Word: It's a mantel, not a mantle

melsouthNovember 24, 2012

I probably shouldn't, but I just have to point out something that I've noticed on GW more and more often.

When referring to that decorative thing that often sits above the opening of a fireplace, the word is mantel.

It is not mantle.

(A mantle is a cloak or covering.)

My sincere intent is to be helpful, and I wish not to offend!

I hope all of you had a happy Thanksgiving.

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I'm happy to be reminded of that, thank you.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 12:49PM
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Actually, you can find sites that list one or the other or both as being correct.

"What Is the Correct Spelling: Fireplace Mantel or Fireplace Mantle?

Really, you can spell it either way: fireplace mantel or fireplace mantle. While the majority of people spell it mantel, as we do here at Agee Woodworks, it can also be found spelled mantle. The dictionary lists both spellings and defines a mantle as "a shelf that projects from a wall above a fireplace; and the finish around a fireplace". (In England they call a mantel a "chimneypiece".)
Either way you are correct"

Here is a link that might be useful: link for above quote

    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 1:03PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

There are so many words like that that I screw up...and I try to be careful about my spelling, but I get these mental blocks with some words...

nickle or nickel is a chronic one for me.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 1:06PM
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When I checked mantle on Dictionary.com it did not list the the shelf or surround of a fireplace. You need to look up mantel to get that definition.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 2:40PM
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Uh, speaking of mantels, and not to change the subject, but there's just no action on the woodworking forum.

I'll be finishing our mantel/mantle, and need to know what finish is best. Poly? *shudders* Waterborne? I see that most of the fireplace stores use poly for their finishes, I just wonder how it holds up.


    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 6:07PM
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...which brngs me to this question- is there a way to spell check when your are posting a response on a GW thread?

    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 6:12PM
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I agree, it is mantel, but it's spelled as "mantle" in other english speaking countries. I think there was a topic about this last year.

Off to Mickey Mantel's for a drink! hee.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 6:18PM
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Thank you, melsouth, I didn't know that.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 6:25PM
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Tomato ~ tamato, everyone makes a typo now & then. Life's kinda short to sweat the small stuff.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 6:41PM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana

which brngs me to this question- is there a way to spell check when your are posting a response on a GW thread?
There is no spellchecker built into Garden Web, but I use Firefox and it has a spellchecker. It won't however tell me that using mantle is incorrect as opposed to mantel, since they are both actual words, just like to, too, and two.


    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 6:43PM
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Thanks Sue!

    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 9:53PM
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franksmom, I have been using Watco Natural oil followed by 3 coats of General Finishes Arm R Seal and really like the results. Seems as bullet proof as a wood finish can be so far.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 9:56PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Eye halve know problem width spell Czech....

    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 9:58PM
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I've been spelling it wrong all these years & didn't realize it. Thanks, melsouth, how interesting!

    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 10:07PM
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Thanks. I was wondering the other day if I had been misspelling mantel all my life. Must have been seeing it wrong here. But I was too lazy/busy to look it up! Misspellings are like nails on a chalkboard to me. I think it's genetic; it drives my sister crazy, too.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 11:46PM
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Ha ha ha, Annie!

Is anyone here old enough to remember Anguish Languish?
It's a book of familiar tales, written in words that approximate the sound of the right ones.

A sample...my favorite, the tale of Ladle Rat Rotten Hut.

"Wants pawn term dare worsted ladle gull hoe lift wetter murder inner ladle cordage honor itch offer lodge, dock, florist. Disk ladle gull orphan worry Putty ladle rat cluck wetter ladle rat hut, an fur disk raisin pimple colder Ladle Rat Rotten Hut."

    Bookmark   November 25, 2012 at 1:28PM
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Pretty sure we all know what's being referenced, no matter which way it's spelled.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2012 at 2:48PM
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melsouth, I share your frustration. It's one thing to misspell a word due to a typo, and something very different to actually not know how to spell it and make no effort to learn the correct spelling. As a volunteer in a school classroom, it's appalling to see how many middle school kids simply cannot spell basic words. Their writing appears to come from an uneducated person, rather than someone halfway through school. I think we do our kids a disservice if we, as educated adults, don't make that extra effort to learn how words are spelled and set that example for them. The worst offenders are using *your* (possessive, as in belonging to you) for you're (contraction of *you are*).

And of course, we can't forget the counterpart of your/you're -- *their* (possessive, as in belonging to them) or *there*, as in where something is located, instead of *they're", (contraction of *they are*). How simple is that to learn??

It's kind of like finding kids who can't do math because they never bothered to memorize their addition/subtraction/multiplication/division tables. You will always have problems until you take a few minutes to commit some things to memory. OK, now, I'm quickly taking cover from the flying tomatoes (not tamatos). Heh heh

    Bookmark   November 25, 2012 at 3:35PM
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No tomatoes from me, sujafr - I couldn't agree more.

