Saturday, February 28, 2009

Due to a debate over the last post...

John said that I should use smelled instead of smelt. He said smelt was wrong but I always use smelt so....of course, a debate ensued until we googled it. This was the best explanation we found to why I would use smelt and John would use smelled. Apparently "smelt" is considered British English and "smelled" is considered American English. There is a lot of verbs that fall in the category and strangely enough I usually use the "t" ending instead of "ed" like John.

The verbs that pattern this way between AE and BE are
burn
dream
dwell
lean
leap
learn
smell
spell
spill

Most Americans will agree that at least seven of these nine are regular. I have lived my whole life in either Philadelphia (between New York City and Wash., DC), Seattle, or San Diego. It seems to me that the BE conjugations are most likely to be found in the Southeast ('South'), here and there in the 'Midwest', and in the Rocky Mountains (i.e., cowboy country).

Gotta love the Rockies (and tons and tons of British literature)...ps John is still upset that I would use smelt in my post ;)

9 comments:

Charly said...

Haha...awesome! I love this post. Thanks for the info!

Flying Princess said...

I have to admit that I paused to consider that word. (Isn't that how you get mettalic ore from rocks?) I appreciate the explanation and I personally have to side with John. Sorry.

hemandow

Corrine said...

i use smelt, burnt, it just sounds funny to me smelled...

Tamara said...

When I hear the t on the end of these verbs, it doesn't sound so odd, but seeing it written is more noticeable.

Tamara said...

HA ha, it's me, Tiffany, my sister, Tamara, was on my computer last and must still be logged in.

Adrienne said...

Isn't smelt a fish? Or is that smealt? Mayble I'll google it--LOL!

Bruce and Cindy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Eric said...

Smelt is what you do to get copper from copper ore. It actually reminds me of an old SNL sketch with Paul Simon and Victoria Jackson, but I digress. I'm with John on this one.

Jaz said...

I pronounce it with a t but have never actually written it down - I'm sure it's all Jane Austen's fault.