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Brit Question: Split or Spit?

awnlee jawking

I was brought up to say 'splitting image', but a quick search of SOL shows 'spitting image' to be much more popular. What do the other Brits here normally say?

AJ

Zom

@awnlee jawking

Have never heard 'splitting image' myself. If it was said in my hearing then I misheard it as 'spitting image' which has been the correct phrase since the late 19th century. If I ever saw 'splitting image' written I would correct it to 'spitting image' :-)

Ross at Play

The correct expression is definitely 'spitting image'.

My Oxford Dictionary has a separate entry for it, defining it as 'idiomatic' and meaning 'to look exactly like somebody else'.

sunkuwan

Don't go splitting hairs on this one.

https://www.writerscentre.com.au/blog/qa-spitting-or-splitting-image/

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@sunkuwan

So 'spit' came first but a lot of people use 'split'. I might upset a few people (sorry @Zom) but there's no compelling reason for me to change.

AJ

StarFleet Carl

@awnlee jawking

What do the other Brits here normally say?


If you care about what Americans think, we tend to leave off the final 'g', so it's spittin' image. But why should we have a spat about this, we might split our decisions?

Or you could just say, wow, they could be twins.

Slightly related to this, I remember reading a paper a few years ago that due to the actual physical constraints of the head, there are only about 500 different base 'templates' for how we look. While each of those 'templates' can and will have different variations due to nose size, jaw length, etc., depending upon how and where people end up, you'll end up with someone else looking like you. When you throw in receding hairlines or baldness, facial hair, or glasses, then it can make the resemblance even more so.

There was a big fad about this a couple of years ago and it shows up every now and then with celebrity look alikes - Nicholas Cage and that guy from the Civil War, just for one example. Rather interesting about these spitting images from the past.

Ross at Play

@awnlee jawking

So 'spit' came first but a lot of people use 'split'. I might upset a few people (sorry @Zom) but there's no compelling reason for me to change.

Not 'a lot of people', actually a tiny minority.

This ngrams suggests about 97% of readers will think you've made a mistake. That would be a compelling enough reason for me.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
Crumbly Writer

@awnlee jawking

So 'spit' came first but a lot of people use 'split'. I might upset a few people (sorry @Zom) but there's no compelling reason for me to change.

It depends on which you use. As far as I can see, there is no compelling reason to use "splitting", aside from simply not understanding the basic usage.

Just because a bunch of people don't know how to say something doesn't make it an 'acceptable' usage. Language does change over time, but there's generally a fairly clear distinction between 'completely mistaken' and 'an allowable alternative'.

Crumbly Writer

@StarFleet Carl

If you care about what Americans think, we tend to leave off the final 'g', so it's spittin' image. But why should we have a spat about this, we might split our decisions?

Now that I understand, as it accentuates a particular pronunciation, generally making it more striking. I often use that same technique with "shittin'," and other similar phrases.

"Splitting" is clearly a mistake, while "spittin'" is a choice from a more dramatic pronouncing of the phrase.

awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

This ngrams suggests about 97% of readers will think you've made a mistake.


Does it? It looks to me as though you have a slash where there should be a comma, the data is at least a decade old and you chose a population heavily biased towards American publications.

A general Google search is no clearer, turning up lots of articles comparing the two options, not all of which are pro-spit. There are also book and movie titles listed with 'Splitting Image' in the title, although there are far more for 'Spitting Image' because of the satirical puppet series..

Not proven, m'lud.

AJ

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@awnlee jawking

It looks to me as though you have a slash where there should be a comma

The slash is the division operand. The results are shown as percentages, comparing uses of 'splitting image' to those 'spitting image'.

you chose a population heavily biased towards American publications.

Try changing the corpus to British English and American English. My conclusion is the rise in the use of 'splitting' in recent decades is because more Americans are making that mistake.

Not proven

I don't care whether you think it's proven or not. I simply provided some evidence for others to assess your claim "a lot of people" use 'splitting'.

