Today is Thursday, August 17, 2017

The Snarls of Spelling, Week Two

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By ANNE DONNELL[Last week’s question with even more answers!] Are there any rules about spelling correctly? I’m ashamed of the problem I have with that and wonder if there’s any help. Thank you.-Miss Misspell

Well, about all you living brains out there know the i before e except after c rule, right?  EXAMPLES. deceit, ceiling, perceive. BUT, here’s some trouble. SOME EXCEPTIONS TO THE RULE. weird, leisure, science, either, neither, forfeit, seize, caffeine, foreign. What to do?  Memorize. Our help today is coming from by Gordon Loberger and Kate Shoup’s Webster’s New World English Grammar Handbook Welsh. (Indianapolis: Wiley Publishing Company, 2002)

PAUSE FOR ONLINE DEPARTMENT (Thanks, JA) “Why, Why, Why?” • Why do we press harder on a remote control when we know the batteries are almost dead? • Why do banks charge a fee on 'insufficient funds' when they already know there is not enough money? • Why does someone believe you when you say there are four billion stars; but have to check when you say the paint is still wet? • Why doesn't Tarzan have a beard?  • Why does Superman stop bullets with his chest, but ducks when you throw a revolver at him? • Why do Kamikaze pilots wear helmets? • Whose idea was it to put an s in the word lisp? • Why is it that no matter what color bubble bath you use the bubbles are always white?• Is there ever a day that mattresses are not on sale? • Why do people constantly return to the refrigerator with hopes that something new to eat will have materialized? • Why do people keep running over a string a dozen times with the vacuum cleaner, then reach down, pick it up, examine it, then put it down to give the vacuum one more chance? • Why is it that no plastic bag will open from the end on your first try? • How do those dead bugs get into those enclosed light fixtures? • Why is it that whenever you attempt to catch something that's falling off the table you always manage to knock over something else? • In winter why do we try to keep the house as warm as it was in summer when we complained about the heat? • How come you never hear father-in-law jokes? • The statistics on sanity is that one out of every four persons is suffering from some sort of mental illness. Think of your three best friends -- if they're okay, then it's you.

ADDITION OF PREFIXES AND SUFFIXES. The good news is that often there is no spelling change. EXAMPLES.  easy to uneasy; mis to misspell.  The bad news is that root words ending in e, root words ending in consonants, root words ending in y, root words ending in c – all need thought. And we’re saving all our thought for TV watching and text messaging – right?

ROOT WORDS ENDING IN SILENT E. 1. Drop the e if suffix begins with a vowel. EXAMPLE. hate to hating. EXCEPTION. If root word ends in ge or ce, keep the final e, unless the suffix begins with i. [Let’s step out a moment and pull our hair out.] EXAMPLES OF EXCEPTIONS.  outage to outrageous; age to aging (suffix begins with i).  2. Keep the final e if omitting it brings confusion (like we’re not already there). EXAMPLE. mile to mileage.  3. Keep the final e if the suffix begins with a consonant. EXAMPLE. love to lovely.  4. If the suffix begins with y drop the silent e. EXAMPLE. ease to easy. EXCEPTIONS. cagey, dicey, pricey. 5. If another vowel precedes the silent e at the end of the root word, drop the e whether the suffix begins with a vowel or with a consonant. EXAMPLES. glue to glued; true to truly. If the root word ends in ie and the suffix ing is being added, the ie is usually changed to y. EXAMPLES. lie to lying; die to dying.

Wasn’t that just the worst paragraph you ever read?

ADDING SUFFIXES TO WORDS ENDING IN Y.  Change the y to i. EXAMPLE. happy to happiness. EXCEPTION.  When adding suffix ing the y stays. EXAMPLE. dry to drying. Also, if the y at the end of the root word is preceded by a vowel the y stays when adding suffix. EXAMPLES.  play to playing; stray to strayed.

ADDING SUFFIXES TO ROOT WORDS ENDING IN SINGLE CONSONANTS (EXCEPT W, X, OR Y) PRECEDED BY A VOWEL (Harrison Ford could have used this to break into the Ark) Double the vowel if the root word is only one syllable. EXAMPLE. hug to hugging. Don’t double if the root word has more than one syllable. EXAMPLE.  prophet to prophetic. Don’t double if the root word (one syllable or more) ends in a single consonant preceded by two or more vowels. EXAMPLE.  hear to hearing. If the root word ends in more than one consonant, don’t double. EXAMPLE.  sand to sandy.

ADDING SUFFIXES TO WORDS THAT END IN C. You add a k. EXAMPLE. picnic to picnicking.

I should send free t-shirts to everyone who read this far, but I’m not going to.  

BW (Bigtime Word) zori – thronged sandal – really. “Iz zose ze new zoris zat zou wasted ze money on and now zou can’t ztep wizzout ze tripping?”

 

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