In news you’ll write lots of stories about fires – so it’s important to learn how to spell ‘fiery’.

This post was inspired by a mistake in the lead story this morning in my local paper. The spelling was correct in the on-line version but not in the version I access via the app.

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Media-savvy friends asked me why fiery is not spelled more logically – firey.

In older English, there were two spellings of fire – fire and fier and fiery came from the fier spelling.

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Interestingly, in Australia, we also use ‘firey’ in a different way as a common abbreviation for fireman or fire-person. This can also be spelled ‘firie’.

So my advice to you: because news writers will often write about fires you should remember that the spelling of fiery is not logical and is based on an older alternative spelling of fire.

English can be a confusing and inconsistent language – so it’s important that journalists know the ‘problem’ words like fiery.  Spelling matters when you see the words in ‘print’ and even in TV news when you see the words in graphics or supers or straps.

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One thought on “In news you better learn how to spell – fiery not firey

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