I was proofreading an article on ‘Chernobyl: The Lost Files’ yesterday when I suddenly saw a flare of Grammarly red underlines. I thought it was a mistake, as everywhere there was Chernobyl, and Grammarly suggested changing it to Chornobyl.
So I ultimately took to Google to search if Chornobyl is another word with its history. However, a Google search on the word suggested it as a possible spelling error and guided me back to Chernobyl. Taking that as a background, I tweeted about the same, tagging Grammarly, thinking it was a bug.
Why Grammarly spells Chernobyl as Chornobyl?
Grammarly replied to my tweet, saying why Grammarly wants to change Chernobyl to Chornobyl. The company says, “Grammarly recognizes ‘Chornobyl’ as the correct spelling as it’s the preferred translation in Ukraine, where we are founded.”
While that is understandable, I now wanted to know how the English spelling came to be. It turns out that’s also an easy query to solve. The English spelling is slightly different from the Ukrainian one.
If you go past Google Search, suggesting Chernobyl as the right spelling, and search for Chornobyl instead, you’ll find that it now shows the name of Chornobyl city in Ukraine, the town abandoned after the nuclear disaster.
So technically, Chornobyl is the Ukrainian preference, but writing Chernobyl isn’t wrong either. So if you’re writing or reading about Chernobyl with many red lines in Grammarly suggestions, it is a matter of preference to change the spellings or leave it as is.