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Old 03-15-2013, 05:40 AM
Rodgers01 Rodgers01 is offline
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Words that have changed spelling in your lifetime

My computer gives me a red squiggly when I write the word "catalogue." I guess the current vogue is for "catalog," though the "-ue" were definitely included when I was a kid.

I was also taught to write "catsup" instead of "ketchup" and "doughnut" instead of "donut." I'm in my early 30's. What spellings have changed in your lifetime?
  #2  
Old 03-15-2013, 05:44 AM
midnight-dreary midnight-dreary is offline
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I remember being taught 'gaol', but it seems that most people use 'jail' now.
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Old 03-15-2013, 06:02 AM
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I don't think some of these have necessarily changed. Rather it's the difference between the British spelling and the American spelling.

Last edited by Leaffan; 03-15-2013 at 06:02 AM.
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Old 03-15-2013, 06:10 AM
Rodgers01 Rodgers01 is offline
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Originally Posted by Leaffan View Post
I don't think some of these have necessarily changed. Rather it's the difference between the British spelling and the American spelling.
I don't know...I was taught "catsup" and "catalogue" at a small elementary school in Virginia with no apparent Anglophile connections. Do they still spell those words that way in the UK?
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Old 03-15-2013, 06:13 AM
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Catsup is most definitely American. Catalogue, and analogue are British, along with doughnut, and plough.
  #6  
Old 03-15-2013, 06:27 AM
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Email used to be spelled e-mail.
  #7  
Old 03-15-2013, 06:36 AM
not what you'd expect not what you'd expect is offline
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You has become u and Are has become r and it makes me crazy.
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Old 03-15-2013, 06:37 AM
Smapti Smapti is offline
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The way I've always understood it was that "catalog" is a verb and "catalogue" is a noun.
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Old 03-15-2013, 06:37 AM
Motorgirl Motorgirl is offline
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As a US librarian, I have watched the shift from catalogue to catalog.

Catalogue was pretty standard in the library world until the late 90s, maybe? (WAG)
Catalog was acceptable but catalogue strongly preferred.

Now it's definitely catalog, and people look at you funny if you add the ue. Except the old librarians. They still prefer it.
  #10  
Old 03-15-2013, 06:45 AM
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Originally Posted by not what you'd expect View Post
You has become u and Are has become r and it makes me crazy.
You misspelled "n it maykz mi krze" there.
  #11  
Old 03-15-2013, 07:07 AM
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I'm not sure if this is accurate, but I'm sure I've seen this often enough to assume that:

Brits now spell it "skeptic" instead of "sceptic."

Americans now spell it "disc" instead of "disk" and sometimes I see them spell it "grey" instead of "gray."
  #12  
Old 03-15-2013, 07:12 AM
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Originally Posted by GuanoLad View Post
Brits now spell it "skeptic" instead of "sceptic."
Some may, but it's certainly not standard, or especially wide-spread.
  #13  
Old 03-15-2013, 07:18 AM
Lord Mondegreen Lord Mondegreen is offline
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When I was young (1970s) "alright" did not appear in the Oxford dictionary (I still have a '70s era dictionary and it definitely isn't there) and would have been marked wrong by my teachers. This is despite the fact that it was fairly widespread - The Who's "The Kids are Alright" for example.

Now it seems to have been accepted. My daughters are at an elite private school and they have had "alright" as a spelling word.

I still can't bring myself to use it, but I blame all those kids who won't get off my lawn.
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Old 03-15-2013, 07:55 AM
aceplace57 aceplace57 is offline
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I leaned theatre in school. Still prefer that spelling. My minor in college was Theatre Arts. Stupid Firefox underlines it in red.

theater doesn't look right to me.

Last edited by aceplace57; 03-15-2013 at 07:57 AM.
  #15  
Old 03-15-2013, 08:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Rodgers01 View Post
I was also taught to write "catsup" instead of "ketchup" and "doughnut" instead of "donut." I'm in my early 30's. What spellings have changed in your lifetime?
Doughnut/donut was the one I thought of when I saw the thread title.

When I was a kid, around 40 years ago, my family used the word "catsup" (pronounced the way it's spelled), but I heard plenty of other people refer to "ketchup," and I saw both variations used on labels. I'm not sure how much that's changed nowadays, because I hardly ever use the stuff.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GuanoLad View Post
Americans now spell it "disc" instead of "disk"
I seem to recall once learning that "disk" was the proper spelling for a computer disk (as in "floppy disk" or "disk drive") while "disc" was preferred for audio discs ("compact disc"). That was before the distinction between the two was so blurred.
  #16  
Old 03-15-2013, 08:10 AM
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It used to be girl, now it's grrl.

