[Ads-l] Groucho--really?

Mark Mandel thnidu at GMAIL.COM
Mon Mar 13 17:13:16 EDT 2017


I'd guess it's because the initial *ph* is a familiar spelling and wouldn't
derail readers, but would put them on the right track. So by the time they
got to the end of the word they might be puzzled by the *f* but they'd know
what word was meant.

Mark, speculating with his spectacles on


On Mar 13, 2017 11:44 AM, "Ben Zimmer" wrote:

"Philosofy" was one of the "simplified spellings" that often appeared in
the Chicago Tribune from the '30s to the '70s (the Tribune's editor and
owner Joseph Medill was active in the spelling reform movement). See Erin
McKean's 2011 piece in the Washington Post:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/after-the-spelling-bee-imagining-a-
world-without-standardized-spelling/2011/06/02/AGJkF5HH_story.html

Similarly, the Trib spelled "photograph" as "photograf." I don't know why
they didn't go whole hog and use "filosofy" and "fotograf."

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


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