I’m sure no one noticed, but I’ve been away from my desk for the past fortnight.
Although I didn’t touch a computer keyboard during that time, language was very much on my mind as I toured Sicily in the company of 15 other English-speakers.
The countries represented among us were England (London and Yorkshire), Australia, South Africa, and the United States (New York, California, North Carolina, and Arkansas). The accents were splendidly varied, but–thanks to standard grammar and vocabulary–communication was not a problem.
On this first day back I’d like to add a couple of postscripts to two of the articles that appeared while I was away.
Principal Parts of the Verb to fit
In this article I wrote that fit/fit/fitted are the principal parts of the verb in British usage.
Reader Peter set me straight:
Make that fit, fitted, (have) fitted.
One of my English traveling companions said that fit might be heard as the simple past, but the occurence would be rare and it would sound very old-fashioned.
You Too Can Sponsor A Word
Thanks to everyone who pounced on the spelling in the Online Etymology Dictionary article. Although miniscule has its defenders, you won’t find it in the OEtyD. I’ve gone back and changed it to minuscule.
One of the delights of my trip was the privilege of listening to the musical English of numerous Italian guides. My admiration for their linguistic skill is profound. Listening to them I became aware of some ESL traps that are probably worth a future post or two.