created by: Earthling | Jul 26, 2010

Global Warming

2,125 votes

How do you spell 40 as a word?

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  • Fourty
  • Forty
  • I don't know
  • I can't use a dictionary
  • I'm dyslexic
  • Who cares
  • This is off topic
  • Americans spell it differently
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Earthling

Spain

#1 Jul 26, 2010
"forty Look up forty at Dictionary.com
O.E. feowertig, from feower "four" + tig "group of ten" (see -ty (1)). Roaring Forties are rough parts of the ocean between 40 and 50 degrees latitude. Forty winks "short sleep" is attested from 1828."
http://www.etymonline.com/index.php...

Since: Apr 08

"the green troll"

#2 Jul 26, 2010
In the 16th century it was 'fourty':
' since the winged god hia planet cleare
Began in me to move, one yeare is spent :
The which doth longer unto me appeare,
Then al those fourty which my life outwent.'
'Fourty' persisted in English spelling into the 19th century:
The wall had an original height of from seventy to one hundred and fourty feet.
The archaic spelling remained in use in Canada until about half a century ago:
We are having a great discussion at work as to the correct Canadian spelling of the word forty. My colleague and I remember learning to spell it 'fourty'- about 40 years ago at school in Toronto! Other officemates as old or older than us have always spelled it 'forty'(schooled in Montreal and Cape Breton).
http://crofsblogs.typepad.com/english/2006/06...
Some colleagues of mine are adamant the the correct spelling of the number 40 is "fourty". They claim that this is what they were taught at school.
http://britishexpats.com/forum/showthread.php...

The modern correct spelling (even in Canada) is of course 'forty', but I suspect the quotes above are correct and that the archaic spelling did persist in Canada until quite recently.(Probably because the original English-speaking communities left Britain when 'fourty' was still the correct spelling, and were isolated from the influences which changed the accepted spelling.)
Davidson, Alexander. 1845. The Canada Spelling Book. Intended as an introduction to the English language; consisting of a variety of lessons, progressively arranged in three parts. With an appendix, containing overal useful tables; the outlines of geography; a comprehensive sketch of grammar; and morning and evening prayers for every day in the week. The words divided and accented to the purest mode of pronunciation. Fourty second thousand. Niagara: George Hodgkinson.
http://www.univie.ac.at/Anglistik/ang_new/onl...
Earthling

Spain

#3 Jul 27, 2010
Thanks, FuG, especially for pointing out that LessFact is an 'archaic' relic of an 'isolated' community.

As 'tom 17' wrote in the forum you linked to:
I thought for years that it was fourty, as did my father. Then one day the subject cropped up. My father and I thought we were right (Well it's FOUR so it's FOURty, right?!) and my mother was wrong. Well we investigated it and we both learned a lesson that day.
LessFact has convinced himself that 'forty' is the Americanized version of the spelling and he will suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune until he admits his error.
Earthling

Spain

#4 Jul 27, 2010
LessFact will feel better for reading this, it proves he's far from being alone in his ignorance:
http://www.encyclopedia.com/searchresults.asp...
-
Etymology can be fascinating:
forty OE. fēowertiġ = OS. fiwartig (Du. veertig), OHG. viorzug (G. vierzig), ON. fjórir tigir, Goth. fidwōr tigius.

So fortieth. OE. fēowertigoða = ON. fertugandi.
Earthling

Spain

#5 Jul 28, 2010
I notice that there are two votes for, "Americans spell it differently."
Would either or both of those voters care to expand on their theory by advising readers as to how 40 is spelled in other English speaking countries?

NB: The 'archaic' members of 'isolated' communities in Canada are not required to comment.
heres a nutter

Coseley, UK

#6 Jul 28, 2010
they probably can't read and write anyway.
Earthling

Spain

#7 Jul 28, 2010
heres a nutter wrote:
they probably can't read and write anyway.
Or use a capital letter to begin a sentence?

Since: Apr 10

Milwaukee, WI USA

#8 Jul 29, 2010
Ali Babba and how many thieves? And all those axe whacks Lizzie Borden gave her mother & father? How long did it rain in order to float Noah's boat? And how many days and nights in the desert are too many? Oh, How many winks in a good nap?
Earthling

Spain

#9 Jul 31, 2010
The English novelist, Mary Anne Evans (22 November 1819 – 22 December 1880), better known by her pen name George Eliot, wrote •Having "forty winks" on the sofa in the library', 1866.
-
"Denner, peering and smiling quietly, was about to reply, when she was prevented by the appearance of old Mr Transome, who since his walk had been having 'forty winks' on the sofa in the library, and now came out to look for Harry."
-
I'm sure she was influenced by American spelling?
Earthling

