July 10, 2012

50 Shades of Gary.

Typo I just made, observed the comic potential of, and, after Googling, discovered had already been deployed.

Speaking of typos and "Shades of Grey," there was some discussion of the 2 spellings of "grey/gray" in the first "Shades of Grey" post of the day. (This is the 3d.) I said I meant to do that:
"Gray" is the long-term spelling on this blog and the normal spelling used by Americans.

"Grey" is the title of the book, the name of the character -- Christian Grey -- the British spelling, and the spelling used by Americans who have been over influenced by the British and that damned book.
You know how you know "gray" is the right spelling for Americans? You look at your Crayolas!


Sydney said...

They mispronounce "garage," too.

Sydney said...

And "Ralph." How the heck does that word come out of their mouths as "Rafe?"

traditionalguy said...

Crayolas being an original source material from age 5, this court takes Judicial Notice of its names, so gray it is. (But what the heck is Burnt Sienna? There maybe another S&M series coming soon.)

Those Brits wrote so many stories and places using grey that it must be inside my DNA. Gray/Grey has to be a case of both deemed correct.

Patrick said...

50 Shades of Gary would be a great name for a blog by a guy named Gary.

traditionalguy said...

My English housekeeper taught me that Norwich is pronounced "Norridge."

Norwich was to the north of Suffolk which was to the south, and of course Essex was to the east. That made it easier to give directions to the latest conquerors.

They were in the East Anglia area east of London to the North Sea. That area has many Saxon place names that end in "...ham" which is Saxon German for Home...such as Nottingham, Cunningham, Birmingham and Windham. Windham of course is on the coast of the North Sea in a very windy location.

The Puritans were from this area as were the earlier immigrants to Massachusetts called the Pilgrims who settled their Plantations on Cape Cod. These dudes were more stubborn Germanic Saxons than in the rest of Mother Angleland.

edutcher said...

Thank you, Madame.

I'd always spelled the color with an a, but I'm always happy to be educated.

Scott said...

My English housekeeper taught me that Norwich is pronounced "Norridge."

Did she ever make you a bowl of porwich?

Ann Althouse said...

"They mispronounce "garage," too."

The problem is Americans who say garage like that.

Mike (MJB Wolf) said...

I just liked the look of it when I wrote Green-Grey Eyes. And faced with a word that has two accepted spellings I choose the one that I liked best. I did read a lot of English lit on my way to a BA, so maybe that had something to do with it.

Vittorio Jano IV said...

Not sure how spelling morphed into pronunciation, but I'm reminded, as I too often am, of a Monty Python sketch:

"No no no, it's spelled, 'Raymond Luxury Yacht,' but it's pronounced, 'Throat Warbler Mangrove'".

traditionalguy said...

In Wiki I just learnd that The Saxons had their feasts in, and their kings stayed the rest of the time in, "The Meade House."

No mention was made of who painted their Meade House. In fact the picture of it was of unpainted, grey wood.

They were from the northern german plains and fought a long war with the Franks ( Charlemagne) who finally defeated and baptised them as Christians.

The Romans had used Saxon troops in their Legions in Briton, and many had retired there, and when the Romans pulled out and the place went wild with Celts attacking Britons from the west, the Britons invited the Saxons to come over from Germany to protect them. Under Alfred the Great's forbears they came, they saw and they conquered but never went home.

dbp said...

Being an inveterate bad speller, I'm just happy if the combination of letters I choose, turns out to be correct in any usage of English.

John Burgess said...

I'll cop to "Influenced by the British", but absolutely not to the book or the "over". Too, I'll point out that in New England, 'grey' is just fine.

ndspinelli said...

Gray was the last Crayola I would eat, it tasted like the Soviet Union...bland and stale.

rhhardin said...

You can't trust Crayola since they changed Indian red.

It was for coloring the faces of Indians.

Richard Dolan said...

"The problem is Americans who say garage like that."

Well, let's just call it a car park then.

Tarzan said...

"When the world and I were young, just yesterday..."

Jason said...

What does Marina Hantzis have to say?

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Anyone here read Susan Cooper's The Dark is Rising series as a kid? ISTR that in one of the books the protagonist is interested simultaneously in two boys, and she describes one as having "grey" eyes, and the other as having "gray" eyes. The different spellings convey different qualities for her.

To me, that makes perfect sense. "Gray" suggests, via the visible rhyme, "clay." I'm thinking soft, neutral, uniform color. "Grey" makes me think of greyhounds, so of brindled color, streaky, varied, not all the same shade.

sydney, the only Ralph in England ever pronounced "Rafe," so far as I know, was Vaughan Williams, and I think it was a childhood nickname/family in-joke/something of the kind.

traditionalguy, Of course "Norwich" is pronounced "Norridge." And "Birmingham" is "Birmingum" (likewise for all the other 'hams). My English friends are as amused at the way we pronounce the city in Alabama as I was at the way they pronounce, say, "jaguar" ("jag-yew-are"), not to mention "Don Juan" and "Don Quixote" (who are, I swear, "Don Jew'n" and "Don Quick-sote" respectively).

Then again, when I first tried to pronounce "Worcestershire," I thought it was a four-syllable word with a long "i." Phonics gets you only so far.

kimsch said...

MDT, I have two different images in mind with gray v. grey. Gray seems to me a light, soft gray and grey is a harder, darker grey, charcoal-ly but not too black.

Dante said...

I like the "Bullshit" Ann, not the Ann who cares so much about "grey", "gray" and laissez-fair [sic].

If the meaning comes through, who gives a poopy (err, shit).

In my view, the "discipline" of spelling is a waste of time. It's a way for inferior minds to feel superior, either over ignorant people, or worse, over people who can actually think abstractly and capture meaning and substance.

Rote memorization does NOT imply intelligence, and there is way too much of that crap being pushed in schools these days, in math, science, etc. Having read my kid's textbooks, they often get the abstract thought process wrong, but at least they spelled everything rightly, while kids aren't learning to think.

All this extra memorization is a straight-jacket to creative thinking. Leave the mechanical stuff to the computers and google.