1. Lucy E.
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    Lucy E. Contributing Member

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    The spelling of 'sentence'...

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Lucy E., May 27, 2008.

    I've seen the word 'sentence' spelt incorrectly at least ten times in the last hour, so I just wanted to point out the error.

    This is the way many people are spelling it: sentance
    This the correct way, in both UK and US English: sentence

    Sorry; it's really been bugging me, though.
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Unfortunately, we could probably create hundreds of threads with words that are repeatedly misspelled on the site.

    Most, like this one, would be caught by any decent spelling checker, but most members don't use spellcheckers on ordinary posts. Even submitted works for review are too often filled with spelling errors that would easily be caught with a quick scan with a spelling checker.

    Even though such programs have their limitations, they are valuable tools, and you should routinely make use of them. Not only will you catch fat-fingered typos, you will also learn which words you are consistently misspelling!
     
  3. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Oh, English and its arbitrary* spellings!! :D I can’t wait until we adopt a systems of glyphs. I think it would work better.


    *I’m well aware that they are not actually arbitrary and that most strange spellings have etymological and historical reasoning. I have a degree in Linguistics
     
  4. Al B
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    Al B Senior Member

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    I think it is fair to say that you can regard most posts on forums as 'conversational' rather than attempts to go for perfect prose, so while I might talk to someone and use 'was' five times in a sentence, it doesn't mean I'd do it when crafting a piece of writing.

    If everyone spent hours worrying about their phrasing and such on replies to a forum, we'd never get any answers, and it may well just be a phonetic typo rather than someone not actually knowing how to spell something correctly. I'm all for at least trying to get things correct, but I'm not about to become a grammar nazi (or even grammer - the most annoying one) on a forum.

    Al
     
  5. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    LOL :D


    Yeah, that one works my nerves as well.
     
  6. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I agree about casual posting, although even there I get annoyed at myself if I let a dumb typo get through. What can I say, I'm brutal to myself about such things!

    Still, work posted for review, or for contest submission - why would someone not run that through a spell checker? I admit I sometimes skip that for minor revisions (and guess where my errors show up!), but especially if you know your spelling skills are weak!

    After all, do you want a review loaded up with spelling and capitalization corrections, or would you rather work on making your style more effective?
     
  7. Lucy E.
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    Lucy E. Contributing Member

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    It drives me up the wall when I see something spelt incorrectly, I don't know why, but it does. 'Sentance', 'grammer', 'writting' and the like.
     
  8. NaCl
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    NaCl Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hate when I have typos that are NOT caught by spell check...one of my most common is "for". I frequently get finger tangles producing "fro" and because fro is a legitimate word, spell check fails me! LOL!
     
  9. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    what annoys me as well, is the british habit of using 'spelt' for 'spelled' and 'learnt' for 'learned' et al. ... ;-)

    btw, did you know that spelt is a variety of wheat?...
     
  10. Lucy E.
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    Lucy E. Contributing Member

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    It isn't a habit, it's standard British grammar. Learnt, spelt, leapt...they're all correct. So are learned, spelled and leaped. Most people opt for the former because they're considered more correct than the latter.
    But there are rules. You cannot write 'She learnt to spell' - it would be 'She learned to spell'. However, you can use 'She recited what she had learnt'.
    No, I didn't know that.
     
  11. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I once bought a loaf of bread made with spelt. It was aweful! :(
     
  12. Lucy E.
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    Lucy E. Contributing Member

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    Hmmm...I've never tried it. Maybe I should. I like most things other people find disgusting, for some strange reason...
    I hate PB&J though, and everyone else I know loves it. Ugh. Peanut butter and jam. *shivers*
    Anyway, I should try some bread made with this 'spelt' wheat.
     
  13. NaCl
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    NaCl Contributing Member Contributor

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    Here you go...spelt in cooking applications. Actually, it sounds like it is healthier and tastier than ordinary wheat.

    http://nutrition.about.com/od/grainsandcereals/p/spelt.htm
     
  14. Al B
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    Al B Senior Member

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    If you want to be strictly accurate, it's the American habit of not adopting the standard form, rather than the other way around. It is after all, called the English language, not the North American language, and the American forms are a corruption of the standard stuff, even if many of them do actually make a lot more sense.