There's apparently some good evidence that, because Google, Wikipedia, and the online dictionaries are always at hand, we are rapidly losing our memories....not just what we used to know, but among the young, the ability to commit things to memory.

I am actually really glad to be this old, because we had to learn Bible verses, and poetry, and things like the preamble to the Constitution. (I can still recite the first eighteen lines of the Prologue to the Canterbury Tales in Middle English, but my DH won't let me do it any more.)

    Bookmark   November 25, 2012 at 3:40PM
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bronwynsmom - had to find the Prologue to the Canterbury Tales in Middle English. Yowza.

Here is a link that might be useful: the Prologue to the Canterbury Tales in Middle English

    Bookmark   November 25, 2012 at 5:31PM
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In many ways I'm a better speller due to spell check. I finally learned that "definitely" has an "i" in the middle vs. the "a" I always wanted to put in. I'm much better at grammar ("ar," not "er" like "hammer") than spelling. I almost despair over the "your" vs. "you're" thing when I read people's comments on the internet - it's so obvious!

Thank you, melsouth. I'd never actually considered the "mantel" vs. "mantle" thing. That's a word I seldom see in writing (the one that goes with a fireplace), but hear more often in conversation.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2012 at 5:46PM
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dim2000, it's really sort of fun, once you get the rhythm and the sounds going. I had an adorable English professor who was a Middle English scholar - he made all of us in his Chaucer seminar learn it, swearing that we would thank him later!

I also learned great chunks of Wordsworth, Keats, et al in his Romantic Lit class. I should go back and refresh those so I can be really annoying at cocktail parties. You appreciate the work so much more when you get it inside your own head, and can feel the cadences for yourself.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2012 at 9:25PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

We should have the edit feature here soon enough- it's on the Cooking forum now- but I can't say I really am looking forward to it. I will then be responsible for decorating correctness.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2012 at 9:43PM
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Elraes Miller

Thought you would enjoy this one: So what is the true spelling? I'm with mantel.

Here is a link that might be useful: Mantle

    Bookmark   November 28, 2012 at 10:42AM
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I think Maria is french Canadian, and some of them do spell it "Mantle." That's what I meant by my above post.

Thanks for the link, I'm going to check out her Christmas decor!

    Bookmark   November 28, 2012 at 1:02PM
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Because you see a certain spelling or word usage on a blog doesn't make it correct.
I appreciate being reminded about proper word usage.
Typos are one thing, using the wrong word is quite another thing.
Lots of people use words like "peek, peak and pique" incorrectly......and then there are words like rot iron....and I have even seen "Change leak fence" in an advertisement!
I know that probably 65% of the people don't know the difference between mantle and mantel, but for that 45% I like to not appear as a dummy.
Thanks melsouth

    Bookmark   November 28, 2012 at 5:30PM
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I agree with work in progress. Life is too short. I believe we are all here to share our love of decorating. We should be able to do so without being discouraged that someone may judge us for not having a command of the English language. We all have our shortcomings, but if we live in fear of being judged, what a boring life we would have. This discussion, which seems to happen often, really seems to be adult bullying, and I think it could cause lurkers to avoid posting.

Annie, I so love your entry!

    Bookmark   November 28, 2012 at 6:15PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Thanks, Lynn!

    Bookmark   November 28, 2012 at 7:15PM
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It aggravates me when people don't know the difference between to, too and even two!

And then there are the misunderstood phrases!
People use "tow the line", when it should be "toe the line."

    Bookmark   November 28, 2012 at 7:27PM
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I would submit that among us here in this forum, correction shouldn't imply judgement.

And the fact that some posters may have weaker language skills than others doesn't mean that they are not equally valuable to us all.

I want to know if I'm wrong about something so I can learn something, and fix it in future.

Don't ask me a technology question, or ask me to solve an equation, or know anything at all about chemistry beyond what's in the sauce! I wish mightily that I were better at lots of things that have been mastered by people who can't spell as well as I can.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2012 at 7:32PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

So true, Bronwyn, we are not all experts in everything, and remembering that would do us all well.
It took me years to subtly teach my dh that the L in salmon is silent, yet it rarely irritated me. (Ok, sometimes it did!) But his skills are different than mine, he is an electrical engineer but a slow reader. I can't wire the house, he can't cater a wedding....
I read ten books to his one...I hate figures, he thrives on them...

    Bookmark   November 28, 2012 at 9:08PM
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"I want to know if I'm wrong about something so I can learn something, and fix it in future."

