October 17, 2007

Spell check

Last night's World News Tonight had a segment celebrating National Dictionary Day (it was yesterday; betcha didn't know, didja?). Robert Krulwich hosted an animated piece which showed a couple disagreeing about the proper spelling of the term for that membrane stretched across your larynx. Is it vocal "cord" or "chord?" According to the dictionary editor he spoke with, people split 51-49 percent as to the correct spelling, so either is acceptable. He did the same thing with free "rein" or "reign" and got the same result: an even split, so either is okay, sayeth the editor.

Oh, great. So because I keep seeing "publically" rather than "publicly" eventually either is going to be acceptable?

No, no, a thousand times no!

It's "publicly." I don't know how that extra "al" got in there, but it's wrong, wrong, wrong!

Posted by Linkmeister at October 17, 2007 02:11 PM | TrackBack

I missed National Dictionary Day. Thanks so much for the link. Very interesting.

Posted by: cassie-b at October 18, 2007 05:44 AM

Vocal chord? Only if it consists of three singers, each singing a different note simultaneously.

Free reign? Cheap crown!

The distinctions may vanish as we move closer to post-literacy, but we're not there yet. When we do arrive, our culture will be a shambles -- or "in" shambles, as many people will say, getting the epression wrong.
Detectives Beyond Borders
"Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"

Posted by: Peter at October 18, 2007 08:02 PM