Geneology

Experienced genealogists will look at the title of this blog entry and immediately think, "Opps! She's wrong!" because the word is really spelled "Genealogy." They know it's wrong, though, because they probably started out spelling it that way! Beginning researchers typically start with the spelling "GENEOLOGY" because it both looks and sounds right.

So why is that?

As 'geneologists' we are very concerned with the roots and origins of things so our first clue will be to look at the origin of the word.

This word, meaning the study of a family tree or lineage comes from two Greek words: genea (ancestry or descent) and logos (wisdom or knowledge).

Both together 'genealogos', or genealogy and genealogist.

If we had all paid good attention in Latin class, memorized our vocabularies and passed with flying A's then there would be no problem because we'd always be thinking "genea" first and the spelling and pronunciation would naturally follow.

Instead, we have so many words in scientific fields that end with "ology", such as psychology, sociology, archeology, etc. that both our eye and our ear capture the word "genealogy" and give it the ology ending. So both in speaking and in spelling we tend to get "geneology."

Fortunately both the Genealogy world and the internet world (where we tend to do most of our searching) are very forgiving of the misspelling "geneology." Experienced researchers and intuitive search engines immediately turn it into the correct spelling, "genealogy," and off we go!

Try it out on Google and you'll see. Search for "Geneology" and you'll find all the best genealogy sites (with a few results where the spelling is purposefully wrong in articles such as this one.) It is such a common misspelling that Google's keyword search tool usually shows searches for "genealogy" and "geneology" to be equal for any given month!

All the same, as a person works their way into the world of ancestor research and building a family tree, they usually learn the correct spelling and quickly gain a preference for it. Thus, back to the beginning of immediately thinking "Wrong" when seeing Geneology.

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