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Whats the difference between an inquiry and an enquiry. -more-
at lunchtime today we noticed on BBC news that there is a murder inquiry for the bodies found at Osbaston House. One of my friends thinks it should be 'enquiry'. Which is correct?
asked in english, grammar

PARRY22 answers:

According to dictionary.com either is correct as they are variants of each other

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Russel.West answers:

I think they may have meant an 'inquest' which is a hearing opened in the Coroners Court in front of the coroner where the facts and evidence is brought by in the case of a crime being committed the police and the pathologists who performed an autopsy or a doctor who signed a death certificate and any concerned parties so that a verdict on how a death occurred, normally: unlawful killing, natural causes, misadventure, suicide or accidental death can be arrived at, if no known cause can be found then an 'open verdict' is usually declared.

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blacksmith81 answers:

enquiry or inquiry: According to Fowler, inquiry should be used in relation to a formal inquest, and enquiry to the act of questioning. Many (though not all) British writers maintain this distinction; the OED, on the other hand, lists inquiry and enquiry as equal alternatives, in that order. Some British dictionaries, such as Chambers 21st Century Dictionary, present the two spellings as interchangeable variants in the general sense, but prefer inquiry for the "formal inquest" sense. In the US, only inquiry is commonly used. In Australia, inquiry and enquiry are often interchangeable, but inquiry prevails in writing. Both are current in Canada, where enquiry is often associated with scholarly or intellectual research.


Supplement from 09/01/2008 11:41pm:

As there is a clearly defined objective, inquiry would be correct. The police, in this case, are seeking to find out why and by whom these persons were killed, as they already know how.

Enquiry, should be used, IMO, where there is no clear objective, and the questions are merely to find out.

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KentPDG answers:

Among those Americans who consider questions such as this (a trivial few, sorry to say), nearly all would say that they mean the same. The would say that inquiry is the Amerioan spelling, and enquiry is the British spelling.

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rehansajidpso answers:

Natha Singh & Prem Sigh
One and the same thing

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Maygs answers:

basically... no difference at all.

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