Date: Fri, 11 Jul 1997 15:00:37 -0400
From: Ron Butters RonButters[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]AOL.COM
Subject: SMELT/SMELLED [was Bleach]
After hearing all this I'm beginning to think that I use SMELT transitively
("George smelt the fish") and SMELLED intransitively ("George smelled like a
fish"). Well, come to think of it, it may be more subtle than; that: if SMELL
is transitive but not purposive/intentional, it is also likely to be SMELLED
("George smelled a harsh odor that seemed vaguely dangerous" vs. "George
bowed and smelt [of] the rose").
Is this one of those cases where introspection provides data that wasn't
there before one began to introspect--or is the two-handled engine of my
grammatical sensibility as subtle as Wordsworth's sense of God in a kholrabi?