Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Wonderings and Googlings (Wherein I wonder about words, then I Google them)

I noticed recently that both major style guides' preferred dictionaries advocate the spelling "doughnut."

Merriam-Webster, which is followed by most book publishers says that "donut" is a variant spelling of "doughnut." Translation: Down with "donut."

Webster's New World, which is followed by most news media, says that "donut" is informal for "doughnut." Translation: We're down with "donut," too.

But the masses, it seems, beg to differ. Doughnut gets about 6.8 million hits on google. But donut gets about 9,830,000.

Usually, I'm pretty awed by lexicographers and how well they do their job. But every once in a while, I just gotta poke holes ...

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6 comments:

Robert said...

This is a completely fawning fan letter. I just found a link to your blog this morning, and wanted to express my thanks for "Grammar Snobs." Not a day goes by that I don't use something you taught me in that book. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Now I'm going over to Twitter to follow you....

June Casagrande said...

Wow! Thanks for saying so. You made my day!

Debbie Diesen said...

Count me amongst the "doughnut" eaters. They taste better than "donuts." (Glazed sour cream and/or glazed devil's food are my favorite(s)...)

June Casagrande said...

I'm more of a cake person, but if you have to have donuts, I'm for those sour cream ones -- and, obviously, for spelling 'em "donuts." The "nuts" part always seemed so weird to me that I never saw a reason to stay faithful to the "dough." Come to think of it, it's really batter and not dough anyway. So maybe they should be batter bites.

8'FED said...

Obviously, as an Australian and therefore expected to spell things differently, my opinion doesn't count. But it's "doughnut".

BTW, I do know it's bad practise to use the word million in "6.8 million" while writing "9,830,000" entirely in digits. Some editor should have caught that.

June Casagrande said...

I'll be interesting to see whether the "donut" spelling gains traction in Australia. I suspect it's the wave of the future here.

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