Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Sum werdz too wotch four
Accommodate has a double “c” AND a double “m.”
A lot is two words, not one
Amateur has a French ending, and the word comes from the French word for “lover.” Voulez-vous coucher avec moi?
Argument does not have an “e” like “argue.”
Believe follows the old “i-before-e” rule. Believe it or not.
Bellwether has nothing to do with the weather. A wether is a castrated sheep or goat that wears a bell and leads a herd. The lack of cojones made it less likely that the leader of the pack would stray.
Cemetery does not end in “ary” or begin with “s.”
Changeable, unlike “argument,” retains its “e” so you know the “g” is soft, pronounced like “j.”
Collectible is not “able.” No rule applies here, just memory.
Drunkenness should have a double “n” when spelled by sober people.
Dumbbell has a double “b,” you dummy (not “dumby”).
Embarrass (ment) has a double “r” and a double “s.”
Exceed does not end with “cede.” Nothing exceeds like excess.
Existence does not have an “a.”
Flier is someone who flies (not “flys”). It’s also a leaflet, and a golf ball that goes too far. Delta and other airlines frequently say “frequent flyer.” They’re wrong.
Flyer can be part of a proper name for transportation (Radio Flyer, Flexible Flyer and Rocky Mountain Flyer) or a sports team (Philadelphia Fly¬ers and Dayton Flyers) or sneakers (PF Flyers).
Gauge is a verb or a noun that has a silent “u.” For the thickness of wire or metal, or the space between train rails, or the size of a shotgun, you can ditch the “u.”
Grateful has just one “e.” It’s not so great.
Guarantee does not end like “warranty” except in a proper name like Morgan Guaranty Trust.
Harass has just one set of double letters.
Inoculate has no double letters.
Jibe (not Jive) means to agree. Jibe also means to move a sail to change direction. Jibe and gibe mean to taunt.
Lightning is the spark in the sky, or part of the name of POD printer Lightning Source. Lightening removes weight.
Maintenance has just one “ain,” unlike “maintain.”
Maneuver is a French-ish word, that’s easier to spell than the British version: “manoeuvre.”
Medieval refers to the MIDdle Ages, but is spelled more like “medium.” Those wacky Brits use “mediaeval.”
Memento reminds you of a moment, but the first vowel is an “e” not an “a.” Don’t ask why; just remember it.
Millennium was spelled wrong millions of times back in 1999 and 2000. It still is. It gets a double “l” and a double “n.”
Minuscule means mini, but it’s spelled more like “minus.”
Misspell is frequently misspelled. It needs a double “s” and don’t hyphenate it.
Noticeable gets a silent “e” to keep the “c” from being pro-nounced like a “k.”
Occasionally gets double consonants up front and in the back.
Occurrence has two traps: the occurrence of double double consonants, and “ence” not “ance” at the end.
Possession possesses two double letters.
Principal and Principle sound alike but have different meanings. The first is a school’s boss. The second is a rule or an important point.
Privilege is not edgy. It has no “d.”
Relevant is not “revelant,” “revelent” or “relevent.”
Separate has an “a” as the second vowel.
Sergeant, unlike the affectionate “Sarge,” has no “a” up front, but it does get a silent “a” later on.
Supersede is not spelled like “succeed” or “precede” and may be the only “sede” word we have.
Threshold does not have a double “h.”
Until gets just one “l” even though it’s often a perfect substitute for “till.” Wilson Pickett sang, Wait Till the Midnight Hour or ‘Til the Midnight Hour, depending on who transcribed the lyrics. Both Peggy Lee and the Beatles performed Till There Was You.
Weird is weird because it breaks the “i before e” rule. Seize is a rule breaker, too.