Browse Definitions :

Threshold or threshhold?

Writing for Business

Which is correct?
The Scottish tradition of first-footing involves being the first person to step across a friend or neighbor’s _______ after midnight on January 1.
a. threshold
b. threshhold


Answer: a.

Explanation:

Oddly enough, I was inclined to think that threshhold must be the correct spelling because last month I discovered that withhold is correct, rather than withold. If you double the h in one, I thought, you probably double it in both. But no, it’s withhold and threshold. So, um, I was wrong both times. Just one more of those little idiosyncrasies that make English such a challenging language — even for native speakers.

A threshold, by the way, is a point of entry, a barrier that must be crossed. Specifically, it’s a door sill, although the meaning has generalized. According to folklore etymology, it was originally two words, thresh hold, meaning a barrier holding in the chaff flooring. A good story, but according to the Online Etymology Dictionary, thresh originally meant to tread, so it’s probably more akin to a stair tread.

Follow me on Twitter @tao_of_grammar

Dig Deeper on Writing for Business

SearchCompliance

  • information governance

    Information governance is a holistic approach to managing corporate information by implementing processes, roles, controls and ...

  • enterprise document management (EDM)

    Enterprise document management (EDM) is a strategy for overseeing an organization's paper and electronic documents so they can be...

  • risk assessment

    Risk assessment is the identification of hazards that could negatively impact an organization's ability to conduct business.

SearchSecurity

  • PKI (public key infrastructure)

    PKI (public key infrastructure) is the underlying framework that enables entities -- users and servers -- to securely exchange ...

  • obfuscation

    Obfuscation means to make something difficult to understand.

  • dumpster diving

    Dumpster diving is looking for treasure in someone else's trash.

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • risk mitigation

    Risk mitigation is a strategy to prepare for and lessen the effects of threats faced by a business.

  • call tree

    A call tree is a layered hierarchical communication model that is used to notify specific individuals of an event and coordinate ...

  • Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS)

    Disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) is the replication and hosting of physical or virtual servers by a third party to provide ...

SearchStorage

  • cloud storage

    Cloud storage is a service model in which data is transmitted and stored on remote storage systems, where it is maintained, ...

  • cloud testing

    Cloud testing is the process of using the cloud computing resources of a third-party service provider to test software ...

  • storage virtualization

    Storage virtualization is the pooling of physical storage from multiple storage devices into what appears to be a single storage ...

Close