12 Words Ending in -logue (or Is It -log?)

By Mark Nichol

What is the correct spelling for words ending with an element derived from the Greek suffix logos, meaning “to speak”? For example, should one refer to an analog, or to an analogue? This post lists and defines words ending in –logue or –log (with prefixes defined and various inflections provided) and provides more detail below the list about which form to use.

The first spelling when more than one is shown is the prevailing one; the alternative may appear occasionally but is in most cases not considered standard.

1. analogue/analog (“according to”): comparable but different in form and/or function (analogist, analogously, analogousness, analogy)

2. apologue (“away from”): an allegory that offers a moral (apologist, apology, though these words apply to usage for which apologue is not applied)

3. catalog/catalogue (“completely”): a list or register, often with details, or a publication that consists of a list (often of products for sale) with details provided (cataloger/cataloguer, cataloging/cataloguing)

4. dialogue/dialog (“two”): a conversation between two people, an information exchange between a person and a device, or an exchange of ideas and/or opinions, or the written representation of a conversation, the whole of conversational elements of a composition (whether written, recorded, or performed live), or a musical composition comparable to conversation

5. duologue (“two”): a conversation between two people

6. epilogue/epilog (“in addition”): a concluding element of a composition

7. homologue/homolog (“same”): something comparable or similar, or compatible (homologous)

8. ideologue/idealogue (“idea”): someone who uncritically adheres to or advocates a concept or theory

9. monologue/monolog (“one”): a speech by a character in a dramatic performance, a short solo dramatic performance, a comparable written composition, or a comic’s routine, or an excessively long speech during a conversation (monologuist/monologist)

10. prologue/prolog (“before”): an introductory speech in a play (or the actor performing it) or an introduction in a literary work, or a development or event that introduces or precedes another

11. Sinologue (“China”): a student of Chinese culture and history (Sinological, Sinologist)

12. travelogue/travelog (“journey”): a composition or lecture about travel, or a narrated film about travel

For most of these terms, as shown, the –logue form still prevails, though the shorter alternative to a couple of these words is preferred in American English. Analog, however, is generally used only in contexts concerning electronics, as when a mechanical device is distinguished from a digital one (such as in reference to an analog clock); in the sense of “comparative,” analogue is still more common. Catalog is the only word on this list for which the shorter version is the dominant form for all senses. In some cases, spelling ending in –log is not seen at all. (In British English, the truncated form of any of these words is rare.)

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4 Responses to “12 Words Ending in -logue (or Is It -log?)”

  • Dale A. Wood

    These chemical compounds are all analogs of one another:
    methane (CH4), carbon tetrafluoride (CF4), carbon tetrachloride CCl4, silane (SiH4) a.k.a. silicon tetrahydride,
    silicon tetrafluoride SiF4, silicon tetrachloride (SiCl4),
    germanium tetrafluoride GeF4.

  • Dale A. Wood

    In mathematics, geometry, there are things in three dimensions that are analogs to other things in two dimensions:
    The plane is the analog of the line.
    The sphere is the analog of the circle.
    The tetrahedron is the analog of the triangle.
    The cube is the analog of the square.
    The rectangular parallelepiped is the analog of the rectangle.
    The ellipsoid is the analog of the ellipse.
    The dodecahedron is the analog of the regular pentagon.
    It goes on and on, especially when we move on to four or more dimensions. There are analogs all over the place in mathematics.
    In physics, the gravitational force and the electric force are analogs of each other because they have practically the same equation describing them. The equation for gravitation is Newton’s Law of Gravitation, and the equation for the electric force is Coulomb’s Law. Both of these men have important units named for them: the newton for forces, and the coulomb for electric charge.

  • Dale A. Wood

    demagog and demagogue.
    pedagog and pedagogue.
    “Analog” is also used in biology, chemistry, physics, all kinds of engineering, mathematics, and computer science.
    “The flipper of the seal is the analog of the wing of the bird or the hand of the man.”
    “Pandas have an appendage that is the analog of the thumb of a man or a chimpanzee.”
    “Organic compounds containing fluorine are analogs to the hydrocarbons.” Examples of these are freon, Teflon, and 5-flourouracil – an anticancer drug.
    “Many organic compounds containing chlorine are analogs to the hydrocarbons.” For example,
    chloroform C(Cl)4 is an analog of methane CH4, and
    tetrachloroethylene (C2)(Cl)4 is an analog of ethylene
    Chloroform is a very old anesthetic used in surgery, and tetrachloroethylene is a well-known dry-cleaning fluid. They were using chloroform back in the days of nitrous oxide [N2O] “laughing gas” and ether [C2H6].
    (A serious problem with ether is that it is hugely explosive with oxygen.)

  • Charley Daveler

    An interesting fact that I just read is that “dialog” is typically in reference to computer “dialog.” There was a resurgence of its usage since the 90s, though some still use it to discuss conversation in writing.

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