That makes me laff owt lowd.
  #17  
Old 03-15-2013, 12:27 PM
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"Donut" is the only one here that bothers me. It makes more sense if it is from "dough."

I've even seen it spelled "do-nut," which I pronounce as "doo-nut."
  #18  
Old 03-15-2013, 12:40 PM
Sigmagirl Sigmagirl is offline
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So many things that were two words have become one word. "Healthcare?" "Childcare?"
  #19  
Old 03-15-2013, 12:49 PM
Recusant Recusant is offline
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A little relevant poem I picked up somewhere along the line:

Roses are red.
Hydrangeas, blue.
'Though' has six letters.
There's seven in 'through'.
  #20  
Old 03-15-2013, 12:57 PM
tdn tdn is offline
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Originally Posted by Sigmagirl View Post
So many things that were two words have become one word. "Healthcare?" "Childcare?"
To continue the hijack, a lot of nouns are now verbs. Phone, text, dialog, email, blog, snowboard...
  #21  
Old 03-15-2013, 01:02 PM
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Kindly direct me to the display of facsimile machines.
  #22  
Old 03-15-2013, 01:25 PM
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When I was a kid, hiccough was right and hiccup was wrong. Now hiccough earns me a red-squiggly underline, and the online dictionaries prefer hiccup (but will accept hiccough, I sense grudgingly).

I guess dialogue and dialog have both been acceptable for my lifetime, but Microsoft has made dialog much more common.
  #23  
Old 03-15-2013, 01:32 PM
thelurkinghorror thelurkinghorror is offline
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Maybe: never mind --> nevermind, post-Nirvana. Although the one word is still underlined.

Not spelling, but: care-a-mel has become car-mel. I resist. I expect it to be spelled like the mount or city any day now.
  #24  
Old 03-15-2013, 01:36 PM
BellRungBookShut-CandleSnuffed BellRungBookShut-CandleSnuffed is offline
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I'm still waiting for sherbert to become the official spelling.
  #25  
Old 03-15-2013, 01:37 PM
EmilyG EmilyG is offline
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To my dismay, "everyday" seems to be becoming an acceptable (or at least common) form of "every day."

And yes, there IS supposed to be a difference.
  #26  
Old 03-15-2013, 02:00 PM
Rodgers01 Rodgers01 is offline
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Originally Posted by bup View Post
When I was a kid, hiccough was right and hiccup was wrong. Now hiccough earns me a red-squiggly underline, and the online dictionaries prefer hiccup (but will accept hiccough, I sense grudgingly).
Great example. I'd almost forgotten, but I was taught to spell it "hiccough" too.
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Old 03-15-2013, 02:07 PM
Colophon Colophon is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GuanoLad View Post
I'm not sure if this is accurate, but I'm sure I've seen this often enough to assume that:

Brits now spell it "skeptic" instead of "sceptic."

Americans now spell it "disc" instead of "disk" and sometimes I see them spell it "grey" instead of "gray."
Not really.

Sceptic is still the standard British spelling. "Skeptic" is considered archaic over here.

Brits use "disk" for the computer storage medium, "disc" for round objects generally, including compact discs.

Same with "programme" - we use the American-style "program" for computers, "programme" for TV or a "programme of events".
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Old 03-15-2013, 02:26 PM
thelurkinghorror thelurkinghorror is offline
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I think I was into my 20s before I realized it wasn't sherbert!

US usage is the same: compact disc, floppy disk, hard disk drive. I guess a single HDD platter would be a disc?

Gray and grey are interchangeable, although gray is much more common in most places. I am told that towards vs. towards etc. have a regional distinction, but I notice no clear rules in US usage.
  #29  
Old 03-15-2013, 02:27 PM
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Despite being American, I was taught to spell "color" as "colour" when I was a kid. Then I switched elementary schools and the teacher marked my work down repeatedly before finally insisting that it was spelled "color". I thought that was odd at the time.
  #30  
Old 03-15-2013, 02:29 PM
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I guess dialogue and dialog have both been acceptable for my lifetime, but Microsoft has made dialog much more common.
I still have a dialogue with people but select from dialog boxes.
  #31  
Old 03-15-2013, 03:29 PM
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I have two print dictionaries and a cookbook in which the singular form of cookies is cooky. Yep, it used to be cooky.

