Friday, May 18, 2007
Recently I've noted an outbreak of outrageous spelling: nouns that would normally form adjectives in -ous being spelled -es instead, as in "outragges" and "couragges." It hurts my eyes just to look at them. What's interesting about this is not the fact that students don't know how to spell these specific words, but that they seem blissfully unaware of the pattern that allows certain nouns to becomes adjectives by the addition of some variation of -ous. How does a native speaker of English grow to adulthood without noticing this pattern?