Me too. I'd rather be corrected than continue along in error. I've always loved good writing -- literature, journalism, speeches -- and feel strongly the beauty of English. I want to use this wonderful language as well as possible.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2012 at 9:55PM
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I'm pretty sure I have been spelling it wrong for a long time. You prompted me to double check AP style (I'm an editor so that's my bible) and sure enough ... they're very clear on it. The good news is that I don't think I've ever used either version of the work for work so at least I haven't fallen down on the job! Thanks for pointing it out.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 1:02PM
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The first month of her freshman year of high school DD tested at a college senior level in vocabulary, reading comp, and pretty much everything having to do with English/language/literature. The misuse of words like mantel vs mantle irritates her a lot. The worst for her, though is the way many people misuse, "Their, They're and There". I keep thinking that I should buy her this tee shirt for Christmas (LOL). Personally, I notice them, but it doesn't bother me like it does her.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 2:05PM
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I thought the point of "phonics" was to spell as it sounds. So why doesn't it start with an "F" ?

    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 2:11PM
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I've always wondered that too, natesgram!

    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 2:33PM
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No, I think phonics is meant to teach what the letters and combinations of letters do sound like, and how to use them properly. But it's not much use without also learning bases, prefixes, suffixes, and where a word comes from.

I have tremendous sympathy for anyone trying to master English as a second language...it's probably the nuttiest conglomeration of origins, dialects, and pidgins of any. Thank you, British Empire and American melting pot!

Just getting a handle on the pronunciations of "ough" is...er...enough. Or it ought to be, before you're through...

    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 3:25PM
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One word that gets me every time is accidentally. I was positive it was spelled accidently. In fact, I was so sure, I used to scoff at spellcheck and think some idiot has entered wrong in their database. Finally I looked it up. Oops.

I am one of those people driven crazy by errors, although I know I make enough (enuff?)of my own.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 6:41PM
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Count me among those who doesn't mind seeing a post like this. It didn't call attention to a particular person or specific post. I appreciate the reminder.
As soon as I saw mantel spelled as it should be vs. mantle, I recognized it as being correct. But I can't remember how I've been typing it.
Now that I've read this post, it's a word I'll always be conscious to spell correctly.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 7:46PM
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>he made all of us in his Chaucer seminar learn it, swearing that we would thank him later!

Same here (although I doubt we had the same instructor). And I did, too. Learned it as an undergrad and then several years later the professor in a graduate course, with obvious intent to discomfit, said, "Okay, let's hear the prologue to the Canterbury Tales. You," pointing at me. I still remember the look on his face when I complied. Still don't know why he chose that, since it was a course on Milton.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 7:58PM
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Deja vu anyone? I can remember this being discussed before.

Maria Killam is NOT French Canadian. She's just Canadian. Like me. Only I can spell better than her. (sure hope I didn't make any spelling errors, ignore my punctuation :P )

Canadians spell the thing over the fireplace as "mantel". Unless they can't spell. Like Maria. ;)

    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 8:48PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

While we're at it, it's judgment, not judgement and benefited not benefitted.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 10:21PM
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I'm pretty sure judgment can be spelled either way.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 10:50PM
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Seriously??? This is not an English class. This is not a book club. If someone is asking you how to decorate their "mantel", sure you can nicely tell them how to correctly spell it. An entire post devoted to a discussion about how people are "annoyed" or "upset" when a word is misused doesn't belong here IMHO.

God gave us all different gifts. One gift is no better than the other.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 2:21AM
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Lynn, I don't agree. Effective communication is not a gift, it's a skill which can be learned. Using the correct spelling and following grammatical rules are indicative of not only an educated person but one who takes communication seriously enough to care and use the correct words.

That, to me at least, is not trivial and it isn't simply equivalent to having the 'gift' of, say, athletic ability or a good eye for color.

One useful real world example: I'm a career advisor. I've had numerous recruiters tell me that if they come across *one* typo or incorrect punctuation mark in a resume, it's in the trash. Why? Because presumably that resume represents the very best written self-presentation of which the candidate is capable.

No, a home decoration forum isn't a resume but why on earth shouldn't we all try to put our best virtual foot forward here too? And why should people ignore or worse take pride in looking foolish by using incorrect spelling and grammar? Make no mistake, it does look foolish. And for something so easily remedied, how silly to allow oneself to appear less than capable of communicating with others be it in writing or in person.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 7:53AM
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Dawn8b, not to be cheeky, but I believe you can spell better than "she", not better than her!

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 8:18AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

I appreciate the opportunity to learn on this thread just as I did on the Wythe blue thread. I have certainly made more than my share of typos, spelling errors, grammatical mistakes and more, and was in fact guilty of the mantle/mantel thing.

I agree with runninginplace. It is a skill that can be learned, and it does say a lot about you and your background. I have tossed resumes that have a single typo in them.

I watch Judge Judy and to me it is shocking to hear the language and grammar people use....even people who are college students or college graduates. This is not stuff that only William Safire would notice, but a real lack of the basics. She has to explain that there is no such word as "tooken" as in "he tooken my car." She has to explain the difference between lend and borrow as in "he borrowed me money" when they mean "he loaned me money." If you're looking for objects and subjects and tenses that make sense, you really have to look far and wide. "Me and her have went ...."