I remember our 4th grade teacher told us that we should use actress and authoress when appropriate, but allowed that authoress seemed to be on its way out (1969).

There never has been an i after the v in mischievous, regardless of mispronunciations.

Last edited by california jobcase; 03-15-2013 at 03:31 PM.
  #32  
Old 03-15-2013, 03:47 PM
Hari Seldon Hari Seldon is offline
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A friend of mine, California born and bred, swears that in his idiolect, there is a word "unwieldly" spelled and pronounced that way. I am always annoyed that "advisor" (as in "academic advisor") is always red-lined.

Although the older spellings "through" and "though" are hardly gone, I think they are on the way out. And not a moment too soon. Someone uppost mentioned a list a nouns that had been verbed. Well, "phone" has been a verb for as long as I can recall (I am 76). Many of the others on the list are neologisms (e.g. "text" in the current verbal meaning, "email" no matter how you spell it.)

FWIW, the compact OED deprecates the spellings "gaol", "kerb", "tyre", "programme".
  #33  
Old 03-15-2013, 04:33 PM
Skald the Rhymer Skald the Rhymer is offline
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I've noticed more and more people abbreviating "microphone" to "mic" rather than "mike." It's always disconcerting to me. I understand not using "mice," but hell, I'd rather see "maic."
  #34  
Old 03-15-2013, 05:19 PM
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Strainger Strainger is offline
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When I was a kid, it was spelled:
Hwćt. We Gardena in gear-dagum,
ţeodcyninga, ţrym gefrunon,
hu đa ćţelingas ellen fremedon

But now it's spelled:
What. We of the Spear-Danes in old days
of the people-kings, power heard,
how the princes brave deeds did

I am really fucking old.
  #35  
Old 03-15-2013, 05:25 PM
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"Like" is now spelled "liek" and "the" spelled "teh" when it comes to internet/texting usage.
  #36  
Old 03-15-2013, 05:26 PM
OldGuy OldGuy is online now
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The one that always gets me is niger (as in the seed you feed to finches) is now spelled nyjer. It was always pronounced as you probably pronounce the second. That change was of course engineered as political correctness.
  #37  
Old 03-16-2013, 08:21 AM
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Originally Posted by thelurkinghorror View Post
Gray and grey are interchangeable, although gray is much more common in most places. I am told that towards vs. towards etc. have a regional distinction, but I notice no clear rules in US usage.
I thought it was "grey" until I started coding HTML

The original specification for web browsers required them to accept anything as best they could, so all web browsers accepted "grey" -- some thought I meant GRay, and some thought I meant GREen

(I've done it here, so you can compare the colours you see for gray/grey/green)
  #38  
Old 03-16-2013, 08:56 AM
Johnny L.A. Johnny L.A. is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rodgers01 View Post
My computer gives me a red squiggly when I write the word "catalogue." I guess the current vogue is for "catalog," though the "-ue" were definitely included when I was a kid.

I was also taught to write "catsup" instead of "ketchup" and "doughnut" instead of "donut."
All of those, plus 'dialogue'. My dad had a 1966 Ford Galaxie 500 7-Litre. That's how I learned to spell it as a child.
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Old 03-16-2013, 10:38 AM
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"Antivenin" became "antivenom".
  #40  
Old 03-16-2013, 10:41 AM
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"Antivenin" became "antivenom".
Indeed.




.

Last edited by Johnny L.A.; 03-16-2013 at 10:41 AM.
  #41  
Old 03-16-2013, 10:54 AM
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The way I've always understood it was that "catalog" is a verb and "catalogue" is a noun.
That looks like it could be a very strong contender in the Alan Metcalf competition

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldGuy View Post
The one that always gets me is niger (as in the seed you feed to finches) is now spelled nyjer. It was always pronounced as you probably pronounce the second. That change was of course engineered as political correctness.
I take it that you mean 'it was spelled like you pronounce it'. I'm sure that political correctness plays a role here, I have no quarrel there, but a one-on-one non-ambiguous link between sound and spelling is uncommon in the English language to say the least and is certainly not something that applies to niger. I mean - how do *you* pronounce tiger?

Again, I'm sure that political correctness led to a change of the spelling (although it seems that the PC police have not convinced the country of Niger to follow suit). But you can't say that the current spelling is somehow less intuitive than the previous one.
  #42  
Old 03-16-2013, 11:51 AM
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. . . my family used the word "catsup" (pronounced the way it's spelled) . . .
When I was a kid, back in the 50s, I saw both spellings about equally, but they were both pronounced "ketchup." I never heard "catsup" pronounced the way it's spelled.
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Old 03-16-2013, 11:52 AM
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I am shocked that "alright" is being taught in schools now.

