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Smoky or Smokey
  
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Bob Harman




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PostPosted: Apr 25, 2019 09:00    Post subject: Smoky or Smokey  

For those who care about minor matters such as this, I did a bit of interesting research.

This all started, as looking over numerous threads, both here and on Mindat, I noted that smoky, also spelled smokey, occurred in many postings. So several years ago I looked to see if I could find out if only 1 spelling might be correct.

I did and my find was quite interesting.

The correct spelling is Smoky (with no "E"). So it should be smoky quartz and not smokey quartz etc.

This all was interesting because the U.S. Forest Service specifically named it's anti forest fire advertising bear "Smokey The Bear" (with an "E") to specifically differentiate its name from all the other uses of the word smoky (without the "e"). Bob
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PostPosted: Apr 25, 2019 09:14    Post subject: Re: Smoky or Smokey  

Just finished printing a number of labels before I saw this. Fortunately, I did use smoky without an E, thanks Bob.

Bob Harman wrote:
For those who care about minor matters such as this, I did a bit of interesting research.

This all started, as looking over numerous threads, both here and on Mindat, I noted that smoky, also spelled smokey, occurred in many postings. So several years ago I looked to see if I could find out if only 1 spelling might be correct.

I did and my find was quite interesting.

The correct spelling is Smoky (with no "E"). So it should be smoky quartz and not smokey quartz etc.

This all was interesting because the U.S. Forest Service specifically named it's anti forest fire advertising bear "Smokey the bear" (with an "E") to specifically differentiate its name from all the other uses of the word smoky (without the "e"). Bob

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PostPosted: Apr 25, 2019 09:22    Post subject: Re: Smoky or Smokey  

It may come back to that old US versus UK question. Both are correct in the UK but in the US Smokey is a proper noun (name), not an adjective

So I can correctly use either, but Bob cannot!

James
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PostPosted: Apr 25, 2019 10:27    Post subject: Re: Smoky or Smokey  

Great post Joseph. The minutia of what we do not generally think of in our day to day. While I previously used the term Smokey for my quartz specimens, today I used Smoky twice in posting to FMF. Thanks for the knowledge (and to James for his UK spin on the subject).
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PostPosted: Apr 25, 2019 10:39    Post subject: Re: Smoky or Smokey  

In my original posting, I should have noted that the correct spelling of "smoky" should primarily be for American english (and I guess Canadian english as well ?) and not necessarily British english. Thanks James C.!

Also as the name of the bear is "Smokey The Bear", for complete correctness, all 3 words of the name should be capitalized. Or is the name really "Smokey" the bear, but that is another discussion....... BOB
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PostPosted: Apr 25, 2019 11:42    Post subject: Re: Smoky or Smokey  

I am not sure about Canadian English - sometimes it follows the UK and sometimes the USA. Does anyone have a Canadian OED dictionary (it is the OED that accepts smokey in the UK - I have no idea what a Cambridge dictionary says as I use Oxford spelling).

For those that are interested, Oxford and Cambridge spelling differ in the UK - Microsoft follows the Cambridge version (so 'specialise') while Oxford spelling considers the 'z' to be correct ('specialize')! So all the Brits who tell Americans not to use 'z' are just following the Microsoft/Cambridge rules.

https://blog.oxforddictionaries.com/2011/03/28/ize-or-ise/

[my grandfather ran the press that printed the OED and he created what is probably the world's largest collection of printed ephemera, so collecting runs in the family]
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PostPosted: Apr 25, 2019 13:04    Post subject: Re: Smoky or Smokey  

Omfg, i could argue each post , so many problems everywhere.

