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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000151.txt from 2008/10

From: Tim Roberts <>
Subj: Re: [kl] The spelling of the word: (formerly "The Boy Friend")
Date: Tue, 28 Oct 2008 17:33:06 -0400

On Tue, 28 Oct 2008 07:48:21 -0700, "Dan Leeson"
<> wrote:
> Matthew Lloyd suggests that "partitta" was an 18th century typo.
> Not so. The spelling of the word ca. 1800 was either "Partitta" or "Partita"
> depending on which area of Italy one lived in. Other similar words, such as
> "magistratto," "ducatti," "pizzicatto," "depositatti," were all spelled with
> the double "t" consonant. Not until Italian had developed a single
> standardized dictionary ca. 1875, was the word formalized as "partita."

Right. Prior to the late 19th Century, spelling was much more a
creative journey than an engineering discipline, ruled as much by
personal opinion and tradition as it was by standards. There are
roughly 20 different spellings of William Shakespeare's last name in the
written material of the time.

Wasn't it Mark Twain who said he pitied the man who could only think of
one way to spell a word?

> This analysis plus the glorious one I did on "Shep Fields and His Rippling
> Rhythm" is without charge. In about a year when my book on the gran
> Partitta is out, that will cost money. So read it for free here or pay for
> it in the future, at which point the young people of that era will presume
> that all of us were a bunch of idiots.

I have to say that the whole "Shep Fields" exchange has resulted in an
unseemly amount of giggling on my part.

Tim Roberts,
Providenza & Boekelheide, Inc.


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