Date: Tue, 16 Jan 1996 15:50:50 -0800 From: Peter McGraw Subject: Re: -re As a matter of fact, Steve, I've been wondering the same thing as I followed this discussion. For years my unspoken understanding was that a "theater" was a building where one saw a movie (or I suppose a play), whereas "the theatre" meant the "legitimate stage" as an institution and was usually to be pronounced with a stagy British accent. It was only when I was grown that I learned somewhat to my surprise that everybody else seemed to insist on one spelling or the other, with the -re spelling "chiefly Brit." Peter McGraw Linfield College McMinnville, OR On Tue, 16 Jan 1996, H Stephen STRAIGHT (Binghamton University, SUNY) wrote: > I'm curious to know whether I'm the only person in the world who > distinguishes the -er and -re spellings of theat-er/-re by using the > former to refer to the place (They're painting the marquee on the > theater.) and the latter to refer to the institution (They're creating new > ideas for the American theatre.). On this usage, the theatre > department/*theater department versus the theater manager/*theatre > manager. > > Best. 'Bye. Steve > H Stephen STRAIGHT Langs Across the Curric, Binghamton University (SUNY) > NFLC Mellon Fellow, Jan-June 1996 VOX: 202-667-8100; FAX: 667-6907 > 1619 Massachusetts Ave NW -- Fourth Floor Washington, DC 20036 > ["sstraigh", not "sstraight"!] >