But my thanks to the original poster, I referred to my Oxford English Dictionary (print not google search) and you are correct and I would have been wrong. I would have argued the Smokey was the correct spelling for the colour. I guess thats how bad the American bastardisation has been seeping back into the root English I learnt growing up (what may be called the Queen’s English). I’m Australian and try as much as possible to resist Americanisations. Most of which came about due to laziness, uneducation and accent shifts that occured in America. Hence the vastly differing accents we see there today from the British accent which has shifted less. But now the internet means again laziness and uneducation are producing more rapid word shifts in very different ways. For example I opened this post with OMFG which most of you automatically understand. Consider words like gay (happy), faggot (bundle of sticks), queer (strange) have all shifted common usage meanings so much they cant be used and understood in their original context. Americans often forget the world is much bigger than just them, and when it comes to the English language, the “Queens English” is still the root standard and the printed OED the goto source to settle arguments. Because the shift is continuous the OED should in all instances list both English and American variants of words as acceptable. Ultimately arguing is useless about such things since right and wrong are meaningless in the context. Specifically the more I think on smoky/smokey the later to me means flavouring more than colour.

More to the context of this forum as the language shift is ongoing our hobby commonly includes acquiring and interacting with specimens and collections from previous generations when the contemporary usage at the time and place a label was written or a collection documented may differ from what it is today. So encountering confusion and mixed usage is to be expected for us. Newspapers have their own “house standard”, as do government agencies and academic establishments. So I think the best we should aim for is to be consistent with how we do our own recording, I would transcribe labels verbatim rather than alter or fix spelling into say a notes field in a database and in name/location etc fields is where I would have corrected versions, for myself hopefully consistent with the OED. I encounter the same problem in my genealogy researches where a lot of information is similarly written at the time from someone’s voice to someone elses handwriting where writing style and personal mistakes come into play. Then years later get misread by others, plus borders may have changed and location names change or vanish altogether. In the interest of accuracy when re-recording information i try to be consistant but also retain a high quality copy of the original with the record too. Hopefully this is done in a way the information stays together as best as I can make it, then future generations can check my transcriptions in case my knowledge and reading of the original with my feeble humanity have introduced errors and they may be able to glean more accuracy with their tools and knowledge.

One other spanner in the works is nationalism. France in particular is concerned with the decline of the french language in favour of english and are always trying to retain the language. Its more than being accomodating and its seen by many as arogance by the french. So the nationality of the person making the original recording as well as the person later transcribing/reading the record can come into play.

Not every word has multiple spellings or accepted meanings so if your local common dictionary has a particular spelling that suits then try to stick with that for all usages and avoid acronyms which are short lived in languages and often have multiple meanings locally and almost certainly to a global community. OMFG has no place outside the confines of the internet and would never be suitable even in expanded form in a specimen record. But please do make an effort to use correct spelling as best you can, instead of lazy writing which I am exhibiting in this post too. My own records are where it matters so I put in the extra effort there. Also be mindful English is not everyone’s first language, not even the first language of this forum, so be courteous when correcting others. Especially when doing it on the fly as you may be wrong yourself, as I would have been with my initial instinct of smokey over smoky until I picked up the dictionary and checked for myself before posting. This process alone has educated me and providing thought provoking stimulation and maybe just a tiniest bit better person for it as a result.

Thanks
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PostPosted: Apr 25, 2019 16:12    Post subject: Re: Smoky or Smokey  

SteveB wrote:
Omfg, i could argue each post , so many problems everywhere.

But my thanks to the original poster, I referred to my Oxford English Dictionary (print not google search) and you are correct and I would have been wrong. I would have argued the Smokey was the correct spelling for the colour. I guess thats how bad the American bastardisation has been seeping back into the root English I learnt growing up (what may be called the Queen’s English). I’m Australian and try as much as possible to resist Americanisations. Most of which came about due to laziness, uneducation and accent shifts that occured in America. Hence the vastly differing accents we see there today from the British accent which has shifted less. But now the internet means again laziness and uneducation are producing more rapid word shifts in very different ways. For example I opened this post with OMFG which most of you automatically understand. Consider words like gay (happy), faggot (bundle of sticks), queer (strange) have all shifted common usage meanings so much they cant be used and understood in their original context. Americans often forget the world is much bigger than just them, and when it comes to the English language, the “Queens English” is still the root standard and the printed OED the goto source to settle arguments. Because the shift is continuous the OED should in all instances list both English and American variants of words as acceptable. Ultimately arguing is useless about such things since right and wrong are meaningless in the context. Specifically the more I think on smoky/smokey the later to me means flavouring more than colour.

