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Poll #1854050 Shown… - oldbloke's mutterings
July 15th, 2012
10:15 pm
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Poll #1854050 Shown up by the SOED again

How do YOU spell siphon/syphon ? I've been spelling it syphon all my life, as far as I recall. I just moaned to t'missus (a linguistics graduate) about Amercian spell checkers not liking that, and she said, well, that's because it IS spelt with an i. And she got out our 2 volume Shorter Oxford English dict to prove it. Sigh. Just looked at an online homebrew shop webpage that has it both ways in adjacent sentences...

i
11(34.4%)
y
7(21.9%)
either
5(15.6%)
neither
1(3.1%)
my parents were killed by a python you insensitive clod
1(3.1%)
checkybox
7(21.9%)

(11 comments | Leave a comment)

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From:blackberry44
Date:July 15th, 2012 09:30 pm (UTC)
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My 20 volume OED says you can spell it both ways.
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From:oldbloke
Date:July 15th, 2012 09:43 pm (UTC)
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Can, yes, but it lists the i version as the main and the y as a variant, yes?
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From:blackberry44
Date:July 15th, 2012 10:06 pm (UTC)
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It just says "siphon, also syphon" and "syphon VAR siphon"

Pick the bones out of that!

Incidentally I couldn't reply directly because you don't list me as a friend.
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From:oldbloke
Date:July 16th, 2012 08:10 am (UTC)
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According to my Manage Friends page I do. Odd.
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From:k425
Date:July 16th, 2012 09:48 am (UTC)
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The entry for syphon only says "var siphon" which means that siphon is the dominant version.
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From:hooloovoo_42
Date:July 15th, 2012 09:56 pm (UTC)
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My spelling has deteriorated so much in recent years that I can't remember how I ever spelled it. Not that I tend to spell it at all these days.
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From:drdoug
Date:July 16th, 2012 06:41 am (UTC)
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I'd tend to use an i, but I wouldn't think y was wrong.
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From:g8bur
Date:July 16th, 2012 08:07 am (UTC)
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I've seen both used, but I'd use Y. The GWR used I.
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From:oldbloke
Date:July 16th, 2012 08:08 am (UTC)
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The GWR is never wrong!
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From:ewx
Date:July 16th, 2012 05:40 pm (UTC)
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The online OED gives both, with citations using both from C17th to the C21st. I don’t see any basis for calling either incorrect.
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From:vinaigrettegirl
Date:July 18th, 2012 03:31 pm (UTC)
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My (wavey hands) impression is that syphon is a noun, and dated, (I instinctively bracket it into the periods 1680-1750, revived 1880-1920), and siphon is a verbal form with back-spelling to the noun. /overthinking?
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