Personally, I only used the Oxford Dictionary in confirming my assessment that 'splitting' is definitely a mistake.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
BlacKnight

@awnlee jawking

So 'spit' came first but a lot of people use 'split'. I might upset a few people (sorry @Zom) but there's no compelling reason for me to change.


What that article actually says is, "'splitting' is wrong, but here's a possible reason why some people make that mistake".

You are literally the only person I have ever seen or heard make it.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
Switch Blayde

I got a hair in my mouth. My nose brushed her inner thigh as I turned to sneakily spit it out.

— Is that a "spit infinitive"?

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@BlacKnight

The article says a lot of people make that mistake.

Are you British? I'm trying to discover whether being taught 'splitting image' is primarily a British phenomenon.

AJ

awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

Thank you, I was misinterpreting the Ngram.

I can't see how Oxford Dictionary can call 'splitting image' a mistake in view of the number of people who use it. Actually I can't even find an Oxford Dictionary reference to it, let alone it being called a mistake :(

AJ

Replies:   Ross at Play
awnlee jawking

@Switch Blayde

Did the hair have split ends?

AJ

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Ross at Play

@awnlee jawking

Actually I can't even find an Oxford Dictionary reference to it, let alone it being called a mistake

I've seen about four definitions of 'spitting image' from various dictionaries.

How about you get back to me after you find one dictionary which lists 'splitting image'?

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

How about you get back to me after you find one dictionary which lists 'splitting image'?


I've just been doing a quick comparison of 'splitting image' against 'drug' (when used as the past participle of dragged).

The incidence appears to be similar (based on an admittedly small sample).

'Splitting image' has valid etymology, albeit more recent than 'spitting image'.

'Splitting image' is less likely to lead to ambiguity than 'drug'.

Yet, as you say, 'splitting image' doesn't appear in dictionaries but 'drug' does!

I think you can understand why I'm underwhelmed by dictionary compilers :(

AJ

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play
Updated:

@awnlee jawking

I think you can understand why I'm underwhelmed by dictionary compilers

NO! I cannot understand why you think every dictionary gets this one wrong.

Please stop harassing me with this nonsense.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

NO! I cannot understand why you think every dictionary gets this one wrong.

Please stop harassing me with this nonsense.

Don't you understand, Ross? In this new day and age, every time a reference document doesn't verify someone's personal opinion, it's "Proof" that there's a massive conspiracy afoot to hide the truth.

Sigh! I miss the days when people still believed in facts. Now the moron is king, and those who study evidence are labelled as 'fanatics'.

Ross at Play

@Crumbly Writer

Sigh! I miss the days when people still believed in facts.

Sigh! I must have blinked and missed that. One day the earth was flat and the next human activity is not causing global temperatures to rise with inevitable catastrophic consequences. :(

Switch Blayde

@awnlee jawking

Did the hair have split ends?


Who's splitting hairs?
Or is it spitting hairs?

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

Who's splitting hairs?
Or is it spitting hairs?

It's either splitting hairs, or spitting hares. (Those nasty little rabbit beasts!)

awnlee jawking

@Crumbly Writer

a massive conspiracy


Who suggested a conspiracy?

Dictionaries have limited resources and they contain mistakes and omissions.

Evidence shows the term 'spitting image' to have the older provenance, but we've seen before where parallel evolution has produced very similar terms.

'Splitting image' has a more recent etymology but it does have an etymology and a significant number of people use the term, therefore it should be recognised in dictionaries.

Some people feel personally threatened because English doesn't have the hard-and-fast rules of a computer language, and especially so when their favourite reference guides (eg style guides and dictionaries) are shown to be less than perfect.

AJ

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@awnlee jawking

Dictionaries have limited resources and they contain mistakes and omissions.


It matters whether you are talking about a hard-copy or on-line dictionary, and for hard-copy abridged or unabridged.

The typical hard-copy dictionary that most people buy for home use is an abridged edition. They leave out a lot of less common words by sheer necessity of size constraints. Unabridged hard-copy dictionaries are massive.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
Darian Wolfe

@StarFleet Carl

I was once at a coffee shop with a friend. He said, "Come here, I want you to meet someone who looks like your sister."