More to the context of this forum as the language shift is ongoing our hobby commonly includes acquiring and interacting with specimens and collections from previous generations when the contemporary usage at the time and place a label was written or a collection documented may differ from what it is today. So encountering confusion and mixed usage is to be expected for us. Newspapers have their own “house standard”, as do government agencies and academic establishments. So I think the best we should aim for is to be consistent with how we do our own recording, I would transcribe labels verbatim rather than alter or fix spelling into say a notes field in a database and in name/location etc fields is where I would have corrected versions, for myself hopefully consistent with the OED. I encounter the same problem in my genealogy researches where a lot of information is similarly written at the time from someone’s voice to someone elses handwriting where writing style and personal mistakes come into play. Then years later get misread by others, plus borders may have changed and location names change or vanish altogether. In the interest of accuracy when re-recording information i try to be consistant but also retain a high quality copy of the original with the record too. Hopefully this is done in a way the information stays together as best as I can make it, then future generations can check my transcriptions in case my knowledge and reading of the original with my feeble humanity have introduced errors and they may be able to glean more accuracy with their tools and knowledge.

One other spanner in the works is nationalism. France in particular is concerned with the decline of the french language in favour of english and are always trying to retain the language. Its more than being accomodating and its seen by many as arogance by the french. So the nationality of the person making the original recording as well as the person later transcribing/reading the record can come into play.

Not every word has multiple spellings or accepted meanings so if your local common dictionary has a particular spelling that suits then try to stick with that for all usages and avoid acronyms which are short lived in languages and often have multiple meanings locally and almost certainly to a global community. OMFG has no place outside the confines of the internet and would never be suitable even in expanded form in a specimen record. But please do make an effort to use correct spelling as best you can, instead of lazy writing which I am exhibiting in this post too. My own records are where it matters so I put in the extra effort there. Also be mindful English is not everyone’s first language, not even the first language of this forum, so be courteous when correcting others. Especially when doing it on the fly as you may be wrong yourself, as I would have been with my initial instinct of smokey over smoky until I picked up the dictionary and checked for myself before posting. This process alone has educated me and providing thought provoking stimulation and maybe just a tiniest bit better person for it as a result.

Thanks


Well I never did. A Strine-speaker defending Pommie English.

Everybody to the shelters, the sky shall fall!!

If I may also (as a Pom, naturalized as a Yank) make a slight correction to your stout defense of the Queens English against the idle perfidy of the Americans.

They do say that should Shakespeare (and who else as the Standard-bearer of the English language shoud we choose?) reappear on the earth today, the dialect he would best understand is spoken deep in Appalachia...

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PostPosted: Apr 25, 2019 17:09    Post subject: Re: Smoky or Smokey  

When spelling counts, as in judged competitions, best to use smoky not smokey. Also without disparaging or favoring any culture, it is perhaps best to use baryte over barite. The rest of the time (thankfully) these variations do not confuse anyone.
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PostPosted: Apr 25, 2019 19:43    Post subject: Re: Smoky or Smokey  

Just to add to this for fun. Danas Textbook of Mineralogy 4th edition spells them Smoky and Barite along with Danas System Of Mineralogy 5th edition (1868). History yes, but the Dana books where at one time the bible of collectors and students. More can be added to even bring into what is the correct location for the minerals. What the location was named when they came out of the ground or the current up to date world maps we have today. Arizona was not even a state when a lot of early minerals (Bisbee) came out of the ground there.
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PostPosted: Apr 25, 2019 21:47    Post subject: Re: Smoky or Smokey  

The English language has always been rather dynamic, which perhaps accounts for it's versatility and large vocabulary. Spelling amongst the various English-speaking countries is, perhaps thanks at least in part to Noah Webster, always a grey area. Or is that gray? I guess it depends on the nationality of your spell-checker.
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Peter Lemkin




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PostPosted: Apr 25, 2019 22:32    Post subject: Re: Smoky or Smokey  

One of my jobs is the editing of Scientific Articles prior to publication or submitting to Journals, etc. I get requests to use UK spelling and style [both differ] vs. US spelling and style - and I usually, if asked, suggest that unless it is snooty UK publication they use 'International English' - which is basically US spelling and style, but allows [if consistent] throughout a paper some UK-isms. I even have a copy of the official UK-US English dictionary - a great read! Color vs colour....et al...and in the hospital vs in hospital, etc.Smoky is the room filled with smoke or the color of quartz [to me]...it may be other to others who speak the Queen's English. I don't know the exact figure, but something like 85%+ of scientific and international books, articles, research papers, etc. are now published using US rules of spelling and style. Sorry UK and those in the Commonwealth.