    That's not meant to sound as snooty as it probably does, I can live with either by the way. When you live in England, a place with no industry, and no anything else, it's one of the few things we have left that can truly be called our own LOL

    Al
     
  15. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Language evolves. The English spoken in the UK has also diverged from what it was centuries ago.

    Arguments over which dialect is "true" English are pointless and divisive.
     
  16. NaCl
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    NaCl Contributing Member Contributor

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    Ahhhh....a perfect example why the Americas divested themselves of British rule! LOL!
     
  17. Al B
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    Al B Senior Member

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    Yeah it was a good shot, I can't say I blame em, I'd have been right there with them too if I was being told what to do with no representation, and all by a country that had a king who was as mad as a box of frogs.

    Al
     
  18. NaCl
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    NaCl Contributing Member Contributor

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    You folks got us back...you gave us the Beatles, the Stones, Jethro Tull, Clapton, Zeppelin and a bunch more ways that we can send our money to the UK. Yes...I've been a major contributor to the British economy!
     
  19. Al B
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    Al B Senior Member

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    Showing your age there, funnily enough, so am I, I went to see Jethro Tull last week.

    Al
     
  20. garza33
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    garza33 Active Member

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    I use Firefox with its built-in spell checker, so on most sites on the Internet, spell check is right there with me. This site happens to be an exception.

    Spelt and learnt are correct, of course. Consult your OED. To back up my spell checker I keep an Oxford Concise within arm's reach, and Fowler's Modern English Usage beside it. I have the Fourth edition of Fowler, as edited by Burchfield, but I have Fowler's original The King's English in my computer.

    Oddly enough I'm originally from the U.S., but I spent so much time in my younger days rambling around that somehow I learnt to spell tyre and centre and harbour correctly. Today I live in another former British colony and often get vexed and rail up at all the gringos taking over the country.
     
  21. Speck
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    Speck Member

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    Well, I was thinking about saying something on this subject, but Cogito already said it better than I ever could, and only in a few sentences...haha

    I for one want to bang my head into a coffee table every time I read the word "spelt". >.< But...I love the word "dreamt" <---Is that another one of those words like that? Anyway...it's awesome.

    *sneaks back onto subject*

    Eh, I don't pay much attention to my writing on forums. I only care when I'm actually writing (a story). It's like speaking otherwise...I might not talk perfectly when I speak, but there's no need to, so why waste the time to think it through?

    Three cheers for being lazy! :-D
     
  22. Lucy E.
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    Lucy E. Contributing Member

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    I'm not particularly keen on the word 'spelt' either, but I prefer to be as correct as possible.
     
  23. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    As Cogito already pointed out, language is always in a state of flux. It is always changing to represent present usage and cultural norms. This is a good and healthy thing for any language. English was once a completely inflected language with the full compliment of cases and associated suffixes to represent said cases, just like Latin and Russian. You can still see the last vestiges of this in the pronouns and how they change depending on their role in a sentence.

    We don’t say, “Give she a book.”

    We say, “Give her a book.”

    Her, in this case, is the dative form of the nominative she indicating that the pronoun is the indirect object and the recipient of an item or concept. The whole language once functioned this way, but no longer.

    Languages change over time. This includes spelling.

    There are languages in the world that have special academies which serve as ‘defenders of the faith.’ Spanish has the Real Academia Espanola which is a very conservative academy where concepts can languish for years with no officially sanctioned word to describe them.

    Spanish has no official word for website to date.

    Language by committee rule. No thank you.


    Bye the way, from a purely linguistic perspective, correct is whatever the majority says it is. Spoken language is not an invention, but written language is. The systems we create to represent spoken language and their implementation are quite arbitrary in nature, hence the spectrum of writing systems we find in the world and the myriad ways in which they are used.
     
  24. Lucy E.
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    Lucy E. Contributing Member

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    Correct, for me personally, is what is considered correct in my area, hence Neath and Port Talbot County.
     
  25. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    And so long as the majority in your area agrees with you, then yes, that is quite correct. I realize that this goes against what common sense might dictate, but within the school of applied linguistics, your statement is not in error.
     

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