Moreover, these folks are largely older than the the twitter generation. Lord only knows what our language will look like when the tweeters get done with it.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 8:35AM
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I've watched a few of these threads pop up and grow over the last few months .. and at the risk of alienating many, I am going to say that I am more bothered by these threads than I am bothered by a typo, misused word or ignorance. This is a home decor forum.. an escape from the frustrations and pressures of our projects and lives. It's not a thesis, manuscript, business communication or resume. It's the online equivalent of a chat around the kitchen table with a group of like-minded friends. I wouldn't dream of embarrassing or correcting someone who is generously sharing their time, experience and ideas in my home and I won't do it here.

Just as we all have different homes and different talents, we have different lives and backgrounds. I prefer to give the benefit of the doubt and/or a little compassion than to pass judgement or publicly correct another poster. I don't know each of your stories or backgrounds. I don't know what's going on in each of your lives. I recognize that some of you post with a baby in your arms.. some post from a mobile device.. some of you respond quickly before you run off to pick up a kid or go to work.. maybe you have a problem or tragedy that is distracting you.. and god forbid, some of you may have had strokes or other health issues. Whatever the circumstances, I appreciate the input from each of you.. typos and all.

And I'll add that I am sure I have had my share of typos and brain burps. If you encounter an error in my posts, feel free to point it out--but please recognize that I come here for the camaraderie and for the great ideas and advice. I have plenty of other resources to consult if I have a question about grammar, word usage or spelling.

And btw, I do know that the proper representation of an ellipsis is three dots with a space on either side. I'll be sure to use it properly in my manuscript. ;)

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 9:48AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

funkyart, I appreciate your analogy to the chat around the table. And just like at luncheons I attend, I don't always get involved in every conversation that's going on. Some I have no interest in, some I have nothing to contribute, or some are topics I just prefer to stay away from.

And you're right that people are posting from all different circumstances and situations with greater or lesser interest in this topic.

This thread was pretty clearly labeled as to what the topic was, so if it doesn't suit, then it's easy to avoid. And the OP was not picking on a single individual, but pointing out a frequently made error...some of us appreciate this correction as it's easily fixed. (I've noticed that it has worked, that more people are spelling mantel correctly now, myself included.) I don't think it was meant to be reproachful. I also appreciate it when someone tells me my button is undone and don't take it as a criticism.

To each his own, and this place is large enough to accommodate us all.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 10:46AM
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Funkyart, I agree and feel the same way. I would NEVER correct someone's spelling in day to day life, nor would I do it here.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 11:02AM
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I completely agree with you, funkyart. I don't come to this forum for grammar or spelling lessons. I come here to talk about decorating. While the intent of the OP may indeed not have been to chastise, it still came across to me as saying, "Let me teach you something about how to communicate properly" - and it rubbed me the wrong way.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 11:15AM
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Runninginplace, while I do agree that for most people, effective communication is a skill that can be learned, please remember that there are many people who have learning disabilities that no matter how much therapy they get, they may still struggle. As mother of a 9 y/o who was recently diagnosed with several deficiencies relating to language processing, I worry how difficult his future education will be. His brain does not process sounds the way a "normal" person's does so spelling, unless memorized, is going to be very difficult for him as are many other things related to reading and writing. I have always been a very good speller, but even I get tripped up sometimes. Mantel is not a word I use frequently and to be honest, I would have spelled it mantle, probably because so many people misspell it that it looks normal to me that way.

I do cringe when people use the wrong grammar (like my children's principal who just the other night made a statement that incorrectly used the word "I" when it should have been "me") and even misuse words like their and they're. However, after seeing the report from my son's battery of tests, I feel badly that my son and others like him may be judged as they mature as not taking communication seriously enough simply because they have learning disabilities that will affect their ability to communicate. And sadly, his teacher last year mistakenly assumed he had ADD, when in fact, his inattention in class was not due to ADD but rather his being completely lost b/c he could not process what the teacher was saying due to his disability.

That said, I'm glad that the proper spelling of mantel was brought to my attention. In a thread like this, I don't find it offensive. It's when people are debating something or getting into a spat and suddenly personal jabs are being taken at someone's spelling or grammar that I think it becomes rude IMO.

This post was edited by fourkids4us on Fri, Nov 30, 12 at 12:03

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 11:43AM
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I want to be clear-- I did not intend to call out the OP. I am sorry if you took offense, Melsouth. I do not think you intended any malice-- nor did I. My response was to the thread and the behavior. Just as opinions will vary on where to install a curtain rod, opinions will vary on the direction this thread went.

To return to the chat around the kitchen table.. or the luncheon, if you prefer: if I heard someone make a judgement that was unfair or inappropriate, I would absolutely speak up and share my viewpoint and attempt to provide a different perspective. I assume the same goes here.

