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Enclosed vs. Inclosed

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It would make all of our lives simpler if words had one universal, mutually agreed-upon spelling that never changed. While we’re at it, word meanings, pronunciations, and conjugations could be standardized, too. That’s not how English works, though. Languages need to be able to change to meet the changing needs of the people who use them. That’s why meanings can shift over time, and even simple things like word spellings can change.

Enclosed and inclosed are two different spellings of the same word. There was a point in time where you could get away with either version, but today, only one version is standard. Continue reading to learn which it is.

Origin:

The word enclosed originated from Middle English (in the sense ‘shut in, imprison’): from Old French enclos, past participle of enclore, based on Latin includere ‘shut in’.

Enclosed as verb:

Enclosed is used as a verb in English language where it means to surround or close off on all sides.

The entire estate was enclosed with walls.

Enclosed also means to place (something) in an envelope together with a letter.

I enclose a copy of the job description.

To place an object inside (a container) is also known as enclosed.

The lamp was enclosed in a frosted glass globe.

Enclosed as adjective:

Sometimes, enclosed is an adjective, where it modifies a noun to describe the quality of being within something else.

The enclosed check represents payment in full for all services rendered.

Use of inclosed:

Inclosed is an alternate spelling of enclosed. Today, it is considered archaic and nonstandard. Inclosed was more popular in British English, but even there it fell dramatically out of favor around 1820.

Examples:

Each was charged with resisting arrest and remaining on inclosed land. [Herald Sun]

Visitors are to stay behind safety barriers in front of the animal’s inclosed cages. [KTEN]

In the midst of the city, within a vast inclosure girt by stout yellow ramparts, looms the House of the Lord. [The Atlantic]

We have enclosed an invitation to our wedding ceremony, which will take place at an undecided location on a date we have not set.

Enclose the food within a well-sealed container, so that it does not leak on the way home from the restaurant.

Enclosed or inclosed:

Enclose and inclose are spelling variants of a word that means to place within as a verb, and placed within as an adjective. Today, enclose is the only standard variant; inclose has fallen by the wayside. To summarize, Enclose is the correct spelling. Inclose is now considered a misspelling. Since enclose has multiple E’s, like envelope, it should be easy to remember that things are enclosed in envelopes.

 

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