Date: Wed, 9 Jul 1997 15:55:13 +0000
From: Duane Campbell dcamp[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]EPIX.NET
Subject: Re: clorox or whatever
At 12:18 PM 7/9/97 -0800, you wrote:
I'm confused: is this thread about spelling or speaking? I see "smelled"
but I hear "smelt". Don't you?
I have been surprised at how many people find "smelt" perfectly normal. My
experience with "smelt" has been threefold:
1. Rustic - I et it 'cause it smelt so good.
2. Archaic - as in the MT example.
3. British - but there's no accounting for them. I swear, sometimes they
act as if they inventedd the languagge.
But you bring up the question of written vs. spoken. I say "smelled", and I
say it quite clearly (unless it is late at night).
Over the last ten to twenty years I have watched the migration of the "d"
into a "t" sound. So now I am wondering about this scenario. In 19th
Century America it was spelled and pronounced "smelt". Then the "smelled"
spelling and pronounciation took over. Now, though the word is still
"smelled" in both spelling and pronounciation, but spoken as "smelt" not
referring back to an earlier form but reflecting a modern consonent shift.
In other words (this gets existential), it is still "smelled", but
"smelled" is pronounced "smelt".
Duane Campbell dcamp[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]epix.net