That said, I accept the finger slap and will move on.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 11:56AM
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I once saw a listing for a house with "beautiful Wayne's coating". I wonder if the mantle was surrounded the Wayne's coating.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 12:47PM
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Right you are, Equest!! :D

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 1:19PM
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Just a reminder, the op certainly didn't claim to be "annoyed" or "upset" at the misspelling, and while a few posters have mentioned some linguistic pet peeves, the discussion here on the whole has been civil. Nobody seems truly "annoyed" or "upset" over confusing mantle with mantel or any other misspelling. Those words are too harsh.

Those claiming to come here to discuss decorating & dislike having their English corrected, that's understandable. But if you're here for the decorating, why are you reading a thread about spelling? Let the language nerds have their confabulation and leave 'em be.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 1:54PM
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Also, no one seems to mind when someone pokes fun at the atrocious spelling errors in Craigslist ads, such as Chester drawers, rod iron, awmores, automons, etc.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 2:24PM
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When I first began looking at this forum, I noticed mantel vs. mantle spelling on posts. I had never known there was a different spelling regarding fireplaces, so just assumed the "mantel" folks were misspelling it. But it prompted me to look it up and I learned that I'd been spelling it wrong, if, in fact, I'd ever written it anywhere.

I appreciate learning correct English usage, pronunciation, spelling, and punctuation - whether here or from other sources. As long as the poster isn't arrogant, snide or unkind, which this thread's op was not. (Although I do kind of get into the bad Craigslist posts, but they aren't our members' posts).

For those who think it's an inappropriate forum for talking about this stuff, I hope you'll just pass them by. They are almost my favorite part of some online forums.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 3:24PM
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I guess it just feels more personal here when a thread is directed at the members of this forum. I was probably too quick to take offense; I'm sure the OP meant none. You know how some days, you can read something and it just slightly ruffles your feathers? Yeah, well. As to why one would read such a thread if one comes here for the decoration discussions ... I read almost every thread, as I'm sure many, if not most, do. Besides, I didn't deduce by the thread title that the message was spelling-related (a bit slow on the uptake perhaps).

At any rate, this been a lighthearted thread. I just don't personally care whether you spell it "mantel" or "mantle". I'll know what you mean either way.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 3:27PM
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I've not had a lot of time to post or read GW so when I checked in Nov. 24th and this was the thread that popped up first I was turned off enough to not read any further on GW that day. I guess it's fun for some but if the 2 main threads that I remember most are about how people misspell and/ or misuse words, well, I just don't find fun in that. I find the fun and enjoyment in decorating not in the spelling of it.

I will admit that curiousity got the better of me so I came back to check it out.

I would not ever classify myself as having weaker language skills than others here. What I do have is a recently purchased business 1 year ago that we can now barely keep up w/, FT managing of another 1 year old baby business elsewhere and 3 kiddos not all in school yet. So while at one point I would have proofed, re-proofed and went on and on over my posts for the slightest mistake, I no longer have that luxury. Instead I post as I can to share in the enjoyment of decorating w/ the friends I have come to know over the past 12 yrs. via the electronic age. You. All of you. I glance back at my posts - I see mistakes and I still wildly hit 'Submit' anyways because I figure (I hope) you'd rather hear from me, mistakes and all, instead of me not posting ever because it's not perfect enough. My posts tend towards the controlled chaos that seems to be the running thread of the life that I enjoy greatly.

I correct my children's grammar and misspellings and sometimes my little sister. Not the friend across the table w/ whom I am raucously laughing w/.

And yes, I agree that spelling, grammar and reading amongst today's children is atrocious. My 9 yo was the only child who could raise his hand in class and say that not only did he know what an encyclopedia was, but also that he owns a bunch of them and he's read each one from beginning to end. He also knows how to use an actual dictionary.

My name is TheFoxesPad and I am awful at using apostrophes. I know this and that is why I married a man that holds dual English and Secondary Education Degrees w/ a minor in Old English and German. That way he can exictedly scream 'I love you!' in German to me in public leaving bystanders wondering why on Earth the crazy man is screaming at me. That's my story and I'm sticking w/ it.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 3:31PM
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Oh, my.

At the risk of poking a dying fire, might I suggest that in a forum dedicated to learning about design and decoration, correcting the application or spelling of an architectural or design-specific term is a nice thing to offer, and clearly distinct from nit-picking things like verb-subject agreement?

There are a couple of posters here for whom English appears to be a second language. I've never seen any corrections offered to someone who is clearly communicating outside his or her native language. So I have to conclude that spite and malice are not the intent.

And yes, I confess, I am a language nerd, and not a flawless one, either.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 4:19PM
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Well, you never know. You could be asked to take part in a charity spelling bee like I was two weeks ago. The contest raised $100K for local schools. We word nerds were in hog heaven going at it for several rounds! If I participate again next year, I'll be ready for mantel or mantle thanks to GW :)

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 4:26PM
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Amen, funkyart, Amen!

terriks, I am bothered by posts made on this forum making fun of ads on CL. We are "decorating nerds" - the rest of the world isn't. Who cares if they call a bureau - chester drawers? That same kid may be in pre med and removing your gall bladder some day. Do you really think you'll care about his "chester drawers" then?

