English spelling -ell again

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Sat Feb 2 22:25:02 UTC 2008

Most, if not all, subscribers are familiar with Towle [to(w@)l]-brand
sterling-silver objets-d'art, right?

My wife has just shown me a sterling-silver teaspoon stamped "Towell &
Co., pat. 1900." (Presumably, it's the design and not the spoon itself
that's patented.) Of course, this may be merely coincidental, the
spelling "Towle" being older than 1900. The name of the first black
(kinda, sorta) super-model, Lois Towle, shows that this spelling dates
back at least to the end of the Civil War. (For another spelling
change from that era, cf. "Thurgood," the name of a descendant of a
former slave, Mr. Thoroughgood's man, Marshall.)

All say, "How hard it is that we have to die"---a strange complaint to
come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
                                              -Sam'l Clemens

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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