Another interesting point one can research is that US English in spoken form and to some extent spelling and style is closer to what Britain's was in the late 1700s - the UK changed greatly [especially in spoken forms and the plethora of spoken forms by local and class - and the US kept things more or less the same]. I once had a British girlfriend and a jokey discussion got rather heated about spelling and even the term for objects. She had put on a sweater and I called it such. She insisted it was a 'jumper'. We went on like that about terms for many things and spelling of many things.....in laughter. Then her laughter stopped and she turned to me with an angry face and said, "Just remember we invented the f****ing language!". She had me there, and won the argument that time.....but I use US spelling, word choice and style in my own life and professional editing unless requested to do otherwise..... How one comes down on this depends of course on where one lives.
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PostPosted: Apr 26, 2019 01:16    Post subject: Re: Smoky or Smokey  

Sorry to point out, but the English did not "invent" their language. It is a combination of Anglo-Saxon, Latin, and French, all of which were imported - and not usually voluntarily. The original "English" were the British Celts, of which the Welsh are the current descendants. Try getting your head around that language!

Languages are dynamic, and constantly change. If they do not, then they become museum pieces (like Latin), and fall from common usage. To say that there is "correct" English
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PostPosted: Apr 26, 2019 02:01    Post subject: Re: Smoky or Smokey  

Jesse Fisher wrote:
Sorry to point out, but the English did not "invent" their language. It is a combination of Anglo-Saxon, Latin, and French, all of which were imported - and not usually voluntarily. The original "English" were the British Celts, of which the Welsh are the current descendants. Try getting your head around that language!

Languages are dynamic, and constantly change. If they do not, then they become museum pieces (like Latin), and fall from common usage. To say that there is "correct" English


While what you say is of course true, was it a mild put down rather than a only a point of enlightenment? What my then girlfriend meant, and I meant by retelling it was that it was there on that island [mostly] that due to historical, linguistic, cultural forces and influences and a lot of invasions that the language was forged there over centuries and longer...as French was mostly in France, etc. Languages are ever changing, yes, and dynamic, yes, ever mixing - almost always borrowing from other languages or loaning to others, and there are dynamic internal changes over time, as well - sometimes separately by region, by class, by education, by occupation, by social condition, etc. English was wholesale imported to the US, to Australia, and to other places and colonies - where they developed their own versions of pronunciation, grammar, spelling, style and slang [I can barely understand some Indian English speakers and find very strange the upturn in tone at the end of every Ozzy sentence.] Liverpool and some suburbs of London have such strong accents I was in a train carriage with some guys from one of these and asked in my own English what language they were speaking, only to be told the 'samme ****** langwadge ewe arr'. Smoky it is for me. It is like Einstein's relativity.......
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PostPosted: Apr 26, 2019 02:43    Post subject: Re: Smoky or Smokey  

I have to say that what annoys me is that Microsoft enforces Cambridge spelling on the UK, and ignores Oxford spelling. So this creates some of the problems that Peter encounters, with Brits believing Microsoft, even when you give them a copy of the Oxford English Dictionary. That said international English works well, although it may lack some brilliant words ('prepone' [from India] is one of my favourites)

I love the variety in spelling and vocabulary in the language as it shows the history of the people and the words. My wife always confused people by using common Scottish words in England, which we now use as a family ('doing the messages' is a great one - it means 'grocery shopping').

