Real Spellers

English Makes Sense!

Dear Real Spellers,

Why do we have words like 'vacuum' and 'continuum' in English if the letter <u> is not supposed to double. Why wasn't the letter <o> substituted for the first in both words as happened in other words like 'rough'. I know that both vacuum and continuum are Latin words, but my problem is :Why were they adpted just like they were into English without any modifications even though they seem to violate English orthographic convention.

Another thing: Is the first <u> in 'continuum' and 'vacuum' a connecting vowel or part of the base?

Another word that has been bugging me lately is 'savvy'. Why is it spelled the way it is despite violating the English convention of not doubling the letter <v>? I checked it out online and one dictionary traces it to a corruption of the Spanish word 'sabe' meaning to 'to know'. another traces it to French 'savez' also meaning 'know'. However, both 'sabe' and 'savey' are said to have their root in the Latin 'sapere' which is 'to know.

Why does it have the double <vv>. Can anyone help with how it is built?

Thank you.


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