Laugh at the Gods

Posted by ESC on February 19, 2002

In Reply to: Laugh at the Gods 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? :)

: : affectionately,

: : Camel

: Go with the two consonants and damn the torpedoes, say I.

I think it's another British/American English difference. My worn office copy of The Merriam-Webster Dictionary (published in 1974 in New York) lists "benefited" or "benefitted." It doesn't have the verb "targeted" in either form.