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Mysteries of the Cosmos

Posted by Word Camel on February 19, 2002

In Reply to: Spelling posted by The Fallen on February 19, 2002

: I've just posted something here using the past participle of the verb "to benefit" and it's reminded me of an unresolved argument I had many moons ago.

: I'm admittedly both British and a linguist and so therefore undoubtedly obsessive beyond redemption, but every single bone in my body instinctually screams for me to spell the word "benefitted" with two t's. Similarly, were I ever to use the perfect tense of the verb "to target", I'd type "I have targetted" without so much as a second thought simply because without the double "t", the preceding vowel would be pronounced as strong - "kitten" versus "kite", if you like. I am sure there are other multisyllabic verbs ending in a vowel + t which I'd treat similarly.

: What's the general view on this? Two t's or one? Or is it another transatlantic "vive la différence" thing?

I am horrified but not shocked to learn these words *don't* have two "t's". Illogical spellings, camel-befuddling exceptions to the rules... Isn't that just the joy of English? :)



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