Knowing this friend pretty well, I figured the girl would be blonde. The girl was an exact replica of my sister. The only exception was a twenty-pound or so difference in weight.

The resemblance was so remarkable I became angry that the girl treated me as a stranger even though I knew as fact that my sister was on the other side of the country.

Zom

@Crumbly Writer

I miss the days when people still believed in facts.

I miss the days when people could still recognise a fact.

Zom

@awnlee jawking

but a lot of people use 'split'.

I would be curious to know whether the 'lot of people [using]' comes from the written word, or the spoken word (outside of your family). If the latter than I suspect you are mishearing people when they say 'spitting' because you are expecting 'splitting'. If the former I would be keen to see an example. I think, for you, this may be mondegreen like :-)

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@Zom

I would be curious to know whether the 'lot of people [using]' comes from the written word, or the spoken word (outside of your family).


Both. Do a search of SOL as I did - you'll find other authors using 'splitting image'. Search for it in book and movie titles - you'll find it.

My question was aimed at other Brits, asking whether they were brought up with 'splitting image' as I was, but there haven't been any replies :(

AJ

Replies:   madnige  Zom
awnlee jawking

@Dominions Son

The Oxford English Dictionary, the comprehensive version from the Oxford University Press, is online but behind a paywall :(

The compilers admit they're heavily dependent upon submitted suggestions when it comes to adding words, and those suggestions are heavily biased to recent trends.

That leaves a hole through which older omissions can easily fall.

AJ

madnige

@awnlee jawking

My question was aimed at other Brits, asking whether they were brought up with 'splitting image' as I was, but there haven't been any replies


Brought up in the Home Counties and never heard/read 'splitting' used there, and very seldom in/around the post-industrial wastelands of Teesside in the North; when I have heard it used it's been by knuckle-dragging yobos who'd have difficulty spelling either form, but who you don't want to correct to avoid being the recipient of a briskly applied knuckle sandwich.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@madnige

Thank you.

Not what I wanted to hear, but it makes me wonder the usage is very localised. (I'm Home Counties too).

AJ

Zom
Updated:

@awnlee jawking


Do a search of SOL as I did


Thanks for the education. I have read three of those 20 stories and the usages were a still a surprise. I must concede your assertion that the usage is not very rare, given 20 against the 436 stories with "spitting image" represents 4.4%. Now I have to wonder why I haven't noticed it before. Perhaps I have always just discounted it as a typo and it hasn't stuck.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@Zom

Phew, I hope that means you won't be 1-bombing me after my next chapter ;)

AJ

Replies:   Crumbly Writer  Zom
Crumbly Writer

@awnlee jawking

Phew, I hope that means you won't be 1-bombing me after my next chapter

Are you planning on 'splitting images' so soon?

Despite our best efforts, typos aren't uncommon, even in thoroughly edited big-name publishers. Unless the typo stands out (i.e. represents a personal nit), most people simply accept it and move on, rather than making a list.

Zom

@awnlee jawking

I hope that means you won't be 1-bombing me

I stopped being a petulant child a looong time ago :-) I offer my sympathy to the many who haven't.

Crumbly Writer

@Zom

I stopped being a petulant child a looong time ago :-) I offer my sympathy to the many who haven't.

I doubt anyone 1-bombs over typos. People post 1's because they hold extremist views, either political, homophobic or (rarely because we don't have a lot of stories by minorities) racist. 1-bombs are more attempts to punish views they don't approve of than they are childish acts, as long as we're engaging in gross generalizations.

Replies:   richardshagrin  Zom  BlacKnight
richardshagrin

@Crumbly Writer

1-bombs are more attempts to punish views they don't approve of

Not always. I use ones when what I read isn't a story. (It says "you call this a story?") Very short stories with no characters and no ending may deserve low scores, but if there isn't any story there, give a one when it deserves it, even if there isn't any political problem.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Ross at Play

AJ, on an unrelated topic, how goes it with the Brexit negotiations?