I think that "disc" is pretty much used only with "compact disc" in the US. The logo, with the big "disc" type, is on every CD, which helps to reinforce it, but I haven't seen "disc" used in any other way.

"Mic" is pretty standard in the theater industry, and I think it's bleeding over to everyday usage. I don't like it either; I think it looks like it should be pronounced "mick."

Facsimile is a great example. I don't think most younger people even know that's what fax is short for.
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Old 03-16-2013, 11:53 AM
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Do people really consider "donut" close to standard? I see it used as a colloquial attenuation (like "thru") or as a stylization in brand names, but the actual word remains "doughnut." I've even seen a doughnut shop with the stylization in the name on the roof and the word (among a list if items offered) on the window below that.
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Old 03-16-2013, 12:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Švejk View Post
That looks like it could be a very strong contender in the Alan Metcalf competition



I take it that you mean 'it was spelled like you pronounce it'. I'm sure that political correctness plays a role here, I have no quarrel there, but a one-on-one non-ambiguous link between sound and spelling is uncommon in the English language to say the least and is certainly not something that applies to niger. I mean - how do *you* pronounce tiger?

Again, I'm sure that political correctness led to a change of the spelling (although it seems that the PC police have not convinced the country of Niger to follow suit). But you can't say that the current spelling is somehow less intuitive than the previous one.
None of the alternate spellings given in this thread (except things like "teh" ) are less intuitive than the previous one. By and large, I'd say they are all spelled closer to the way we pronounce them now.

It would be fine with me (no I'm sure it probably wouldn't really as it would mess up sight reading) if we dropped 'c' entirely and used 's' or 'k' as appropriate, dropped all soft 'g' and replaced with 'j'. But I see no reason to replace an 'i' with a 'y' in the middle of a word -- particularly when it's pronounced as a long 'i'.

Last edited by OldGuy; 03-16-2013 at 12:06 PM.
  #46  
Old 03-16-2013, 12:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peremensoe View Post
Do people really consider "donut" close to standard? I see it used as a colloquial attenuation (like "thru") or as a stylization in brand names, but the actual word remains "doughnut." I've even seen a doughnut shop with the stylization in the name on the roof and the word (among a list if items offered) on the window below that.
The online dictionaries I consulted listed it as a legitimate variant, at least in the U.S.

How do you feel about "baloney" as an alternate spelling for "bologna"?

Assuming we're talking about the lunch meat, I'm not sure which spelling I prefer. It bothers me that "bologna" isn't pronounced the way it's spelled (according to either English or Italian rules of pronunciation); but "bologna" is the more traditional and official spelling, while "baloney" means "nonsense" or "bullshit."
  #47  
Old 03-16-2013, 12:13 PM
thelurkinghorror thelurkinghorror is offline
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Minuscule has become miniscule. So much the Firefox accepts either. The root is "minus" not "mini" though.

I can't remember the last time I've seen "doughnut" written out. So much that I don't even bother trying to write it that way anymore because it seem weird.

Niger is pronounced nee-zher. "zh" as in pleasure. When I hear nai-jer I hear it in an aristocratic British officer's voice.
  #48  
Old 03-16-2013, 12:18 PM
Johnny L.A. Johnny L.A. is offline
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Originally Posted by thelurkinghorror View Post
Niger is pronounced nee-zher. "zh" as in pleasure. When I hear nai-jer I hear it in an aristocratic British officer's voice.
Kinda spoils the limerick, though.
  #49  
Old 03-16-2013, 12:58 PM
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Minuscule has become miniscule. So much the Firefox accepts either. The root is "minus" not "mini" though.

I can't remember the last time I've seen "doughnut" written out. So much that I don't even bother trying to write it that way anymore because it seem weird.

Niger is pronounced nee-zher. "zh" as in pleasure. When I hear nai-jer I hear it in an aristocratic British officer's voice.
Nee-zher' is the French pronunciation. Ny-jer is the English version. Also, Ny-jeer-ee-ah in English, Nee-zher-ee' in French.
  #50  
Old 03-16-2013, 04:08 PM
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"Yoghurt" is more and more becoming "yogurt".

During my lifetime, "bussing" became "busing". I think this was an AP style change that affected other words ending in "s" as well. I still don't like it. "Busing" just looks wrong.
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