Although I am annoyed at this thread, I have continued to read it. Perhaps I shouldn't. Some of the posters seem to be so elitest. I am obviously not nearly as educated as many of you and prone to mistakes on my posts and IRL. I do my best on everything using what life has handed to me at this time, as I believe many others do. Good thing my kids don't know I can't spell when I tell them to "tow the line" and they "definately" cannot borrow any more money!

I do however, make a mean pot of sauce - taught to me by my ex MIL - the only good thing that came out of that marriage! Different gifts. Funky art, if you bake (or buy) dessert, I'll bring the lasagna.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 5:18PM
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These are the stories I fear.. people-- our friends-- who have been put off or intimidated. These posts quickly go down the path of missed or inappropriately used apostrophes, misuse of their/they're (you can complete the list). Words like "lazy" and "annoying" are used. There's talk of education and a respect for the language. People are bound to be intimidated, embarrassed or put off. I recognize that's not what anyone sets out to do-- but that's why I shared my perspective. You just don't know how it comes across or how it will affect others.

I am a direct woman-- I apologize if my approach was too harsh. I do not apologize for responding to the post. After days of watching this thread repeatedly bounce to the top of the list, I was bothered and felt it was my duty as a member of this community to point out that it could be off putting to others.

And because I am direct, I'll continue. I have been a member of this community for almost 5 years. I've watched your rooms evolve, I've applauded your successes and shared your frustrations. I don't have the decorating experience that some of you have but I try to give back with what I do have. I appreciate the insight you all have shared with me and the mistakes you've helped me avoid. What I do find hard to stomach are the polite yet clear requests for me to skip these posts-- to move along and mind my own business if I don't jump in and join the majority. I can accept that you disagree with me.. but I don't appreciate being asked to leave.

I said I was going to move on .. and now I will. I have to bake a dessert to go with Lynn's lasagna!

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 6:58PM
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I finally had time today to get back to GW, and I've been reading through this thread. I was hoping that my post wouldn't offend, and I sincerely apologize if anyone's feelings were hurt.

What happened was that I kept seeing mantle, and I started to doubt myself, and that little English teacher that lives inside my brain kept niggling at me, "Is that how you spell that? I thought it was mantel." I finally looked it up to be sure.

When I was in high school typing class, I was listening to a cassette tape of some "business office dictation" and typing the words that I heard. My teacher laughed out loud when she read my paper. Instead of "accrued interest," I had typed "a crude interest." That still cracks me up. Words are fun and interesting to me.
If words don't grab you, then I'm sure something else does. There must be something about decorating that grabs all of us.

But, COME ON, it's going more than a little over the top to call these kinds of discussions "adult bullying" or anything close to that.
I think that it's pretty likely there will be Craigslist threads or threads that at least refer to words/grammar/spelling on GW in the future. On a regular basis in this world, there are references to the misuse or misspelling of words: in sit-coms, in plays, in movies, on signs that we pass every day, and in many of our workplaces.

A couple of Seinfeld episodes come to mind. In one, Kramer refers to a "statue of limitations." Jerry points out that it's not "statue," it's "statute."
In another one, Elaine pronounces "Svengali" as "SvenJOLLY."
Do some of you actually turn off your TVs or leave the theater or the cinema because you did not go there for a spelling or grammar lesson?

Like others have stated, I have not noticed GW folks belittling each other for spelling and/or grammar mistakes. This forum seems to be filled with kind, helpful people.
Again, if anyone felt personally called out or insulted by my post, I apologize.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 9:19PM
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After reading all this, I will NEVER be able to remember which is the correct spelling. I couldn't begin to tell you how I would have spelled it previously - doing a quick "air-write" I think I would have used "mantel".

To be quite honest, I don't sweat things like this on a message board or a friendly e-mail, etc. Now, if I were writing a formal letter or something that was going to be published - then, I would want to be correct.

The reasons I hang out on these types of message boards are purely selfish - to learn about "house and home", not grammar, and for pure enjoyment. There are some awesome writers on here, but I don't come here to practice creative writing. It is a plus when I learn how to spell a home related object correctly or how to pronounce "toile".

I usually do a quick proof - sometimes I catch my errors and sometimes I don't. When I find an old post of mine with a very obvious typo, I don't stress over it - it is usually so bad that most would know it for what it is - a typo.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 10:25PM
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Does this type of thread belong on the "conversations" side? Perhaps not, I mostly lurk here. Maybe I misunderstood the point of this forum.

"Do some of you actually turn off your TVs or leave the theater or the cinema because you did not go there for a spelling or grammar lesson?"

That is a silly comparison. I am against violence, but I still might end up watching a show on TV that includes violence. My watching the show doesn't mean I support what the characters on a TV show are doing. Regarding Seinfeld specifically, the characters were often insensitive to each other. That was part of the humor in the show. I would not tolerate those behaviors in friends or in social circles. Many of their behaviors, like correcting someone, would be considered rude. It is clear the OP didn't mean to offend people, but it is also clear why some people would be put off by the content of the thread.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 11:13PM
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Creative writing doesn't equate to proper grammar.