In the end, it is about your house style. I have been through my collection database and made sure that I am consistent in the use of terms - Baryte not Barite, etc. I use smoky, not smokey (I just checked and that is true)
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PostPosted: Apr 26, 2019 09:37    Post subject: Re: Smoky or Smokey  

Peter - no, it's not a put down. I have plenty of Brit friends, some of who like to get on a high horse about Americans messing with their language. Just to get them wound up (a very British-style thing to do) I like to accuse them of really speaking bastardized French, or point out the fact that Humphrey Davy, the discoverer of aluminum/aluminium actually spelt it without the last "i" in his original description of the element. The real point is to remind people that unless you want a dead language (such as Latin), it must be flexible and adapt as cultural practices change.
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PostPosted: Apr 26, 2019 20:43    Post subject: Re: Smoky or Smokey  

After reading the opening post, my very first thought was that I have done a bit of interesting research too, to see if I could find out if only 1 spelling might be correct, and as it turns out, 'high', 'low' and 'colour' are the only correct spelling, as opposed to then incorrect 'hi', 'lo' and 'color'. There we are, case solved. Who cares about those Americans insisting on their confusing revised spelling? Why 'defense', but 'fence' and 'fencing'? Why 'catalog' and 'dialog', yet still 'tongue', 'pedagogue' and 'plague'? Why add the double l in 'fulfill', but then also use 'until' with just the single l? Such nonsense!

Joking aside, it's simply a matter of taste which spelling to use, nothing more. I personally prefer to go with British English spelling as much as possible, because of the haphazardness of the American spelling reforms. I feel the etymology of the many worldwide linguistic influences often comes across a whole lot clearer in the British version, e.g. 'centre' versus 'mother' signifying French versus Germanic etymologies.

So I'll go with a nice aesthetic smokey baryte, thank you very much.
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PostPosted: Apr 26, 2019 21:08    Post subject: Re: Smoky or Smokey  

Actually, the American spelling reforms were not haphazard at all, but the doing of one Noah Webster, a fellow who took it upon himself to publish the first dictionary of "American English" in 1809. He attempted to simplify some (but not all) spellings to conform with how the words were pronounced. In the end, however, I'm not sure that it really matters as long as one's intended audience understands what is meant.
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PostPosted: Apr 26, 2019 22:20    Post subject: Re: Smoky or Smokey  

I know it was Noah Webster who popularised* the simplified spelling of certain words, and of course I can see the benefits of a more uniform spelling system bases on the pronunciation. But what it has resulted in is a system that still doesn't have the benefit of uniform phonetic spelling, far from it. It implies there is a certain systematic approach, but instead you still have to learn the 'correct' spelling word by word (see examples above). Other proposed spellings didn't make it, such as 'scool', 'chimny' and 'senery'. That's what I meant by saying it's rather arbitrary.

* In fact, he didn't originate most of the spellings, he merely selected existing ones that omitted "superfluous and silent letters" such as the u in colour, etc. The fact is that up till then, English spelling wasn't consistent: even within Shakespeare's plays, you can find accused, accusde, accust and accus'd. Webster simply selected certain spellings based on simplicity, whereas Samuel Johnson (who was just as influential on British spelling as Webster was on the American one) chose to prioritise etymology, making the history of the words visible in their spelling.

Anyway, whatever the differences may be, I totally agree with that last statement.
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PostPosted: Apr 27, 2019 04:09    Post subject: Re: Smoky or Smokey  

Hi to everybody!
It's always the same question: program or programme? Theatre or theater? Gemmology or gemology? Ok I apologise (or apologize) with our American friends, but I really like much more to hear and write in British English than in the American one. And then... what kind or American? The "yankee" American or the "southern "Uhmurkin"? (see the small book "How To Speak Southern", I was presented it by an American friend of mine from Memphis TN). Las but not least: in Italy many English language course kits are on the market with the denomination "English AND American Language course", thus considering British and American English as two separate languages!
Nevertheless I think we always use a sort of "international" English we understand to one another all over the world by! And this "international" English takes a bit from British, a bit from American, a bit from the "european" English (I mean the lEnglish language spoken in Scandinavia and in the Netherlands), a bit from Australian, a bit from the so-called "Japan English"... The most important thing is we all understand everybody and everywhere in the world! Oh, I was forgeting the issue: I would say smoky, because of the colo(u)r. Smokey is a smell for salmon, not a colour, in my opinion. Maybe I am wrong, if so I ask our English-mother-tong(ue) friends to let me know.
Greetings from Italy by Riccardo.

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