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Spelling surprises

  1. Aug 12, 2006 #1

    Ivan Seeking

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    Every now and again I find that there are subtle spelling variations that I never noticed. I just caught one:

    Totaled: as in "the car was totaled".
    Totalled: the entire amount
     
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  3. Aug 12, 2006 #2

    Chi Meson

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    50% probably know this one:
    "compliment" (with an i) "That's a nice tie"
    "complement" (with an e) "That completes the whole"
     
  4. Aug 12, 2006 #3

    Gokul43201

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    I do not believe this distinction exists. The latter spelling is the original British spelling. The American spelling (of late) skips the repeated consonant in the past (and often, in the continuous) tense. I've repeatedly seen the former spelling applied to the latter connotation. But perhaps the reason the latter spelling is rarely used in the former connotation is that the usage itself is largely endemic to the US.

    In short, no matter what the meaning, you can write it as 'totalled' (Brit) or 'totaled' (US).
     
  5. Aug 12, 2006 #4

    Chi Meson

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    Aw. I liked that one! Can't we just use 'em that way anyhow?
     
  6. Aug 12, 2006 #5

    Ivan Seeking

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  7. Aug 12, 2006 #6

    Gokul43201

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    Randomly picking a couple of those results:


    It seems to me like 'totaled the car' is spelled that way because of its American origin. It doesn't definitively say that 'summed' is spelled 'totalled', so I'm not sure about that one. But I've always been under the impression that the dropping of the repeated consonant in many words is an artifact of pronunciation differences between US and British English. The common "rule" with polysyllabic words is to double the final consonant only if the last syllable is stressed. With some words, it's hard (for me, at least) to tell if any of the syllables are stressed. I think in those cases, different people spell differently based on subtle defferences in pronunciation and/or convenience.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2006
  8. Aug 12, 2006 #7

    JasonRox

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    Thanks. I was thinking about that the other day and got confused as which was which.
     
  9. Aug 12, 2006 #8

    Moonbear

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    :yuck: "Totaled" looks all wrong! I think the "American" spelling that drops the double consant is a creation of microsoft's spellcheck. I never saw such a spelling until starting to use spellcheck, at which time I determined spellcheck is wrong, I'm right, and turned spellcheck back off. Curse you Bill Gates! :devil:
     
  10. Aug 12, 2006 #9

    DaveC426913

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    It's not Miscrosoft. American english is being changed to drop all the double letters from the words. At least, that's what I thought.
     
  11. Aug 12, 2006 #10

    Moonbear

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    But when did this happen, and who decided it? It sure isn't what I was taught in grade school.
     
  12. Aug 13, 2006 #11

    DaveC426913

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    Yeah, recently. Last ten years?
    I may be talking through my hat, so an authoritative source would be good.
     
  13. Aug 13, 2006 #12
    I can't spell at the best of times, but you guys have just given me a nervous tick reading this thread, what? compliment, complement, really? Anyway can I just apologise in advance for mangelling English and hope people understand what I'm driving at from context, otherwise I'm screwed basically.:smile:

    About two years ago I found out there were to ways to spell counsellor and councillor, up till then I though they were both doing the same jobs :wink::smile: I'm serious about that though, I had no idea they differed in the way they were spelt?

    When your posting day revolves around correcting yourself for using their instead of there for the millionth time without thinking. The intricacies are soon forgotten.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2006
  14. Aug 14, 2006 #13

    BobG

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    Single syllable ending in a consonant has the consonant doubled.

    Three or more, you don't double the consonant.

    Two has been optional as long as I can remember, even if doubling is more common. (That way, it matches when you can add the -er -est endings instead of inserting more/most in front).
     
  15. Aug 14, 2006 #14

    berkeman

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    Ones that make me pause and think each time I use them:

    -- weather and whether

    -- it's and its
     
  16. Aug 14, 2006 #15

    JasonRox

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    This is why this site is so awesome. We put some effort into how we write our posts.
     
  17. Aug 14, 2006 #16

    Mk

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    When I type "their"/"there"/"they're" I always note that somebody else is always spelling there words wrong.

    :tongue2:
     
  18. Aug 14, 2006 #17

    Evo

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  19. Aug 14, 2006 #18

    selfAdjoint

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    Dearly Missed


    its and it's bug me. I often type the wrong one, and have to go back and edit the post. But if I left it I would have to hide my face!:eek: :redface:
     
  20. Aug 14, 2006 #19

    Moonbear

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    :rofl: My favorite is when I see someone spell either one of those as 'wether.' :biggrin: A wether is a castrated sheep or goat (wether is to ram as steer is to bull).
     
  21. Aug 16, 2006 #20

    Ivan Seeking

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    My first thought was that it comes from auto insurance agents who can't spell. And you know, the dictionary is based on common usage.

    For years I messed up effect and affect.
     
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