No, this is not my N entry. Nor is it photographic. Nor is it typical of me to nitpick here in wordpressland. Notwithstanding, it is my intention to continue.

I can understand why the majority of American English exists. It seems over 400 years or so, things do evolve. Why spell fiber fibre? There are many examples of the English language which are inconsistent.  Why not iron them out?

I’m not going go on. It is boring.

As a chemist, my biggest irritation is Aluminum. It raises my blood pressure writing it that way. It shouldn’t, I know.

Aluminium. Pronounced with the emphasis on al and spoken like condominium. Easy.

With the advent of the internet, American English is taking over the world.

One more. Going to the bathroom. My son insists on saying this. “Are you having a bath or a shower” I say. He just ignores me now. What’s wrong with word toilet?

Nitpick no more





4 thoughts on “Nitpick

  1. I’,m not sure about the different ways of pronouncing aluminium. You lost me there. and if you are going to the toilet, ( French?) it was once the lavatory in English. The powder room annoys me intensely as does the ladies room and the Loo- worst of all. I quite like dunny.

    Liked by 1 person

    • North Americans, excluding scientists I think, pronounce aluminium with the emphasis on the u and omit the second I. Grrr it won’t let me write a lower case I.
      I’m good with other words for the outhouse. I’m not good with calling it something it’s not. Powder room is a good example of that. I don’t mind loo. Apparently, James Joyce may have been responsible for this. Who knows.


      • toilet (n.)
        1530s, earliest in English in an obsolete sense “cover or bag for clothes,” from Middle French toilette “a cloth; a bag for clothes,” diminutive of toile “cloth, net” (see toil (n.2)). Toilet acquired an association with upper class dressing by 18c., through the specific sense “a fine cloth cover on the dressing table for the articles spread upon it;” thence “the articles, collectively, used in dressing” (mirror, bottles, brushes, combs, etc.). Subsequent sense evolution in English (mostly following French uses) is to “act or process of dressing,” especially the dressing and powdering of the hair (1680s); then “a dressing room” (1819), especially one with a lavatory attached; then “lavatory or porcelain plumbing fixture” (1895), an American euphemistic use.

        Toilet paper is attested from 1884 (the Middle English equivalent was arse-wisp). Toilet training is recorded from 1940.
        All language changes along the way.
        Here is a fun filled link on the theme:

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Bloody Hell! There you go. Even lavatory meant a place to wash originally. What word actually means ‘place to defecate and urinate’?
    And I wonder if Americans pronounce lavatory with the emphasis on the last o, like in laboratory, ceremony and testimony.


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