Soon or even sooner, the UK must give the EU a final decision on whether it's leaving the Customs Union. The magical talk about technological fixes will end and the government will have to admit that leaving means a hard border at the Irish Sea. I doubt the current Parliament would pass that, assuming the DUP has not already triggered a new election. My crystal ball is telling me PM Corbyn (whatever the fuck that means?) will end up opting for a soft Brexit. Good luck!

Replies:   awnlee jawking
Crumbly Writer

@richardshagrin

Not always. I use ones when what I read isn't a story. (It says "you call this a story?") Very short stories with no characters and no ending may deserve low scores, but if there isn't any story there, give a one when it deserves it, even if there isn't any political problem.

Except, few readers will go to the extreme of rating something a 1 simply because they don't like a story. Generally, to do something that extreme, there's often more involved than just disliking how the story unfolds. And often, at least in my experience, it's because the person 1-bombing a story has a hidden agenda.

But, I must say, I take my hat off to you, for publicly admitting that you routinely 1-bomb stories, as opposed to either not voting, or voting a meager 5, or even a 3. Especially on a site composed primarily a non-professional and largely untrained authors struggling to discover how to create stories late in life.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

But, I must say, I take my hat off to you, for publicly admitting that you routinely 1-bomb stories


That isn't the way I read his comment.

On a few occasions, one author or another have posted political or moral rants or some other form of editorial commentary on current events without even the pretense of encapsulating it in a story.

That's the sort of thing I read him as saying he gives 1s to. It wouln't be routine, because they don't happen very often.

It should be noted, that these sorts of "story" postings are violations of the posting guidelines and Lazeez will remove them if someone notifies him.

Zom

@Crumbly Writer

more attempts to punish views they don't approve of than they are childish acts

Well, to me that is an oxymoron. Punishing a view not approved of is petulance in my book. Just a dummy spit.

Replies:   REP  Crumbly Writer
REP

@Zom

Punishing a view not approved of is petulance in my book.


Expressing a view in the form of a story is permissible.

Expressing a view without publishing it as a story is a violation of the Posting Rules. 1-bombing or removing such a posting has nothing to do with petulance. It is expressing ones displeasure at the author for violating the rules.

Replies:   Zom
awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

AJ, on an unrelated topic, how goes it with the Brexit negotiations?


Very badly.

Despite agreeing to chuck money hand-over-fist at the EU (£80 billion, if I'm reading the figures correctly) in the hope of a trade deal, the EU are playing hardball. For example, they're denying preferential access to the EU financial markets.

The only good thing is that the percentage supporting Brexit seems to have risen since the referendum, so even if there's a bodged Brexit agreement, at least we'll be a sovereign country again and, once we're outside and we realise we can't trade with the rest of the world, there will be a renegotiation.

Another election is a distinct possibility. 'The Ditherer' seems to be changing her mind as often as Corbyn so both main parties are an unattractive proposition.

My biggest fear is that Europhile zealot David Miliband will come riding in on his charger, saving the Labour party from its current Neo-Nazi leanings and make them electable again.

AJ

Replies:   Ross at Play
awnlee jawking

@Zom

That's good news.

I used 'splitting image' in the chapter.

Then I changed it to 'spitting image' because I thought it would appease US sensibilities.

Then I found Americans used 'splitting image' as much as Brits, so I swapped it back again.

As you suggested, the difference between the two is largely invisible when you read them. I've had no complaints, not even from the little band of regulars who report typos to me.

AJ

Ross at Play

@awnlee jawking

both main parties are an unattractive proposition

They sure are. I think leaving the Customs Union is a bad (but not disastrous) economic choice, but the Ditherer-in-Chief appears to be sleep-walking the country over the No Deal cliff. That would certainly be very damaging.

And the alternative? I'm a life-long supporter of the Labor Party in Australia, but even I can see that Corbyn is bat-crazy.

My biggest fear is that Europhile zealot David Miliband will come riding in on his charger, saving the Labour party from its current Neo-Nazi leanings and make them electable again.


That can't happen. Corbyn will simply refuse to go ... again. In 2016, the Labour Party members in Parliament passed a no-confidence motion against him with a vote of 172-40! The party members - and others - who elect the leadership voted him back in!

