Jan 10

Grumpy Webster

I can never remember if it’s “ax” or “axe.” I appreciate how grumpy this note from the 1913 edition of Webster’s is.

Note: This word was originally spelt with e, axe; and so also was nearly every corresponding word of one syllable: as, flaxe, taxe, waxe, sixe, mixe, pixe, oxe, fluxe, etc. This superfluous e is not dropped; so that, in more than a hundred words ending in x, no one thinks of retaining the e except in axe. Analogy requires its exclusion here.

Or maybe I’m reading my own crabby tone into it?

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