Friday, November 28, 2008

My Spelling is Already Bad and You're not Helping!

Well, it seems that spelling has won yet another battle in its war against me. Frequently in my class (which ends tomorrow), I have to take about parameterizations. Whatever that means. It doesn't matter. This isn't a math lesson [1]. Normally, I only need to talk about one of them at a time. You would think that forming the singular of that word would be as simple as deleting the s. But according to the spell-checkers of both Firefox and my text editor, the singular of parameterizations is parametrization. Look carefully. The 'e' after the first 't' that appears in the plural is absent in the singular. Really! What's up with that? I mean, the word is long. You could afford to leave out a few more letters, and the word would still be recognizable to most people to whom parameterizations are relevant. But why does that 'e' disappear when you form the singular from the plural?

One of these days I'll beat you spelling, one of these days [2]!

[1] The other day in class, I needed to write the word symmetric. After I had written it, it looked wrong. It was right. It just looked wrong. There seemed to be one too many m's. I asked the class what they thought. "This isn't a grammar lesson," I heard one student say. No, it's not. Nor was it a spelling lesson.

[2] I'm entertaining the hypothesis that both my text editor and the Firefox spell-check guys are using the same dictionary, in which there is an error. I'm just too lazy to figure out which spelling is the right one.

3 comments:

Arnold Zwicky said...

The OED has an entry only for parameterize (and various derivatives) -- but, entertainingly, the citations vary between the -meter- and the -metr- spellings. It seems pretty clear that both versions are ok.

Jonita said...

Oh, how I love the quirks of the English language...

Kyle said...

Hey! Are you teaching the same course I am (Calc III)?