This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Wednesday, 2 October 2019

Nuts and Bolts: haplography.

Haplography is a matter of spelling. 

In fact, of mispelling.

Yes, I know I have misspelled the word mispelled, there, but haplography is what happens when someone uses one letter when there should be a pair (or, rarely, as in the German word rollladen, which means shutters, two letters instead of a trio).*

What I want to know is, if someone writes the word traveling in the USA and then sends the message to Britain, is that haplography? Or if they write travelling out of respect for British spelling, is that an example of dittography, which is the opposite of haplography?

Well, don't ask me, I've no idea at all.

There's another form of haplography which occurs when someone is copying out a text, something like:

The man jumped back from the jackal snapping at his face, but the lion jumped forward onto the vicious canine and ate it.

and the scribe, bored to tears, skips from one jumped to the next, entirely missing out the words in between, and ends up with:

The man jumped onto the vicious canine and ate it.

Isn't it nice when a silly mistake like that has an important-sounding term like haplography?

Thing To Avoid Today: haplography. This word comes from the Greek haplo- single and graphein to write.

*A special thanks to Wikipedia for this rather lovely example.

No comments:

Post a Comment