Replies:   awnlee jawking
Crumbly Writer

@Zom

Well, to me that is an oxymoron. Punishing a view not approved of is petulance in my book. Just a dummy spit.

The point is, it's not so much a reaction to the story itself, but to the underlying trigger—which I noted originally, is typically a deeply help prejudice, rather than how well the story is written/told.

Replies:   Darian Wolfe  Zom
awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

but the Ditherer-in-Chief appears to be sleep-walking the country over the No Deal cliff. That would certainly be very damaging.


Just 'The Ditherer' - her nickname from a disastrous tenure at the Home Office.

I don't think 'no deal' would be a disaster. There would be short-term problems while the WTO rules were put into play but we wouldn't have to pay the EU anything and we'd get total sovereignty back in one simple swoop. If the EU wants a soft Irish border the ball would be in their court to propose something workable.

AJ

Darian Wolfe

@Crumbly Writer

I would hope to think that we could be mature enough to say I find that view vile, but it was exceptionally well written.

BlacKnight
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer

I doubt anyone 1-bombs over typos. People post 1's because they hold extremist views, either political, homophobic or (rarely because we don't have a lot of stories by minorities) racist. 1-bombs are more attempts to punish views they don't approve of than they are childish acts, as long as we're engaging in gross generalizations.


When I give 1s, it's more the other way around - it's because the story is exhibiting extremist views - political, racist, misogynist - or disgusting kinks - rape, scat, pedophilia, snuff - that weren't evident from the tags or description. (If it was tagged, I'll just skip it, and not score it, rather than give them the hits.) The last 1 I awarded was for untagged nonconsensual scat.

I basically won't give anything less than a 2 for simple bad writing. A 1 means, "Not only is this a bad story, but your writing it reveals that you are a bad person, and you should feel bad about yourself."

Even a 2 from me requires a seriously incoherent attempt at writing. On the other hand, I've never given out a 10. Several 9s, but no story I've ever seen on SOL qualifies for the perfect 10.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
seanski1969

Once again I always give 10's to appreciate all authors here at SOL and all you 1 bombers consistently reaffirm that decision with this rant.

Regarding the original topic of this discussion whether spitting or splitting is correct. I wonder if the mass conservative and evangelical leanings of people today haven't pushed splitting as I have never heard of it that way but I'm old. Maybe some new/old bats don't approve of the word spit because it causes some distaste. I remember when I was younger the word damn wasn't considered cursing and then all of a sudden it became a vulgar word may be the same with spitting image also.

Just my two cents

Replies:   BlacKnight  Zom  awnlee jawking
BlacKnight

@seanski1969

Once again I always give 10's to appreciate all authors here at SOL and all you 1 bombers consistently reaffirm that decision with this rant.

And that's why SOL's scoring-on-a-curve system, which everybody loves to hate, exists. If you always give out 10s, your votes aren't doing anything but devaluing 10s.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
seanski1969

Unless you understand that Lazeez's scoring automatically downgrades all scores so all the people who 1 bomb or score below 5 because they hate the codes in the story no matter how well written have a much greater affect than my 10s. If you doubt this ask Michael Loucks or G Younger for a breakdown of any of their story scores. (or for that matter any authors breakdown of scores and actual score)

Crumbly Writer

@BlacKnight

When I give 1s, it's more the other way around - it's because the story is exhibiting extremist views - political, racist, misogynist - or disgusting kinks - rape, scat, pedophilia, snuff - that weren't evident from the tags or description.

OK, that wasn't clear from your earlier description of your actions.

A 1 means, "Not only is this a bad story, but your writing it reveals that you are a bad person, and you should feel bad about yourself."

While not cataloguing common squicks like scat is valid for extreme scoring, but making personal judgments over someone's personality based on their choice of porn is ... questionable.

Whatever your personal views are, SOL is considered, by most here, to be a 'safe space', in that the administrator does not sell our personal viewing data, and we're largely allowed to enjoy whatever floats our boat without condemnation. You may not personally enjoy it, but fantasy isn't the same thing as action.

