Spell as you speak? Miniscule vs. minuscule

Probably because most of us pronounce this word’s second syllable with a short i instead of an u, it’s been giving writers spelling problems for some time now. 

Most stylebooks, including Chicago Manual and Associated Press, recommend using minuscule, and for a long time that has been the standard spelling. However, due to growing use of miniscule between the 1930s and 1980s, many dictionaries and word processing spell checks now recognize either spelling.

This word apparently is one of those in transition, and perhaps one day minuscule as a spelling will go the way of alack and other now archaic words. Until that time, however, stick with the standard spelling.


My name is Rob Bignell. I’m an affordable, professional editor who runs Inventing Reality Editing Service, which meets the manuscript needs of writers both new and published. I also offer a variety of self-publishing services. During the past decade, I’ve helped more than 300 novelists and nonfiction authors obtain their publishing dreams at reasonable prices. I’m also the author of the 7 Minutes a Day… writing guidebooks, four nonfiction hiking guidebook series, and the literary novel Windmill. Several of my short stories in the literary and science fiction genres also have been published.