" too (in a non-computer-program sense).  Perhaps I'm being a little eccentric there; the OED marks that spelling as belonging to "ME-15[th century]," though the spelling is easy enough to attest from the 16th century up to the present.

The spelling "eclog" is uncommon since the 17th century, but I may go ahead and use it--for the sake of consistency, and to strike a small blow for Americanism.


The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

More information about the Ads-l mailing list