There's fairly extensive evidence, once all such funding was abruptly halted, that porn lessons illegal or unacceptable behaviors, rather than exaccerbating them, because it relies a valid relief from those who feel illicit cravings. Once you remove those outlets, either through laws or public condemnations, you're unintentionally pushing those people to seek their release in less-safe environments—like schools, libraries or which prostitutes, who are frequently murdered to preserve secrets.

So while I side with you over the careless labeling of a story, but I'd be cautious about choosing sides in the 'moral wars' while you're visiting a sex-story site.

That said, ever since SOL was forced to curtail the pseudo 'pedo' stories, and all those authors went to ASSTR, the site has been losing readers and authors on a continual basis, while SOL has been upping it's game, drawing better authors, having a stronger support base, and has no problem generating their necessary expenses.

While I admire freedom of speech and the freedom of those with extreme needs to safely sublimate their 'degenerative' desires, in the end, it's best for all when they aren't allowed to cloud the reputation of the site.

Crumbly Writer

@BlacKnight

And that's why SOL's scoring-on-a-curve system, which everybody loves to hate, exists. If you always give out 10s, your votes aren't doing anything but devaluing 10s.

Not quite. 100 10's is always better than 80, even if a couple get neutralized, because it also neutralizes all the 1-bombs, which authors no longer see, in any case.

Zom
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer


not so much a reaction to the story itself, but to the underlying trigger—which I noted originally, is typically a deeply help prejudice

Yep, just what leads to petulance.

Zom

@REP

Expressing a view in the form of a story is permissible.
Expressing a view without publishing it as a story is a violation of the Posting Rules.

Yes, but that is not what was being talked about when "punish" was mentioned.

If you are going to counter my statement, please do so in the context of the post resulting in the quote that I used, not in some other barely related context that just happens to agree with your point of view.

If you can't remember the context, please go back and read it, rather than shooting from the hip.

Replies:   REP
Zom

@seanski1969

Once again I always give 10's to appreciate all authors here at SOL and all you 1 bombers consistently reaffirm that decision with this rant

Perhaps therein lies a lot of the issues with anonymous scoring. Perhaps it is just me, but it seems that, to an increasing number of people, things are now either "utterly fantastic" (10) or "complete rubbish" (1). The inability to assess a graduated response and replacing that failure with a mindless shotgun binary response must make life difficult for those like Lazeez, who are trying to make their scoring systems meaningful.

REP
Updated:

@Zom

Zom, that is what we call thread drift. If you follow your posts back to Awnlee's post, you will discover that you started the thread drifting away from spit versus split and CW joined you. I just continued it.

ETA: If you have a problem with thread drift, stay with the topic.

Replies:   Zom
awnlee jawking

@seanski1969

Regarding the original topic of this discussion whether spitting or splitting is correct.


I don't think anyone here would argue against 'spitting image' being a correct thing to say.

The argument is whether 'splitting image', derived from the act of cleaving wood in half leaving two identical faces, is also correct.

I maintain it is, because it's in widespread use. Others maintain it isn't correct because it's not in their dictionaries (which is weird, because you'd expect it to be there if only to pronounce on its correctness).

AJ

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Zom
Updated:

@REP


Zom, that is what we call thread drift.


How can you equate referencing the wrong post with thread drift? I am clear on the difference.

It was AJ that introduced 1-bombing into the thread, not me. I didn't start that drift, I also just followed it.

Replies:   REP
Crumbly Writer

@awnlee jawking

The argument is whether 'splitting image', derived from the act of cleaving wood in half leaving two identical faces, is also correct.

I haven't seen a single etymology which attributes 'splitting image' derriving from 'splitting wood'. In fact, the opposite is true, the vast majority of dictionary's and other sources clearly state that 'splitting image' is just plain WRONG!.

Also, your 'widespread use' only accounts for 3% of uses, which is about the likelihood of a simple, repeated typo (i.e. it's within most statistical margin or errors).

REP

@Zom

I am clear on the difference.


I doubt it.

