Question About Applying Analogical Word Building Principles

On the theory that the silliest question is the one I didn’t ask:
I was drafting somethng and needed an outline for specifically. What I used at the time was spes + disjoined ke.
When I checked the dictionary later, there was no outline given for specifically, but there were several other -ifically words (Thank you, Andrew, for the online searchable dictionary!). The closest in structure that I found were pacifically and terrifically; one uses joined ke and the other uses disjoined ke.
Is there any general rule of thumb for deciding which of two possible analogous forms is preferred?

(by Denise for


3 comments Add yours
  1. Yes. Since -cally is a derivative of the disjoined ending -cal, then the disjoined -ke is used. "Specifically" is written then with the disjoined -ke, as it is noted on page 66 of the 5000 Most-Used Shorthand Forms book. (Unfortunately, Andrew has not made the pdf searchable though.)

    The words "pacific" and "pacifically" are an anomaly. In fact, in the version of the dictionary that I have that was annotated by Winifred Kenna Richmond, she has them circled and marked with a dash, indicating that there is no reference in the Gregg Shorthand manual for the writing of those particular words (even though "Pacific" is listed in the small vocabulary at the end of the book, so she must have missed it!). I speculate that since "pacific" was a common word during the war, the ending -cally was joined to make it easier to write, but I have no proof of this. Or it may have been an oversight.

    Incidentally, the ending -cally was standardized for all words as disjoined -ke in Simplified.

  2. When I didn't find the word in the dictionary (ca. 19,000 words), it didn't even occur to me to check the 5,000 Most-Used book.

    It's possible someone just added -ly to pacific, since that's pretty much what 'pacifically' sounds like.

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