Words with similar writing but different meaning

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#1
Hi there. I have been facing some difficulties lately due to words with similar writing but different meanings. So as to get this started. What's the difference between the words Specialty vs Speciality
 

TitaniumTi

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#3
As Victoria indicated, specialty is the American version of the British speciality. However, speciality may be used as a noun ("What is his speciality?") or an adjective ("I bought this at a speciality store."), but specialty is only used as a noun. Specialty is also used in medical writing and as a legal term.
 

The Judge

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#4
I'd also confirm the US/UK English split as to the spelling.

Ti: I've never heard of a speciality store which sounds very American to my ears, so I'd actually expect the US spelling to be used with that! Anyway, have you a link to a site which confirms adjectival use? I ask because I've never seen it as an adjective, and neither Collins online nor my ODE which are my go-to sources define the word -- in either spelling -- as an adjective, only as nouns. Though both mention its use as a modifier, which might easily be confused with an adjective (certainly by me!) eg in the ODE "speciality potatoes for salads" meaning meeting particular tastes or needs.
 

TheDustyZebra

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#5
I would have said, without looking, that specialty could be used in the same capacity as speciality, since they are the same word, really. I wouldn't blink at a "specialty store" or equivalent. Specialty tools, etc. Of course, now that I've typed it a few times, it looks all wrong.
 

TitaniumTi

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#6
I'd also confirm the US/UK English split as to the spelling.

Ti: I've never heard of a speciality store which sounds very American to my ears, so I'd actually expect the US spelling to be used with that! Anyway, have you a link to a site which confirms adjectival use? I ask because I've never seen it as an adjective, and neither Collins online nor my ODE which are my go-to sources define the word -- in either spelling -- as an adjective, only as nouns. Though both mention its use as a modifier, which might easily be confused with an adjective (certainly by me!) eg in the ODE "speciality potatoes for salads" meaning meeting particular tastes or needs.
The Oxford Dictionary website states that speciality can be used as a modifier. (I think this is the same as an adjective - am I wrong?)
speciality - definition of speciality in English from the Oxford dictionary

Edited to add: I've now read your post more carefully, TJ, and checked the Oxford Dictionary website: It seems that a noun used as a modifier is still a noun - not an adjective.
 
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TitaniumTi

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#7
I would have said, without looking, that specialty could be used in the same capacity as speciality, since they are the same word, really. I wouldn't blink at a "specialty store" or equivalent. Specialty tools, etc. Of course, now that I've typed it a few times, it looks all wrong.
I've looked at a few dictionaries (Oxford, Cambridge and Merriam-Webster) and none of them define specialty as an adjective or modifier. However, I wouldn't blink at that usage either.
 
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tinkerdan

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#9
Although the pronunciation of specialty[American] and speciality[British] are quite close

Specialty
/ˈspeʃ•əl•ti/ [American]
Speciality
\ˌspe-shē-ˈa-lə-tē\ [British]

Here is an interesting addition to the discussion.
It appears that there might be differences in how we pronounce Speciality.

Speciality
ˌspeSHēˈalədē/ [American]
\ˌspe-shē-ˈa-lə-tē\ [British]

Here is an interesting link about speciality as and adjective::
Speciality vs. specialty - Grammarist
::That does not give any sources for its conclusions.
I would not follow this web site just on the strength of this one post.
 

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