Thursday, August 27, 2009


When I answer these email/facebook surveys (that I LOVE, by the way) and very occasionally come across the "what are your pet peeves" question, I can never remember what they are. I know I have them, but to be put on the spot, it never comes to me. Well, today when reading comments to a recipe that I was looking up (Orange chicken - very delicious), I remembered. I definitely can't stand it when people misspell DEFINITELY. Even when I write definately here in the blogger, it gets underlined with the red squiggly lines indicative that some letters somewhere are awry. But NO ONE seems to know this. I saw 'definately' at least twice in the comments. I then typed it into word and realized why - Word automatically corrects the spelling. Thanks Microsoft - now millions of Americans will remain ignorant of their flaws! Often, I google definitely because I see it misspelled so often I think that my memory is getting fuzzy or maybe it is some weird "Queen's English" spelling and today in my google search I realized I was not the only one to have this pet peeve:
Oh, yes, an entire web site with only one page dedicated to this massively spread error. Then I found this :
which led me to this: (the latter being a better article, but I included the first one solely for the "Queen's English" reference)
Several years ago, I finally took it upon myself to remember how to spell this word by reminding myself each time when I write it that it has the word "finite" in it. I know, for some reason (maybe some strange hold over from math classes), that the word finite has no "a's" whatsoever in it, nor will ever have room for that pesky little letter. Therefore, "definitely" should definitely never be spelled definately.
I looked definitely up on an online dictionary and it is defined as:
–adverb a definite manner; unambiguously.
2.unequivocally; positively.
3.(used to express complete agreement or strong affirmation): Are you starting your diet tomorrow? Definitely!
which, of course, has its root from the word definite which is defined as:
  1. Having distinct limits: definite restrictions on the sale of alcohol.
(for reasons of length, I decided not to include the other 4 definitions since I am rambling enough as it is already)
and from that definition realized that definitely is related to the word finite for the first definition for finite is as follows:
1.having bounds or limits; not infinite; measurable.

hmm, sounds a whole lot like the definition for definite
Well there is my rant for the day. And do you think I will remember what to write down as my pet peeve the next time I come across that question in some silly survey?


1 comment:

Alison said...

I'm not sure if I spell this word wrong or not, but probably. I don't think I will now though, so, thanks!