T-rev's Blog

13 2004-12-21 10:52 hukt awn wirdz

you found my blog. good job, you succeeded (or "seceded", as some say).

yes, it seems that the more people misspell "definitely", the more other people learn the misspelling from them. this is turning into my next blog entry.

another interesting (for future reference, unless otherwise noted "interesting" means "interesting to me". of course.), related topic follows. a couple days ago I saw it spelled "definently". this was a perfect example of and brought my conscious attention to a phenomenon that I've long perceived but not stopped (at least, not recently) to consider.

there is a category of people who care at least a little about spelling and therefore are consistent in their spelling, both correct and incorrect. a large sub-set of this group uses the spelling "definately". some may think they are spelling it right (and, yes, I mean "right" to be an adjective); others may not think or care much but are nevertheless consistent.

people in the other category--and perhaps there's overlap between these categories--are phonetic spellers. and there is further sub-category of those who base their phonetic spelling on an incorrect pronunciation. at least "definately" is phonetically justifiable based on one acceptable pronunciation of the word.

now is probably a good time to bring up the fact that I personally prefer to deviate from customary spelling when there is a (to me, of course) logically and aesthetically preferable "alternate". two examples already in my blog: christmasses and journalling. ms word's spellchecker disagreed with both of these, but I disagreed with it; the spellings were intentional on my part. perhaps the more debatable is my pluralization of christmas, but I have two reasons: 1) a non-doubled consonant after a vowel and before the -es, -ed, or -ing endings implies the preceding vowel is long (this reason applies to journalling too.) and 2) the double s is etymologically appropriate since christmas is an abbreviation of Christ's mass or something to that effect.

back to the spellchecker: it also caught valour and marvelling, but those were tolkien's, not mine. which reminds me, tolkien seems to feel the way I do (or vice versa) about spelling, on this point and also on undoubling the double L in the first of two words that are joined, as in fulfill, always, or stilwell.

and again back to phonetic spelling: I surmise that most people do this at least a bit. I know I do sometimes when I get rolling on the keyboard. often I'm watching my words appear on the screen as I type and I'll catch the mistake as soon as I type it. one part of my mind, a part attached to my eyes, knows the correct spelling. and clearly in the process of thoughts being translated into motions of my fingers there is some part that knows the correct spellings. this fact is clear because most of the words I type are not misspelled. but that part apparently sometimes gets bypassed, or at least it doesn't have the level of grammar processing that the part attached to my eyes has. for instance, I'll type their when I mean they're. my dad does this too, in emails, and I know that--as also in my case--it is not because he doesn't know better. anyway, I find these evidences of cognitive/motor infrastructure to be interesting.

I wonder when I will ramble here about something deeper than spelling...

11 2004-12-15 17:03 or double yew

the purpose of this post is just to point out the spelling of the word weird.

6 2004-12-08 11:51 don't be (a) looser

here's another learning experience, folks. i've been seeing this one on the web a lot in the last year: loose used where lose is intended.

loose is pronounced /Looss/ and is usually an adjective, e.g. loose women, but can be used as a verb, e.g. loose the chains of injustice, and seems to be a noun (though perhaps it's really still functioning as adjective) in the phrase "on the loose".

lose is pronounced /Looze/ and is a verb meaning the opposite of to find or to win, e.g. if we lose the game. you never loose a game.

3 2004-12-04 23:57 easy if you can handle finite

the purpose of this post is just to point out the spelling of the word definitely.

but as long as i'm here, i will mention other things.