Things that make you go hmmm …

Tell me, why does the word marshmallow have an “a” in the second syllable when we say, marshmellow? There I was, making up a list for the 1st grade holiday room party I’m co-hosting next week in which marshmallows have a key role. I spelled it with an “e” and was so confused why it appeared underlined in red (spell checker code for, “hey dingbat, you spelled the word wrong”).

Normally, I’d turn to the dictionary but since it’s big and heavy and currently holding up other books, I opted to Google it. Aside: can’t quite believe I used Google as a verb but am ever so glad it exists.

There is was: marshmallow. In black and white (no red underline at all), proudly sporting an “a” where I maintain an “e” should be. OK, I admit that marshmellow doesn’t look right either. But marshmallow? Mallow? As in rhymes with wallow? That’s just not cheery. And what are marshmallows if not cheery?

Now I can’t get it out of my head. I’m doomed to hear marshmallow (mallow, mallow, mallow) echoing in my head every time I write it. Guess it’s a good thing I don’t write copy for food packagers of marshmallows.

You’ve been ever so patient, dear reader, as I’ve vented about the fluffy items that accompany hot cocoa (see, I can’t even write the word anymore). So let me make an abrupt U-turn and focus on glitter … which is spelled how it should be and has found its way in many corners of the house this holiday season:

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The little white specs that look like dust are meant to be snow. But the pretend snow has mixed with the inevitable dust, so now I’m not sure what we have!

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2 Responses to “Things that make you go hmmm …”

  1. Martha Says:

    I love your glitter displays! I used to be a copy editor, so there are a lot of weird things about the English language I had to learn — plus spellings. Or misspellings (sp? !). One rare zinger is the misuse of “More/Most importantly.” It is not “importantly” — it is “important.” As in “Most important, I got my Christmas shopping done by December 17.” Think of it as if the sentence was restructured “Most important was the fact that I got my Christmas shopping done by Dec 17.” You wouldn’t say “Most imortantly was the fact that I got my Christmas shopping done by Dec 17.”

  2. sagecohen Says:

    There is an important life lesson here: When reason fails, turn to glitter! What fine wisdom!

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