Publicly vs. Publically

At some point you need to write the adverb for ‘public’, but what is the right spelling? Publicly or publically? I tend to want to write it out as publically. After all, any other adjective that ends in ‘-ic’ normally ends in ‘-ically’. Examples of this are:

  1. hectic becomes hectically.
  2. idiotic becomes idiotically.
  3. tragic becomes tragically.
  4. poetic becomes poetically.

So, what about ‘public?’

Well, for those who always write ‘publically,’ this is widely regarded as a mistake. The original spelling is ‘publicly.’ However, since this spelling has become so common, various dictionaries have added it as a variant spelling. This means that you can actually get away with spelling it this way even though it is not the official spelling.

Both have the same meaning, but most people will argue that ‘publically’ should be deemed as incorrect.

Despite the rapid growth of writers using ‘publically’, there remains an enormous amount of people who still write it in the way it was originally spelled. It is technically the only word in dictionaries ending in ‘-icly’, the fact that it doesn’t get misspelled more frequently is a little puzzling, to say the least.

Publicly vs Publically? What is the final verdict?

For those who are committed to following the proper spelling of words, then ‘publicly’ is correct. Despite the ever-increasing popularity of ‘publically,’ there are still question marks over its correctness. To avoid debates, it is best just to stick to the old-fashioned ‘publicly.’

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