Vertical Vs Verticle, What’s The Correct Way To Use These?

Sometimes we say words that sound similar when we speak. It makes us confused when put in writing. Is there a difference between vertical and verticle?

“Vertica”l is standing, moving up or down. A verticle is a hinge, a mechanism to make something swing. “Verticle” is a turning point. You’ll use vertical to describe something going up or standing straight— ”Verticle” for an object or something that sways from one place to another.

There is confusion with these words because they sound the same when spoken. So people tend to write either way when they want to say something or someone is in the vertical position.

“Vertical” is what people always mean. Rarely does someone refer to a turning point or object as a verticle.

Another description for “vertical” is perpendicular to the plane of the Horizon or upright. Upright in position or posture.

Where Do These Words Come From?

verticalgarden

“Vertical” is said to have originated in the 1500s to mean directly overhead. “vertical” was first recorded in French in 1540. From there, we find the words in Latin verticalis and Verticis, meaning overhead and highest point.

The evolution is as follows: vertex, verticalis, Vertical. As a noun, we’ve been using “vertical” since 1834.

Neither vertical nor horizontal can exist without the other. For something vertical to exist, it needs to be perpendicular to something horizontal.

That’s how Girard Desargues, a French mathematician, defined the vertical in 1636: “to be perpendicular to the horizon.” The definition is recorded in his book “Perspective.”

Horizontal comes from the word “horizon”. Horizon is a noun that means: “the line at which the earth’s surface and the sky appear to meet.”

The terms “vertical” and “horizontal” also describe directions. A vertical line goes up and down. A horizontal line goes across from left to right or right to left.

There’s no record of the origins of “verticle” except for the word coming from Latin “verticula,” a joint. Other sources refer to the word as being a misspelling of vertical.

Verticle can also be a reference of computer code. For example, it is a code that runs on Vert. X, an application framework running on Java.

What Are some Visual Examples For Vertical And Verticle?

The easiest way to explain the difference between “vertical” and “verticle” is with some everyday visual examples.

If you want to know what something in a vertical position looks like, look no further than a tree.

Remember that vertical is something that is drawn from up to down or vice versa. So, for example, a tree stands upright from the ground to the sky. Other visual examples of “vertical” are a telephone pole, a building, a standing ladder.

A verticle is a hinge. For example, the tool that allows a door to open and close is a verticle.

Verticle also stands for joints. For example, look at your elbows and your knees. The connection of the bones that allows them to turn is a verticle or a joint.

How About Written Examples? How Can We Use These Words In Sentences?

verticallinesblack

When people write verticle on a piece of paper, they often mean “vertical,” so let’s write a couple of sentences using “vertical” and “verticle” and see how it goes.

Examples Vertical

There’s no way you can cross the bridge at this hour. It is in a vertical position.

You need to stop sleeping and get yourself in a vertical position.

Laura went rock climbing the other day. She said it was cool but could not finish the mountain she was in because it was too vertical at the end.

Examples Verticle

You need to push the door, not pull it. The Verticles are on the other side.

I was walking last week after years of not doing any exercises. Now my right knee verticle cracks every time.

When I’m about to buy something my decision verticles on how much the product cost.

Are There Any Easier Words For Me To Express The Same As Vertical?

verticalwood

“Vertical” is often a word used in math or astronomy. However, we do have words that refer to it more plainly.

Words like erect, standing, and raise are more frequent than vertical, and they mean the same thing.

The word erect means standing up or “to be in a vertical position.” Standing means being upright on your feet. And raise is to: set upright by lifting.

Examples

When I screamed in the middle of the office, he stood erect and looked me straight in the eyes.

That abandoned building has been standing for centuries now.

They raised a new statue in the middle of town. It is supposed to be someone important, but I do not know who it is.

What About Verticle? Any Other Words I Could Use So I Don’t Write Vertical By Mistake?

We established that verticle, initially, is a misspelling for “vertical.” Unfortunately, there’s no record of when it started meaning hinge or joint, two words you are already more familiar with.

So other words, besides hinges and joints, that we can use are: “pivot” and “swivel.” Remember that verticle also means “turning point.” For this one, let’s try “crossroads.”

A pivot is an object in which something turns. And swivel is to move something circularly in the same spot.

The meaning of crossroads similar to a Verticle or a turning point is “a crucial point where important decisions are made.”

Examples

If I pivot to the left, my body doesn’t hurt that much.

My office chair swivels real lovely. I rarely have to stand up to reach something at my desk.

Our relationship was at a real crossroads last year.

Is Horizontal The Opposite Of Vertical?

Yes. Horizontal means being “parallel to the ground,” which you’re not if you’re vertical. Let’s try flat and prone.

One of the many definitions for flat reads: “a surface without bends or irregularities.” For prone, it is “lying on the floor downwards.”

Examples

Jimmy prefers to ride his rollerblades in a flat street to avoid falling and hurting himself.

I thought my house caught fire when I was cooking. As soon as I saw a little smoke, I got into a prone position and crawled out of there. It was burned meat in the oven. I ended up ordering take-out.

What About With Verticle? What Would Be The Opposite?

So verticle is supposed to be something that moves in place. Let’s use words like halt, and stay to describe the opposite.

Examples

Last year I got into an accident, and the doctor had to put my leg in a cast to bring my knee to a complete halt.

I ask my pet not to move until I finish doing the dishes, and he stays still the whole time. It was a first.

Conclusion

If you ever find yourself in need of writing “vertical” or “verticle,” you probably mean vertical.

The origins of the word verticle explain that this is a misspelling of the word vertical. Although it has found some meaning as a synonym for joint, hinges, and the phrase “turning point,” there is no record of when this started.

If you write verticle, chances are you said it in your head and out loud, and you probably meant vertical.

However, standing and upright are words that we use daily instead of vertical. Verticle is not a .” word we use at all.

By Shawn Manaher

Shawn Manaher is the founder and CEO of The Content Authority. He's one part content manager, one part writing ninja organizer, and two parts leader of top content creators. You don't even want to know what he calls pancakes.