Talk:mediocer

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mediocer

This is too rare to meet the C.F.I.; it could be a non‐common spelling error. --Pilcrow 01:49, 17 September 2011 (UTC)

If i was reading an old book and did not understand I would want to be able to look up this word.Gtroy 02:25, 17 September 2011 (UTC)
This page only requires 3 citations and more than that are available from google books. With the old ones I can't tell if they are misspellings or obsolete spellings. Fugyoo 05:44, 17 September 2011 (UTC)
The OED3 gives médiocre as an eighteenth- and nineteenth-century spelling and gives medioker as a spelling in late Middle English; however, it makes no mention of *mediocer. My guess is that *mediocer would have been a misspelling at any time, since the letter combination ce would soften the hard ‘c’, leading to erroneous pronunciations akin to */ˌmiːdɪˈəʊsə/, */ˌmidiˈoʊsɚ/, &c. Of course, it is easy to see how the misspelling came about — it is a disanalogous application of the pattern of UK–US spelling difference observed in theatretheater, centrecenter, &c. — Raifʻhār Doremítzwr ~ (U · T · C) ~ 07:26, 17 September 2011 (UTC)
There are many Latin "uses", but amusingly, they are apparently all just mentions. - -sche (discuss) 19:27, 17 September 2011 (UTC)
My course of action would be to mark this as rfv-passed, convert it to a common misspelling, then rfd it as a rare misspelling (a bit convoluted, I admit). Mglovesfun (talk) 10:18, 18 September 2011 (UTC)
RFV seems an appropriate forum for rare misspellings, as RFV deals with cites and RFD with idiomaticity, the former of which is what's at issue with rare misspellings.​—msh210 (talk) 16:00, 18 September 2011 (UTC)
Move to RFD. This is trivially cited — of the few hundred hits at b.g.c., the first three are all independent, durably archived uses in Full View works, spanning more than fifteen years — the question is whether we want to delete it anyway. Incidentally, this book, from the same general time period as the bulk of the cites, explicitly considers it a misspelling. —RuakhTALK 17:04, 18 September 2011 (UTC)
Move to RFD per Ruakh. — Raifʻhār Doremítzwr ~ (U · T · C) ~ 15:36, 19 September 2011 (UTC)
Mispelling or not it was widely used in published material for a time, therefore as a dictionary we should include it so people know what it was, and in any case who's to say at the time it wasn't the right spelling.Gtroy 18:35, 20 September 2011 (UTC)

moved to RFD -- Liliana 16:17, 21 September 2011 (UTC)

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The following information passed a request for deletion.

This discussion is no longer live and is left here as an archive. Please do not modify this conversation, though feel free to discuss its conclusions.


mediocer

Moved from RfV. It was questioned whether this misspelling should be kept.

I vote keep, it is a likely error for someone who is used to type er in all other words (i. e. most Americans). Case in point for the longest time I used the erroneous spelling massacer. -- Liliana 16:19, 21 September 2011 (UTC)

  • Delete. We have no evidence for the existing sense (a valid though obsolete spelling of mediocre), and some evidence against it (see Ruakh's comment at the RfV). It doesn't seem a common enough spelling mistake to warrant inclusion, with only 87,400 Google hits, versus 42,200,000 for "mediocre". For comparison, looking at the occured/occurred example given in the CFI, "occured" gets 111 million Google hits, even more than the 78 million hits for the correct spelling "occurred". --Avenue 08:32, 22 September 2011 (UTC)
  • Comment. The Google Ngram Viewer shows that "mediocer" was never anywhere near as common as "mediocre" — its highest popularity, relative to "mediocre", was around 1:1000 (0.1%) — but it seems to be very obsolete. It looks like "mediocre" first became relatively common in the 1920s (though its popularity has dropped somewhat since then), and "mediocer" spiked in the 1930s before dying out. (This sort of pattern makes sense if you think about it: a relatively obscure word suddenly became relatively popular, and people tried to use it who didn't have much experience with it yet, and therefore weren't sure how it was spelled. Over time, as it remained common, people became more familiar with it, and therefore were less likely to misspell it.) So, I think "mediocer" was always a misspelling. Nonetheless, I don't really see much harm in keeping it as an obsolete spelling, or put another way, I don't really see much point in distinguishing between obsolete spellings and obsolete misspellings, as long as they're not too rare. —RuakhTALK 03:35, 25 September 2011 (UTC)
  • Addendum. I should mention that the Google Ngram Viewer only indexes books — and maybe periodicals and such, but still, edited works. The proportions in the 1930s equivalent of Usenet might have been quite different; and on present-day Google Groups, the ratio in raw hits is a still bit more than 1:1000 (not that I set much store by raw Google-hits of any stripe), which is much, much higher than the Google Ngram Viewer would have suggested. —RuakhTALK 03:40, 25 September 2011 (UTC)
Keep as an obsolete (mis)spelling per Ruakh, perhaps with a usage note. I don't think we can distinguish obsolete spellings from obsolete misspellings, if they're used consistently in at least three works. - -sche (discuss) 03:58, 25 September 2011 (UTC)
Kept. - -sche (discuss) 04:00, 29 February 2012 (UTC)