Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Spelling Woes

OK... I give up.  Clearly English is going to be a problem for me.  Maybe I should write in Perl.

Why is it "usable" and not "useable" (the latter is apparently British) while "replaceable" has the 'e' left in?

But then why is it "judgment" and not "judgement"?  We remove the 'e' in that one.

I can see an argument for stripping the 'e' from the end of "use" before adding a suffix, and apparently we do.  And apparently we do it to "judge" too.

But, before you become complacent, it's "judgeable" with the 'e'.  So we remove it for "jugdment" but not for "judgeable"?

I think it's a plot to make us all (or at least me) feel incompetent.

For a long while I was horribly confused because Firefox (as installed by Ubuntu 8.04 LTS) defaulted to the British English dictionary for its spelling checker.  Given the fact that I moved around a lot as a kid and as a result never stayed in one school's English program for more than a couple of years, my spelling is hopeless, but the confusion caused by that Firefox default dictionary may cripple me for life.

1 comment:

  1. Here's my guess. C followed by A is usually a hard K sound, so we need the E to soften that. S does not need that clarification.

    D+G together make a J sound, so really no E needed, until you follow that with an A in a compound word. Without the E, judgeable might look like JUD-GABLE.

    In contrast, you wouldn't combine the G with "ment" in judgement, so the e can be left off.

    Following this logic, though, why do we even need the ending e is judge?

    ReplyDelete

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