Thread drift is about people posing things that others don't see as directly related to the topic under discussion. The post may only be loosely related, but there is a relationship.

Replies:   Zom
awnlee jawking

@Crumbly Writer

the vast majority of dictionary's and other sources clearly state that 'splitting image' is just plain WRONG!.


You found 'splitting image' in a dictionary? Do share.

Also, your 'widespread use' only accounts for 3% of uses, which is about the likelihood of a simple, repeated typo (i.e. it's within most statistical margin or errors).


Please show me the justification for that claim.

AJ

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Ross at Play
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer

I haven't seen a single etymology which attributes 'splitting image' deriving from 'splitting wood'.

According to this ngrams, selecting British English, the original expression was 'spit and image'. It started gaining popularity around 1910. 'Spitting image' started in the mid-1920s, eventually overtook 'spit and image' in the mid-1950s, and has continued gaining popularity since. However, 'spit and image' has not faded away - and is STILL much more common than 'splitting image' has ever been!

Replies:   awnlee jawking
Zom

@REP

I doubt it.

Why don't you send me a gross of eggs so you can teach me how to suck them, you arrogant elitist.

Replies:   REP
REP

@Zom

Because it takes an open mind to learn something. So it would be a waste of my time and money.

Replies:   Zom
Zom
Updated:

@REP


Because it takes an open mind to learn something. So it would be a waste of my time and money.


Yep. Arrogant elitist with a hugely inflated self image. Bet you can't find a hat that fits.

Crumbly Writer

@awnlee jawking

Please show me the justification for that claim.

Go back and read the past posts yourself. I'm not going to, because EVERY time I offer a link when you DEMAND 'proof', you attack me for some minor nit on the original report which I have ABSOLUTELY no control over. I'm not about to volunteer for that type of abuse again. SO BUGGER the fuck off! Other than demanding I document every single thing I suggest, I'm open for any honest communication.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@Crumbly Writer

Ross didn't provide a link showing that Oxford Dictionaries claimed 'splitting image' to be invalid. You haven't provided links to the dictionaries you say claim 'splitting image' to be invalid. You can understand why I'm not convinced.

If you take a list of the most frequently misspelt words and check them via Ngrams, you'll find that since the advent of internet, making documents easy to share and enabling easy proofreading, the rate of typos in Google's corpus has fallen off a cliff. I don't think you'll find any over 1% (to be generous). Yet the use of 'splitting image' hasn't declined, and its incidence of 3% or more is three times that 1%. To me those statistics clearly indicate deliberate choice, not a typo.

And that's what you'd expect - who goes around inserting 'l' incorrectly in words unless they're ordering Flied Lice ;)

AJ

awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

SOL statistics:

'spitting image' - 436
'splitting image' - 21
'spit and image' - 4

To understand why Google's corpus has such a high incidence of 'spit and image', I think you need to consider the types of work making up that corpus.

AJ

Ross at Play
Updated:

@awnlee jawking

Going back to your original post ...

I was brought up to say 'splitting image', but a quick search of SOL shows 'spitting image' to be much more popular. What do the other Brits here normally say?

THIS is how British speakers have used the expression: originally they used 'spit and image', then some started using 'spitting image' which over time became much more common.

'Splitting image' has never been more than a mistake a tiny fraction of people have made, for example, the statistics you quoted show the frequency is very low, less than 5%, even for non-professional writers at SOL:

'spitting image' - 436
'splitting image' - 21

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

'Splitting image' has never been more than a mistake a tiny fraction of people have made, presumably most of them ill-educated non-professionals, for example, as your statistics show:


I don't think you have any justification to resort to such name-calling. Some of the authors who used 'splitting image' are highly regarded on SOL and certainly not ill-educated non-professionals.

AJ

Ross at Play
Updated:

@awnlee jawking

I have edited my post to make my point in a way which no longer allows you to obfuscate discussion with accusations of name-calling.

You have just continued spouting bullshit here claiming 'a lot of people' use 'splitting image'. Where is your evidence? Is a bit less than 5% of uses on SOL the best you can find?

