Friday, December 31, 2004
A Thousand Years
Perhaps people misspell millennium as millenium because they're misled by the single n in millenary, centenary, and similar words. But the original Latin words are built from the distributive adjectives centeni (a hundred each) and milleni (a thousand each) plus the suffix -arius. There is no annus lurking in centenary or millenary.
Double letters are a snare. While composing this post, I realized that I had initially misspelled misspell as mispell.
I hardly ever use computerized spelling checkers, even the one provided by this blog's word processor. When I write, I usually keep an old-fashioned dictionary within arm's reach and consult it often. I also rely on the kindness of friendly readers, who are quick to point out my sins against orthography.