Miscellaneous Entries. speechify = to deliver a speech. The word is used in a mocking or derogatory way. speed / sped / sped. The best past-tense and past-participial form is "sped," not *"speeded" — except in the phrasal verb "speed up" (= to accelerate) {she speeded up to 80 m.p.h.}. Language-Change Index — *"speeded" for "sped" as past tense and past participle of "speed": Stage 2. spew (= to gush or vomit) is sometimes misspelled *"spue" — e.g.: "The enemy must be loathed where it is not feared, and let the consequent emotions spue [read ‘spew’] where they may." Hugo Young, "The Phobia That Lies Behind the Sneers," Guardian, 11 Mar. 1997, at 15. Language-Change Index — "spew" misspelled *"spue": Stage 1. spicy. So spelled — not *"spicey." spiel is best pronounced /speel/, not in the mock-Yiddish fashion that has become so common (/shpeel/), which is jocular. *Invariably inferior forms. For information about the Language-Change Index, click here. ——————– Quotation of the Day: "I do not speak English but American. The main difference is that the main body of the English talk through their noses." Mark Twain (as quoted in 2 Mark Twain’s Notebooks & Journals 295 (Robert Pack Browning et al. eds., 1979)) (as quoted in Mark Twain: His Words, Wit, and Wisdom 89 (R. Kent Rasmussen ed., 1997)).
Scroll to Top