Ladies and Gentlemen, it’s the 80% worker’s Friday, and we consult the iPod, once again, in order to divine, from my morning’s commute, the upcoming weekend’s events.
Cold Sweat by James Brown
Rock and Roll Queen by The Subways
Thursday by Morphine
The Story by Brandi Carlisle
I Can See for Miles by The Who
Just A Little Heat by the Black Keys
Shame and Fortune by Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Hmmm. Anybody else see what I’m seeing? Looks like Bloody Marys, swapping out the summer clothes for winter, and watching Incidental Weekend, a movie directed by Nick of Nick Nack Blog Attack.
That’s what you saw, right?
And now, a word on a word.
That word? Aluminum/Aluminium.
This blog has been the site of my unabashed proclamations of love for the Brits on several occasions. Why? Frankly, why not? Like I’ve got anything better to do with my time. Besides! Look at ‘em. They’re just so darn cute, aren’t they, with those clever accents, wearing “jumpers” and once running the whole darn world. Amazing.
It was because of the Brits, however, that my public-school run of perfect spelling ended. That’s right – I misspelled only one word (at least during the tests) between kindergarten and 12th grade, and I blame others.
I had been reading one of the Lord of the Rings books at the time, so you know how I spelled it, don’t you?
Oh, how I suffered, the indignant pain of the straight-A student. I knew how to spell it the American way – I was just showing off! How could the teacher not have seen that? Nearing her retirement date, she wasn’t interested in my explanations – we were in that particular town for less than a year and she and I never did warm to each other – and the little gold star that should’ve gone in my row for that week’s test remained absent.
I think I'm pretty much over it now.
But recent conversation with Vin, The Group’s Token Brit, has brought that bitter pain back to the fore.
I refer to the word “aluminum”.
Appears that the word was originally “aluminum” and then changed to “aluminium” (to partake of the –ium ending that all the other elements were into). It wasn’t until a particularly dull drinking game at the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry shortly after the “two-i” spelling was adopted that the Americans took an inexplicable hard turn and went back to “aluminum”.
I may or may not have made that last bit up, although it would be a helluva lot more interesting than the apparently flip-flopping that actually seems to have happened. Believe me, you can spend all day ignoring what you should be doing in exchange for looking up the stories behind the dual spellings of “aluminium” and still not walk away fully satisfied.
So there you have it. One word: two spellings, two pronunciations.
Yep. This is what I’m thinking about today. Spelling.
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