Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Math Man is a faithful second reader and critic of my writing (just don't ask him to check the spelling). Before I sent off the piece on urban legends of chemistry, he read through it and marked a line, "Alas, pride goes before a fall."
"Isn't that pride comes before a fall?" "No, goes." "Are you sure?" "Certain." Well, not that certain. I googled it. Math Man has Canadian roots. His pride comes before his fall. Where I come from, pride goes first.
So, we wondered, what would happen when my proverb met a British copy editor? Today my proofs came back and "alas, I must confess, pride comes before a fall"! Math Man feels quite smug about it all.
The whole thing reminded me of this Gershwin song I first learned from my mother: you say tah-MAY-toe and I say tah-MAH-toe..... (That would be /təˈmeɪtəʊ/ or /təˈmɑtəʊ/ for the linguists amongst us.)