Monday, March 05, 2007

The inner typing-spelling-and-usage Nazi can take no more

My right hand, arm, elbow and shoulder are all telling me that over the weekend I spent too much time reading too much of too many blogs. Which may be the reason -- that over-exposure -- why I feel compelled to offer the latest instalment of this occasional series.

1) HYPOCRISY is not spelled HYPOCRACY. It has nothing to do with democracy, aristocracy, meritocracy or any other ocracy.

2) LOSE, which rhymes with 'shoes', is a verb and is spelled like that, whereas LOOSE, which rhymes with 'goose', 'moose' and 'papoose', is an adjective denoting an absence of tightness, and has nothing to do (necessarily) with things that are lost.

3) SPEECH is not spelled SPEACH, even though it is about speaking.

4) PUBLICLY is not spelled PUBLICALLY because there is no such word as PUBLICAL. The converse is true of ACCIDENTALLY.

5) REIN and REIGN do not meant the same thing. The one with the G is about monarchs, and the one without is about horses.

6) The expression is "HOME in on", as in homing pigeons, not HONE, which is the thing one does to a knife to sharpen it. (Or to one's language skills to improve them.)

7) The word FLUORESCENT, pronounced flu--or--ESS--nt, has everything to do with fluoride and nothing to do with flour.

Thank you for your time.


lucy tartan said...

I'm afraid I write publically quite often. Theough I have a feeling that

lucy tartan said...

Though I have a feeling that I will never write it again.

'Devine' for divine is the one I hate.

Francis Xavier Holden said...

ha - I heard on the radio the someone, I suspect a sports person, was : "Gunna nip it in the butt"

aaaw - you are awful.

Ampersand Duck said...

[clasps hands together and sighs happily.]

I know I do these things sometimes, but it's nice to know someone cares.

comicstriphero said...

The woman across the partition from me was on the phone the other day...: "Yes, unfortunately he has prostrate cancer and will have to have his prostrate removed."

Awful news and I shouldn't make fun I know.

But today she said we needed a lawyer to 'interpretate' some legislation.

Pavlov's Cat said...

Prostrate = the organ that makes you incapable of getting up off the couch. I wish someone would remove my prostrate -- it might mean I had enough energy to go to the gym.

My favourite medical one is still the doctor's receptionist I once asked whether I was supposed to do X or Y about some medical thing or other. 'I don't know,' she said, looking worried. 'Doctor didn't stiplify.'

Mummy/Crit said...

stiplify is one hell of a word!

Mine are currently 'alot' and 'preform' for 'a lot' and 'perform'. Always hard to tell if they're tyops (YES, I did mean that) or 'brainos'.

Pavlov's Cat said...

Yes, I adore stiplify for its seamless blending of stipulate and specify. The Bloke, on hearing this story, immediately improved it to 'stiplificate'.

I think 'alot' is very common and has been for some time, and I don't think it's a tyop (or do I mean t yop?).

But I don't understand the logic of it at all. You'd think it would mean they'd have to write 'alittle' as well, but I've never seen anyone do that ...

Does anyone (including people who say it) have any views on, or theories about, 'haitch'?

nailpolishblues said...

I'm joining the herd on 'haitch' - they've beaten me down, I'm quite sick of being [in]corrected.

Pavlov's Cat said...

But which herd?

Ariel said...

Stiplify is marvellous. I hang my head on number 7, which always makes me pause for thought. If I'm lucky. (Otherwise I blunder on and get it wrong, I'm guessing.)

lucy tartan said...

Last night heard a person (on the phone at Bunnings) say "accidently". The spelling of it is familiar enough, but that's the first time I've heard it spoken. And to add insult to injury they had run out of catflaps and white window winders, hopeless.

lucy tartan said...

And: 'sneak peak'. You can see why the brain wants it to be so, but it actually makes no sense whatever.

nailpolishblues said...


Mummy/Crit said...

PC sed
"Does anyone (including people who say it) have any views on, or theories about, 'haitch'?"

You mean like, where it came from, or why it's here? Or, should we?

AFAIK, it came here with the Jesuits. My grandmother used to say it was "a Catholic thing". I'm not sure _why_ the Jesuits taught it. I suppose for the sake of consistency. My mother is a snob, and thinks of it as a marker of 'poor education' - whatever that means ... I don't use it, but have noticed that it is becoming more common. None of D's teachers have taught it - I'm pretty sure it's not officially used in the public school system here.

'Youse' on the other hand. Eternally useful, but I haven't managed to incorporate it. I dislike using 'guys' to a mixed gender bunch of people, and I've been retraining myself to use 'folks' instead.

Francis Xavier Holden said...

haitch is pretty much Irish related to pronounciations similar in the Irish (gaelic) lingo. 'aitch is an affectation of the Ascendancy.

I fell in love with Mr Polly at a tender age.

redcap said...

I think the funniest printed error I ever saw was made by a transcriber: "ofay" for "au fait". Then there was that absolutely golden typo in The Oz two or three years ago that referred to Iraq as being a "bastard state" instead of a "Baathist state". They had to run a correction the next day.

Jonathan said...

Synchronistically, todays Word of the Day from, is malapropism.

I would however debate the statement that Hypocrisy has nothing to do with democracy.

JahTeh said...

I had to come back and comment after writing my blog post today.
Why do I have this manic compulsion to put an 'e' in disaster? Anybody else for compulsions?

comicstriphero said...

My prostrate colleague today informed me about the advantages of 'extra version olive oil'.

Do you think it is a problem that I immediately thought of this post and formed a determination to remember to come and post the above?

Pavlov's Cat said...


Heh heh.

Heh heh hehehehehehahahahahahahahaha

That deserves a whole post to itself over at your place.

Can't help thinking there's a psychological pattern emerging here with the avoidance-of-words-about-one's-bits thingy she's got happening.

comicstriphero said...

Yes, she might yet get her own post.

She drinks her water from a wine glass, and I'm really just not sure how I feel about that.