The contrary evidence cited here includes:
* Not one dictionary recognises 'splitting image' as a valid expression with a similar meaning to 'spitting image'.
* Its use has always been tiny among professional writers as shown by ngrams results.

You are continuing to argue for no other reason than to cause annoyance to others.

GO TO HELL!

robberhands

@Ross at Play

It wasn't easy but if you dig deep enough, you can find almost everything.

Dictionary.com

Word Origin and History for split:

... to split (one's) ticket in the U.S. political sense is attested from 1842. Splitting image "exact likeness" is from 1880. Split screen is from 1953 ...

Crumbly Writer

@awnlee jawking

I don't think you have any justification to resort to such name-calling. Some of the authors who used 'splitting image' are highly regarded on SOL and certainly not ill-educated non-professionals.

I never said anything about any authors who make a legitimate mistake, not knowing which form is correct, but you continue to go out of your way to deny the evidence presented to you, and then dare anyone to offer competing evidence, just so you can personally attack them for trying to educate you. If you happen to think that 3% is a legitimate population sample to declare something an 'alternate definition' then I suggest you petition the various dictionaries, as NONE of them agree with you. I'm sorry, but claiming alt-definitions isn't going to fly with your fellow authors.

Replies:   awnlee_jawking
Ross at Play

@robberhands

Splitting image "exact likeness" is from 1880.

With no wish to cause any offense to you, I don't consider the first recorded use of an expression as relevant to a discussion about whether it has EVER been used by 'a lot of people'.

Replies:   robberhands
robberhands
Updated:

@Ross at Play

With no wish to cause any offense to you

I'm glad you don't. Personally, while I'm aware of the phrase 'spitting image', I've never before heard or read the phrase 'splitting image'. That said, I perceive AJ's perseverance in the matter as rather amusing than infuriating.

From another thread:

awnlee jawking@robberhands:

However, if you want your writing to appeal to the widest audience, you need to have some awareness of what that widest audience prefers.

Ross at Play
Updated:

@robberhands

From another thread:

awnlee jawking@robberhands:
However, if you want your writing to appeal to the widest audience, you need to have some awareness of what that widest audience prefers.

Touché!

awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

Yes, a lot of people across the world use 'splitting image'. That number is far fewer than the number who use 'spitting image' but, if my survey is correct, it's about the same number as those who use 'drug' as the past participle of 'drag'.

If the SOL population is scaled up, that suggests approximately 90 million people worldwide would say 'splitting image'.

AJ

awnlee jawking

@robberhands

Interesting, and excellent sleuthing. 'Spitting image' allegedly derives from the 19th century too.

That's mildly corroborative of separate etymologies for the two expressions.

AJ

awnlee_jawking

@Crumbly Writer

but you continue to go out of your way to deny the evidence presented to you


You haven't presented any evidence that 'splitting image' is incorrect, apart from your own opinion. There are plenty of bloggers who assert that, and a few who assert the opposite, but none of them have passed the scrutiny and peer review process of a dictionary entry.

AJ

awnlee jawking

@robberhands

That said, I perceive AJ's perseverance in the matter as rather amusing than infuriating.


Thank you.

It's a shame the topic got hijacked by non-Brits but it has been educational, the research I've had to do to support my assertions.

AJ

Switch Blayde

@Ross at Play

GO TO HELL!


I beg your pardon. See my thread on why people get mad.

Ross at Play

@Switch Blayde

See my thread on why people get mad.

I saw it.

I told AJ to go to hell because I am convinced his only intention in this thread has been to create a fight and continue arguing no matter what anyone says.

I expect I'll react in a similar way the next time I see that too.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde

@Ross at Play

his only intention in this thread has been to create a fight and continue arguing


A person can't argue with themselves. If you feel that way, why add fuel to the fire? Just my opinion.

richardshagrin

@Switch Blayde

GO TO HELL!

Go directly to Hell, do not pass Go, do not collect $200.

Hell backward is 7734. Hello, backward is 07734. Or maybe it is backward and upside down. With 4 open at the top. So it looks like an h. When you have dyslexia.

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