Temporary - Contemporary (spelling)
The spelling of the word contemporary, mostly an adjective, gives some difficulty. In careful pronunciation, it has five syllables. In rushed speech, these are often slurred into three or four ('con-TEMP-ry' or 'con-TEMP-err-y'), which may cause some of the problems with spelling. (See also Contemporary(pronunciation).)
- Sometimes contemporary is used as a noun. The spelling is identical; the plural form is contemporaries ('people who lived at the same time [as the person of whom I have just written]').
The cognate adjective temporary presents similar problems, not least because it too is often slurred in rapid speech. Carefully pronounced, it has four syllables: 'TEMP-or-air-y', IPA: /ˈtɛmp ər ər ɪ/; this is stressed on the first syllable. In American pronunciation, it is often stressed on the third syllable: 'TEMP-or-AIR-y', IPA: /ˈtɛmp ər ˌer ɪ/. Such a word is easily slurred into three or even two syllables: it is not uncommon to hear 'TEMP-ry', IPA: /ˈtɛmp rɪ/.
- The difficulties increase with the adverb temporarily, which is properly spelled here. For more on the pronunciation, see temporary and temporarily.
- You may want to see an article about the meaning and usage of contemporary: go to contemporaneous - contemporary.
- Contemporary and temporary are two of the 117 mis-spellings listed as 'Common difficulties' in the section on 'Spelling' within 'Writing' in UEfAP.