Proper grammar doesn't equate to a typographical error. Rather, that would be a matter of spelling.

The entire premise of the post was to point out that 'Mantle' and 'Mantel' are not synonymous, with the OP recognizing that some members may not be aware of this fact.

But the OP isn't judging, simply stating a fact which is nothing to get stressed about. If you don't get stressed about your own typos, then don't get stressed over someone pointing out proper grammar. That would be a double standard.

If you don't remember the next time how to spell a word so that it's grammatically correct, that's probably because you don't care. We're okay with that. Some of us do care, however.

Am I the only one who finds it obviously contradictory that it's seemingly NOT acceptable for the OP to make a basic statement of fact regarding the proper use of grammar, and yet there are those who believe it is acceptable to judge the OP and suggest what one can, can't or shouldn't be discussed here?

The OP brought to our attention, for those of us who do care, a word that is not only befitting for the discussions on this forum, but also qualified the fact that the word itself is being consistently used in a manner which is obviously grammatically incorrect.

Constructive criticism is criticism kindly meant that has a goal of improving some area of anotherâÂÂs personâÂÂs life or work.

I myself learned something today. Thanks OP.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2012 at 2:01AM
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I'll admit I had to look it up after reading this to figure out if we spell it differently here in Australia where we use British spelling and it's exactly as decribed by the op so I learned something from this. As far as their, there, they're goes though, I never used to have a problem with these and they came automatically for me, but after a few years on the internet I noticed I was misspelling them and getting them confused and I think it was just from seeing them spelled so randomly countless times on the net, they just seemed to get scrambled in my brain, and even now I really have to stop and think about them but I'm sure I still jumble them up from time to time. I think we see certain words spelled incorrectly so often on the internet that we just absorb them subconsciously sometimes so it's not necessarily a lack of education or proper background. My spelling used to be very good but these days after years of reading the internet it really has declined and I started noticing this a long time ago.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2012 at 7:48AM
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I agree with Dominoswrath. Completely.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2012 at 8:27AM
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Dawn, when we had this discussion before, it was a Canadian poster who said that's how the word is spelled there. Which is why I said what I did.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2012 at 8:33AM
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"Many of their behaviors, like correcting someone, would be considered rude. It is clear the OP didn't mean to offend people, but it is also clear why some people would be put off by the content of the thread"

But I also think a lot of people learned from this topic as well, I know I did. I had noticed the different spelling but just assumed that mantle was the British version and mantel was the US version, sort of like, colour vs color, but this thread had me searching for the dictionary and the op was correct, the words have two different meanings. The thread didn't point at anyone, and it's obvious from the replies that many of us weren't even aware of the difference so I'm fine with someone pointing it out, but if I had posted a topic about my "mantle" and someone corrected me then that would be rude, so there's a difference IMO.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2012 at 9:01AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

haha, awm03, you reminded me of my own experience with a charity spelling bee....there were two of us tied at the end and the words they kept giving us were increasingly long and complicated words I'd never heard of but both of us were getting them right...all I kept thinking was, if they gave us words like occasion/occassion or occurrence/occurence/occurrance we would've been finished a lot sooner!

funkyart, I don't recall seeing anyone asked to leave. Perhaps it was from what I said. That is certainly not what I meant and I apologize if that was what you took from it. What I was suggesting was, if anyone found a topic upsetting or inappropriate, then they could avoid it....I find some books and movies terribly upsetting so I avoid them. If you want to participate and express your upset, you are certainly welcome to do so. I think all points of view and expression are welcome, and IMO, it's what makes a forum so rich. I also hope that people can agree to disagree without taking it personally or becoming bitter over it. But just because someone finds a topic upsetting doesn't mean it should be closed to everyone seeing as some find it useful.

trancegemini, I've had the same problem and it has been since using the internet where I spend a lot of time going directly from thought to keyboard. I truly believe it has to do with how our brain stores words. Homonyms seem to get stored right next to each other and when the brain is pulling up the word, two, to, too or they're, there, their.....it's like it's close enough and out one comes, seemingly at random. I've even had odd ones like hour/our show up. Clearly I know the difference, but apparently the brain skips over that "is this the right word" step when you're typing along quickly.

I'm always surprised (perhaps I shouldn't be) at how these threads go from hey did you know this is how to spell this word to just because I can't spell a word doesn't mean I'm not a good person! Huh? No one is questioning anyone's worthiness as a human being here. IMO, a defensive overreaction says more about the individual than the topic. We are all expert at something. We are all ignorant about other things. We all can learn something from each other. But we are all worthy and we are all loved and lovable.

