Thursday, August 7, 2008

Omelets Are Better Than Omelettes, the Apostrophe Does Not Swing Both Ways, and Is Texting Destroying Our Language?

A couple of tidbits to share today that I present in kinda bare-bones form since I'm a little too sniffly-sneezy to weave them into a more entertaining form.

* Three out of three dictionaries I checked with prefer the spelling "omelet" to "omelette." All of them, however, allow both spellings.

* If it ain't facing left, it ain't an apostrophe. In my copy editing work, I'm coming across a lot of right-facing apostrophes (that is, ones with their openings to the right, like the letter C). MS Word likes to make them when you hit the neither-right-nor-left-facing apostrophe key. There's a name for a right-facing apostrophe: an open single quotation mark. Real apostrophes face left.

* I finally found an expert to answer the question, "Are kids screwing up our language with their technology and texting and IMming and blogging and ROFLing?" The answer: No. Technology is not hurting the language at all. Happily, it's just poisoning kids' minds. I got this from a Noam Chomsky clip I found on YouTube. (The whole talk is long, so if you want to hear just this portion, skip to around minute 50.) He makes a good case.

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goofy said...

David Crystal makes a good case too

June Casagrande said...

Thanks for the tip. Crystal is my final frontier of language. He's everywhere, but I have yet to dip my toe into his writing/world.

Will definitely get to this once this copy-editing work is off my desk.

Thank you!


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