14 December 2015

Fr Hunwicke admits he's wrong

That post of mine about how I won't accept comments spelling supersession as supercession ... a learned reader has deftly attacked me at the indubitably weakest chink in my armour: PEDANTRY. He has pointed out that Middle English offers examples of the spelling with -c-.

Fair enough. OK. I'll buy that. Mea culpa: I withdraw. I had thought that it was just a mistake, a confusion of supersession with all the -cession nouns, not an exquisite and erudite Medievalism. You get your own way, accompanied by sincerest apologies for my heavy-handed incomprehension. Schoolmastering is such a soul-deadening profession.

But will you meet me half way? When you play these delightful games of Pedantry with me, could you very kindly indicate this by inserting into your text {P} so that I know what's going on?

Thus, when you spell possession as poscession or pocession, because of Medieval precedents, could you write it as poc{P}ession?

Gosh, isn't this fun?!! 

8 comments:

DMG said...

Oh well, someone's got to say it: the pedants are revolting! God bless 'em all!

Deacon Augustine said...

Fay(P)re play to you, Fr. ;)

William said...

Is it pedantry to insist that "the 1400s" means the years 1400–1409 inclusive, and contrasts with "the 1390s" or "the 1410s", rather than meaning "the 15th century", as the source quoted by your learned reader appears to wish it to mean? This seems to be a comparatively recent thing, but I'm now for ever reading references to (for example) "the late 1800s", only to discover that the writer means the Naughty Nineties and not, as I had assumed, the immediate pre-Regency period.

Francis Arabin said...

As Fowler wrote of the origins of some Americanism :It might be good old English but it is not good new English.

Little Black Sambo said...

So: people who spell "supersede" with a "c" are doing so because they wish to revive an ancient spelling, and not because they simply can't spell. Now we know.

Little Black Sambo said...

So: people who spell "supersede" with a C are doing so, not because they can't spell, but because they wish to revive an ancient spelling. Now we know.

Scelata said...

Since I cannot claim the erudition that would lead to near ocassions of pedantry, I shall just insert an {I} for ignorance, or {O} for obliviousness, from time to time.

A {BS} for bad spelling seems too open to misunderstanding.

(Save the Liturgy, Save the World)

Matthew Roth said...

No, I think you should say late nineteenth century.