How is this name properly spelled? It seems to me, an "Elliott" for well over five decades, that the majority of us spell our name with all seven letters, no matter how redundant that may seem.
A correspondent from Middlebury University writes:
Dear Mr. McCrory:
I recently came upon the section of your website devoted to the proper spelling of your name, Elliott, and felt the need to contribute my two-cents on the matter.
You are correct in noting that the vast majority of individuals today spell the name with the full seven letters. You also correctly note that in modern English the double-t spelling makes sense for pronunciation purposes, as the name looks French with a single t.
In fact, the name came to English from French and first appears after the Norman Conquest! The name is formed from the Old French diminutive form of the name Elie, the Old French version of Elias, the Greek form, i.e. the New Testament version, of Elijah. As such, the historical spelling of this name is Elliot. I found most of this information in the Oxford Dictionary of Names. My best guess as to the prevalence of the double-t spelling of Elliott would be similar to your original supposition: in English it makes more sense to have two t's because of the pronunciation.
As to which spelling is "correct" per-se, wouldn't the spelling chosen by the individual be correct, regardless of the origin of the name or which spelling a majority of individuals uses?
Best, name withheld
In recent years, the six-letter, one-T spelling has crept into respectability. For example:
I searched Google for "elliott mccrory -elliot" and "elliot mccrory -elliott" and found that my name is spelled right about 351,000 times, and spelled wrong 1.36 million times. So I will gladly jump to the conclusion that 80% of the entries that match "elliot" are SPELLED WRONG!
In the summer of 2012, I discovered that a book I edited in 1988, which has my name spelled properly on the book, has found its way into the "rare books" world with my name misspelled! I sent them an email asking them to change it, and they did! See this web site.
Here is an interesting link into the Wikipedia. Does anyone know how to change a redirection in Wikipedia? When I first cataloged this page, it was spelled correctly, but someone changed it to the stupid and inaccurate six-letter spelling.