Difference between “publicly” and “publically”

Language tends to transform in use over time, and this appears to be the case when discussing “publicly” versus “publically” as correct spelling. It is undeniable that dictionaries spell the adverb of “public” as “publicly”, but in recent years trends have shown a rise in the use of “publically” amongst English-speakers. This trend in no way makes the spelling of “publicly” as “publically” correct, but it is worth noting that people all over the English-speaking world are using the incorrect spelling at a rate fast enough to catch the attention of several dictionary sources.

The spelling of “publicly” in no way follow any English language trend. If you consider the word “basic” and its alternative form, “basically”, you’ll realize that “basic” is never spelled “basicly”. Were it spelled this way as well, it would more closely represent that of “publicly”. The inconsistencies between words within a language, as which is witnessed in English, contributes directly to the difficulty level experienced when trying to learn a new language. English is notorious for its inconsistencies; therefore, the example of “basicly” and “publicly” accurately represents this struggle.

Although many people may choose to use what is technically a very wrong spelling for the world “publicly”, one should still be made aware of the variations that exist – and especially of the variations that are grammatically and orthographically incorrect. Without these precautions, one risks falling into repeated traps of colloquialism which reduces the quality of written pieces and the presence of professionalism in communication.


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