Spain

#10 Aug 1, 2010
It took a while, but here's a page that uses 'fourty' as the spelling.
http://www.howtosayin.com/fourty+one.html
Another is:
http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/fourty
With a sting in its tail.
Earthling

Spain

#11 Aug 1, 2010
This must take the biscuit for naieve stupidity:
LessHypeMoreFact wrote:
Samual Johnson was an american and as I have pointed out, American misspellings are where the error ORIGINATED.
And yes. I have said time and again that the American spelling has become dominant. My POINT was that it IS an American invention that has become dominant through methods such as U.S. word processors (i.e MS Word spell checker uses US variants).
How to prove that Al Gore didn't invent the internet. Well YOU would obviously google it and find millions of references to the idea that he HAD invented the internet. Your 'historical research' skills are crap.
I was very good at spelling. And fourty was one of those words you have to be careful with. I remember the spelling from the dictionary quite clearly. It showed FOURTY as the correct spelling and FORTY as an american invention.
I don't even care that the language has drifted with cultural influence. Pretty soon we will include L8R as the correct spelling of later. But I will use metres, Imperial gallons, litres, etc exactly as defined without contamination from the US no matter how much they influence others.
Meter and Liter are still understood to be U.S. spelling mistakes but eventualy even that will be lost as the spell checkers 'unify' the language according to US usage. And the internet is spreading the rot so that even people who SHOULD know better are fooled.
Earthling

Spain

#12 Aug 2, 2010
Not one vote for 'fourty' yet, come on LessFact, where's your vote?
Earthling

Spain

#13 Aug 5, 2010
"O Canada, glorious and free!
O Canada, we stand on guard, we stand on guard for thee.
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee."
But even here in Canada,
We spell it forty-three.
neighbour

Okotoks, Canada

#14 Aug 5, 2010
Earthling wrote:
The English novelist, Mary Anne Evans (22 November 1819 – 22 December 1880), better known by her pen name George Eliot, wrote •Having "forty winks" on the sofa in the library', 1866.
-
"Denner, peering and smiling quietly, was about to reply, when she was prevented by the appearance of old Mr Transome, who since his walk had been having 'forty winks' on the sofa in the library, and now came out to look for Harry."
-
I'm sure she was influenced by American spelling?
It was probably that darned spell-check.

Yes Less, we're having some fun at your expense. Come on, we're all caught out once in a while.

Crack open a cold one. "Here's to looking foolish, may the next turn be yours and not mine." (clink)
Earthling

Spain

#15 Aug 6, 2010
neighbour wrote:
It was probably that darned spell-check.
Yes Less, we're having some fun at your expense. Come on, we're all caught out once in a while.
Crack open a cold one. "Here's to looking foolish, may the next turn be yours and not mine." (clink)
Nice saying, who wrote it, google can't find it?
LessFact's problem is that it's almost always his turn to look foolish, but he brings it on himself by continually making foolish statements and has his own (almost) dedicated thread for them.
neighbour

Okotoks, Canada

#16 Aug 6, 2010
Earthling wrote:
<quoted text>Nice saying, who wrote it, google can't find it?
LessFact's problem is that it's almost always his turn to look foolish, but he brings it on himself by continually making foolish statements and has his own (almost) dedicated thread for them.
You can't Google it because it's mine. Feel free to use it though.
Earthling

Spain

#17 Aug 6, 2010
neighbour wrote:
You can't Google it because it's mine. Feel free to use it though.
Congratulations and thanks for the offer, google will have it very shortly and you'll soon be world famous.

BTW, did you find any reference anywhere to 'fourty' as the correct spelling of forty?
Earthling

Spain

#18 Aug 6, 2010
"When I die, I want to go peacefully in my sleep, just like my old dad, and not screaming in terror and panic like the passengers in his car when he fell asleep at the wheel and crossed the central reservation into the path of an oncoming petrol tanker."
ANON.
Earthling

Spain

#19 Aug 7, 2010
Although I'm sure LessFact will say that Wiki is biased because of its American roots, it is subscribed to by all nationalities.
Despite being related to the word "four" (4), 40 is spelled "forty", not "fourty". The reason is that etymologically (even in accents without the horse-hoarse merger), the words have different vowels, "forty" containing a contraction in the same way that "fifty" contains a contraction of "five". The letters of the word "forty" are in alphabetical order; this is the only number that has this linguistic property in English.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/40_ (number)
The internet is also international but a web search for the word fourty will inevitably produce one result, in Spanish it's, "Quizás quiso decir: forty"
In English it's, "Did you mean forty?"
Earthling

Spain

#20 Aug 7, 2010
No votes for fourty yet, LessFact, what's wrong, unable to find even one citation for it yet?
How about your old teacher, surely she could help you out?

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