Posted by: bridget | 30 August 2006

May I Buy A Vowel?

In the past hundred years or so, Americans have decided that there are far too many vowels in our words. (Presumably, this was a complaint originally made by Scrabble players.) Thanks to the efforts of bad spellers, we have unceremoniously dropped u’s and a’s from our language, and, in the process, made our language unintelligable for those who are familiar with their Hellenic etymology. A “pediodontist” is not a children’s dentist but rather one who extracts feet from mouths.

Of course, the irony of the situation is that such changes actually make spelling more difficult. “Central” makes more sense as a modified form of “centre” rather than “center,” which would, following usual rules, lead to “centeral.”

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