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#171534 - 11/22/07 11:55 PM little-letter
BranShea Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/23/06
Posts: 5282
Loc: Netherlands, the Hague
The logic of language. I remember from school having for at least a year great trouble with those two words.

I could do the most difficult ones easy but I kept confusing these two. I wrote lettre for letter and littel for little. Even now I sometimes hesitate. Here I've learned to look a bit into etymology and I see that indeed it makes no sense at all.

Little comes from Old English: -- lytel
Letter comes from Old French: lettre

Centuries ago they could have done a better job by making it littel and letter. Is it too late for that?

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#171535 - 11/23/07 12:27 AM Re: little-letter [Re: BranShea]
R. Eastcourt Offline
journeyman

Registered: 11/01/07
Posts: 99
Loc: Hungarian Gypsy
Originally Posted By: BranShea
The logic of language. I remember from school having for at least a year great trouble with those two words.

I could do the most difficult ones easy but I kept confusing these two. I wrote lettre for letter and littel for little. Even now I sometimes hesitate. Here I've learned to look a bit into etymology and I see that indeed it makes no sense at all.

Little comes from Old English: -- lytel
Letter comes from Old French: lettre

Centuries ago they could have done a better job by making it littel and letter. Is it too late for that?

Is this theatre of protest, or theater of the mind?

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#171538 - 11/23/07 02:38 AM Re: little-letter [Re: R. Eastcourt]
BranShea Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/23/06
Posts: 5282
Loc: Netherlands, the Hague
It's a tea-party. In a littel while Mrs. Brittel will put the kettel on. OK , a bit of both.

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#171645 - 11/26/07 05:12 PM Re: little-letter [Re: BranShea]
Zed Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 08/27/02
Posts: 2154
Loc: British Columbia, Canada
Brannie
You have fallen into the non-English speakers trap of expecting English to operate logically. It doesn't, and the spelling is completely .

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#171657 - 11/27/07 05:10 AM Re: little-letter [Re: Zed]
BranShea Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/23/06
Posts: 5282
Loc: Netherlands, the Hague
Zeddie
I know that is the case. Language is the same mix of logic and irrational as humans are. I only thought the board's P.I. of language Z.M. would have known if there was a why to this. The close home word reverses partly.(lytel-little) And to the word from French(lettre-letter)the same thing happens.Just funny.
lytel-little
lettre-letter

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#171660 - 11/27/07 10:29 AM Re: little-letter [Re: BranShea]
zmjezhd Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/13/05
Posts: 3290
Loc: R'lyeh
lytel-little
lettre-letter


I'd say it was an accident of history like so much of what's euphemistically called English orthography. Cf. modal, moral, camel, easel, label, model, tunnel, apple, battle, beetle, eagle, ladle, marble, table, etc., all for words ending in unstressed /əl/.
_________________________
Ceci n'est pas un seing.

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#171704 - 11/28/07 08:35 AM Re: little-letter [Re: zmjezhd]
AnnaStrophic Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 6511
Loc: lower upstate New York
euphemistically called English orthography


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