I'm also always amazed at this forum because it is so polite and has such high standards of decorum. I mean people are in a dither and talk of "adult bullying" because we used words like "upset" or "annoyed". In most other forums I've been in, people don't take umbrage even when personally called a @#$!!! or a @$^#$#!!*!

    Bookmark   December 1, 2012 at 9:10AM
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I know creative writing doesn't equate to proper grammar and typo's.

The creative writing comment was made to point out just what I said - there ARE some creative writers on here who I definitely enjoy reading. Example: The good ones can critique someone's bad decor with such grace that the OP doesn't know it has happened.

Others come on here with comments/questions that are bare bones (state the situation, ask the question, make the comment, etc), not worry too much about proper use of commas, apostrophies, spelling, etc. They cut to the chase. The only reason I even mentioned this in the same context is that these discussions pop up occasionally

My point is I am glad to know how to spell mantel, but I still won't feel bad if I spell mantle.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2012 at 10:17AM
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I have wondered for awhile how to spell mantel. But, most of the time I use both spellings because I am typing the word on CL or Etsy.

As for spelling in general-- I know some people "get" spelling instinctively and some don't. In a professional setting I think spelling is very important, but I am against it being taught as a separate subject in school. I think it is a waste of time, and children should be using the time to read and write instead.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2012 at 1:43PM
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AD, I probably would have gotten confused on those words while under pressure -- choke! I'd never heard of gnathonic, kakorraphiophobia, and haecceity before the spelling contest, and probably never will again (everybody got those wrong). Sure was fun, though, and lots of laughs for all.

Yes, it's amazing how some people feel majorly threatened from minor disagreements that don't amount to a hill of beans.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2012 at 2:11PM
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Kakorraphiophobia, eh?

Very germane to this discussion...as you doubtless know, it's an abnormal fear of failure!

I know this because I immediately looked it up.
Thank you, awm, for a lovely new word.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2012 at 3:29PM
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Very interesting thread...I can't stop coming back
That being said, I am complete agreement with what
Dominoswrath has so eloquently written.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2012 at 5:45PM
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If you disagree or don't care, that's fine.. but please do not twist my words to turn them into an attack on the OP. The only time I addressed the OP was to apologize for not making it very clear that my post wasnt directed to her.

I clarified, apologized and repeatedly stated that my concern was with the tone these threads take on and the direction they go.

I am concerned for those who stumble on the thread-- our dear long-term GWers as well as newbies. The last thing I'd want is for anyone to feel self conscious or anxious about posting or responding to a thread. No more, no less.

If you have issue with my post (or me!), feel free to send me a private note.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2012 at 6:57PM
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"I am concerned for those who stumble on the thread-- our dear long-term GWers as well as newbies. The last thing I'd want is for anyone to feel self conscious or anxious about posting or responding to a thread. No more, no less."

That was clear in your posts, funkyart. Your kindness is admirable. It wasn't you who was tipping the discussion towards confrontation by making angry remarks.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2012 at 7:22PM
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We all have our shortcomings~I can't do fractions for all the tea in china,and anything I measure is sure to come out inaccurate.

Let's leave what isn't important to the GW board and decorating to hot topics where things like that are appreciated. Just my 2 cents.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2012 at 7:34PM
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"I probably shouldn't, but I just have to point out something that I've noticed on GW more and more often."

In fact, you most probably should have. My thanks to you, too.

I can spell most anything correctly, big words and rare words included. ('Tho there is something odd about trying to get it right online -- words so often don't look wrong to me. Why that is, I've no idea. Case in point: it took me a couple of proofing rounds to realize there was a "greater than" sign at the end of this, rather than a period.) But I've undoubtedly spelled the thing above the fireplace "mantle" for so long that I could have spell checked and proofed 'til the cows came home. And still wouldn't have realized it was the wrong word.

As for the rest of the debate here: I agree with dominoswrath.

Relativism may be valid in many contexts, but spelling is not one of them. If you ask me. And righto, I realize grammatically correct/complete sentences are few & far between in my post! Chalk it up to serious lack of sleep last night. ;)

    Bookmark   December 1, 2012 at 9:12PM
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awm03... I hope you were not referring to me when you stated that it was not funkyart tipping the scales toward confrontation with anygry remarks. If you were, then you completely misunderstood my intent. I think funkyart summed it up for me with her posts. I am just concerned that lurkers will be afraid to post for fear of being judged, that's all.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2012 at 6:28AM
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I understand. But you claimed that the posters you disagreed with were annoyed or upset by people who can't spell well (no, no one said they were annoyed or upset), were adult bullies and elitist. Ad hominem arguments -- not particularly friendly & much exaggerated. Responding with that tone also makes lurkers wary of posting for fear of being unfairly judged.

You probably didn't intend to come off so harshly. But all I have are your posts to go by, and it seems to me you could do a better job of moderating your responses so that they don't seem like you're lashing out at the posters you disagree with. A general shout-out about how to spell an architectural term shouldn't be construed as a personal threat.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2012 at 3:22PM
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