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RE: grammar and spelling - OT

At 08:41 PM 1/20/2000 -0700, Tim Atherton wrote:
>Ah yes, but you can also use mat to mean not glossy...

Of course you can, and lots of people do--but it confuses
two similar words whose meanings are commonly 
different, so it's not particularly good practice.

As it happens, I just loaded the new version of my
unabridged dictionary from CDROM, so I checked.
Sure enough, if you go far enough down in the list
of definitions for each of the two words, you find the
variant spelling of the other one--but the "preferred"
meanings are clearly different, and the origins of the
two words, while related, are not quite the same.

But if it makes anybody happy to have to use only
one word for two purposes, feel free--half the words
in the English language already suffer from this, so
one more isn't going to make much difference. :>)

Gary Hunt <glh@srv.net>

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