Thursday, February 23, 2006

Arghh! I'm Affected

It's just been pointed out to me that I spell "plowing" as "ploughing," and that this is an affectation, adopting the British spelling for a word that is fully within American English.

It does look pompous, doesn't it?

In my defense, I had no idea that I was doing this. I just typed " I am ploughing through the Science Fiction lectures as quickly as I can." It just came naturally.

Damn you, William Langland. Damn you to hell!

[Update: It gets worse. In my own Vita I have an article on Piers Plowman. Yes, spelled that way. I'm not just affected, I'm newly affected!]


Brendan said...

Re: the use of 'ploughing' - you say:

'In my defense, I had no idea that I was doing this.'

How can it be an affectation?

If you naturally spelt 'ploughing' as 'ploughing' than this is the unaffected way for you to spell the word.

To use 'plowing' would, on the other hand, be an affectation, if you had to stop and make yourself do it.

Also - re: 'British' spelling? I don't think this phrase is terribly accurate? I'd be inclined to use 'received spelling' or 'English spelling'.

Admittedly, I am not au fait with how Americans generally categorise or describe subsets of English - but 'British' doesn't seem right to me.

'Received spelling' or, simply 'English' spelling would be better I think?

Dr. Lisa said...

I just had a student describe an affected environment the senior seminar. Is that what happened to you????

UBCNoelle said...

Just be glad you didn't spell it "plo3hing" (with the yogh). *That* would have been affectation.

And I crossed myself when you damned William Langland - he'll come back to haunt you for that :) He always does....

Mearcstapa said...

Riht. I mean right. If you don't know you're spelling it differently, how can it be an affectation? I spelled 'behavior' the British way until someone pointed out that I was doing it. I haven't done it since. I'm upset that it was pointed out to me. After I learned of my serious affectation, there was no way I could do it again in an unaffected way.

PS: Looking forward to the Bagby link!

Brendan said...

Seriously? Behavior? That looks horrend(o)us to me!

But I take your point, although I still reckon an affectation must the result of a conscious effort to create some kind of impression.