Word Hoard

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Orthography, You Can Go to Hell!

I was reading the comments of a sports web log, and one of the commenters said, "so are these picks with or without the spreads? I've got money on this damnit!"

A quick Googling of the respective spellings--dammit, damnit--reveals 9.1 mil and 3.8 mil results respectively. This is in keeping with my experience. I can't say I've seen damnit very much, if at all. What really piques me, though, is that I kinda like it. It follows the original more closely and embraces that oft silent n.

2 Comments:

  • At October 14, 2006 2:54 PM, Blogger Buffy Turner said…

    I swear at one point in the past year or so I wrote, "damnit" for something, only to be corrected by Michael who said it's usually spelled, "dammit." I didn't understand, since, as you say the former follows more progressively than the latter.

    Oh!, yes, I remember. I was quoting one of the most precious, hilarious stories involving my dear mom. That was it.

     
  • At October 15, 2006 11:32 PM, Blogger Michael Covarrubias said…

    The -mm- spelling does however lend some credence to the grammaticality of nasal assimilation or cluster simplification with some phonological analyses.

    Consider that some 'mn'-rooted words are spelled with the -n- that is pronounced.

    damnation
    damnable
    hymnal
    columnal

    Why then is the [n] not retained in the -it -ing and -ed forms? (although some -ed forms that are more archaic do retain it.)

    The phonological rules are convoluted and far from elegant. But they do work.

     

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