Monday, January 9, 2012

Wikipedia Can't Spell Mate, No, Wait, the Gnome Project Can't Spell Mate

All along I've been spelling mate as mate, which is the spelling that seems to prevail within the Linux Mint 12 Documentation. I was annoyed that Wikipedia spells it  maté, an example of hypercorrection. Mate is an herb or a tea made from the herb. This is what the project is named after, and is the correct spelling. Someone decided that Americans would be more likely to pronounce correctly if it is misspelled as maté. The problem here is threefold:

  1. the misspelling maté puts the emphasis on the wrong syllable,
  2. the misspelling maté is a different word, and
  3. maté is first  person preterit form, I killed. Okay, two and three are arguably the same objection.
The discussion at the Wikipedia maté page saved me from making a change to the page that someone would have to back out of later. Someone pointed out that the spelling is incorrect, but someone else pointed out that the spelling is the one used by the gnome project, and it's not Wikipedia's place to correct the spelling of a project name, but rather to use it as-is. I agree, but I will not be using the misspelling.

No comments: