Wikimedia Commons/ Anna Maj Michelson
Is it spelled “doughnut” or donut”? This issue has plagued food writers for decades, especially because there’s one dictionary-approved spelling and one that’s chain store-approved. So? A doughnut gets its name because it’s a combination of the words “dough” and “nut,” so it makes sense that doughnut is the official spelling, and you won’t meet a copy editor who will tell you otherwise. In fact, here’s what our very own copy editor had to say on the subject:
“The shortened ‘donut’ spelling snuck into somewhat popular usage relatively recently, largely in America, thanks to the chain we so famously ‘run on,’” she noted, “and while spellings evolve naturally with their languages, and we may someday see ‘donut’ become the accepted ‘correct’ spelling, current editorial authorities refuse to bend to corporate language manipulation… for now.”
While the shortened “donut” has been around for more than a century, it’s been popularized by marketing and doughnut shops like Dunkin’ Donuts, and is still definitely not the “official” spelling. Think of “donut” as a cousin of the words “lite” and “tonite.” They’re supposed to be spelled light and tonight, but marketers and advertisers seem to think otherwise.