Thursday, August 30, 2007

August 30, 2007 - Dictionaire*

With 163 hits in OhioLINK, Dictionaire* is a typo of "highest probability" on the Ballard list. When written in the plural (Dictionaires), it's usually a simple case of letter inversion. However, only 15 of these are typos for the word dictionaries; most are for the singular French form (dictionnaire). The French language has no monopoly on this sort of confusion, though. We have trouble with n-words like this in English too. Is it "questionaire" or "questionnaire"? "Millionaire" or "millionnaire"? Good question. Give up? It's questionnaire with two n's and millionaire with one. (Maybe Regis should have asked contestants the question, "How do you spell millionaire?" before they could be declared one.) There may be no easy way to remember these, but remember this: You can always look them up in le dictionnaire.

Carol Reid

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