All right. Now, I understand.

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Wed Jan 2 03:08:45 UTC 2013

On Tue, Jan 1, 2013 at 9:19 PM, Benjamin Barrett <gogaku at> wrote:
> Did you see the part of my post that had an OED citation of "caldron" back to the fifteenth century?

Yes. But, is it your contention that "caldron" has been in common use
as an alternate spelling of "cauldron" since forever, so that the
sudden decision of many publications, including the New York Times, to
standardize on "caldron" after 600 years is a totally-expected
development, exactly like the shift of the old meaning of _vagina_ to
"the entirety of the female genitalia"? I saw that one coming, way
back in the 'Forties, During The War..

> Or the part where I said I pronounce it as /ah/ (my general realization of ɔ)?

How does this account for the shift in the New York Times stylebook
from the use of _cauldron_ to the use of _caldron_"?

IAC, my now-lost original point is that I once wondered why it is that
Commonwealth English continues to use spellings like "armour." Now, I
see "cauldron" replaced by "caldron, even in the NYT - likewise, the
simple elimination of a single letter - and I'm annoyed by that.
Therefore, I have a clearer understanding of why the _-our_ spelling
is maintained. A whimsical shift to _-or_, simply because it's
obviously the way to go, if American spelling is your standard, would
annoy a lot of people, to the clear benefit of no one.

Well, it would balance out the gratuitous American shift from the
completely-transparent "[…], […], and […]" to the opaque
Commonwealthian "[…], […] and […]," in spite of the fact that it
renders a multitude of sentences ambiguous. Or, perhaps, I read less
well than most.


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.
-Mark Twain

The American Dialect Society -

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