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Is it Theater or Theatre?

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Jack Ferry, Dec 5, 2003.

  1. Jack Ferry

    Jack Ferry Stunt Coordinator

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    You don't get much more basic than this deep, critically important, philosophical question. Is the correct spelling "Theater" or "Theatre"?

    (I've got my bias, but I'll hold off on my opinion for a bit.)
     
  2. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    tomahtoe - theatre

    tomaytoe - theater
     
  3. JamesCB

    JamesCB Second Unit

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    The one that gets me is using the word base when refering to the lower frequencies.
     
  4. Iver

    Iver Second Unit

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    The 1980 G. & C. Merriam Co. "Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary" says: 1) it can be spelled both ways; 2) either spelling can be pronounced thee-ih-ter or thee-aye-ter; and 3) the latter pronunciation is prevalent in the southern United States.

    Instead of watching colour programmes on the telly, one might visit the theatre, and that's what it's all about, innit?

    Merriam gives this etymology: Middle English "theatre"; from Middle French, from Latin "theatrum"; from Geek "theatron," from "theasthai" (to view), from "thea" (act of seeing); akin to Greek "thauma" (miracle).

    So it's something like the act of seeing a miracle. Or maybe even seeing a miracle in the third act [​IMG]

    I wonder if "home theater" has worked it way into more recent editions of Merriam's, or anyone else's, general English-language dictionary. It's not in the 1980 edition, probably because at that time the word might invoke images of a mansion with a private screening room, thus making it too rare and specialized for a general purpose dictionary.
     
  5. Andrew O'Brien

    Andrew O'Brien Stunt Coordinator

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    While a dictionary says it can be either way, the correct spelling is clearly THEATRE. It is only in the USA that they have it spelled THEATER, which is just lazy spelling that has been allowed to continue.
     
  6. JawhnM

    JawhnM Stunt Coordinator

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  7. Garrett Lundy

    Garrett Lundy Producer

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    I always thought theater was supposed to be pronouced "Loh-Botch-nee-ah". [​IMG]

    I used to use the "theatre" spelling for years until the internet came 'round and any of my information searches for Mystery Science Theater 3000 turned-up no reseults. So now I am always sure to use "theater".
     
  8. Jack Ferry

    Jack Ferry Stunt Coordinator

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    Since it's my thread I now get to have the definitive (if not the final) answer. It's theatre.

    Because (1) I like it better and (2) I say so.
     
  9. Jack Shappa

    Jack Shappa Second Unit

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    I prefer Theedurr.

    - Jack
     
  10. PaulT

    PaulT Supporting Actor

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  11. Cliff Watson

    Cliff Watson Agent

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    It all comes down to the fact that America and England are two peoples separated by a common language. [​IMG]
     
  12. ChuckSolo

    ChuckSolo Screenwriter

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    Damn English can get so darn confunsing. What about color or colour?
     
  13. Cees Alons

    Cees Alons Moderator
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    And since FORTRAN, programme became PROGRAM and hence now program.

    Theatre.
    In England it's pronounced 'Sinn-nuh-mah'.

    Oh, and there's also a 'Luh-bòh-ruh-tree' there. More of them, actually.


    Cees
     
  14. Don:::A

    Don:::A Auditioning

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    Catsup or Ketchup??
     
  15. ChuckSolo

    ChuckSolo Screenwriter

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    How about Schedule, is it Sh-ed-yule or sked-jule? Weird languge, ours.
     
  16. Cees Alons

    Cees Alons Moderator
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    And even inside the UK, there's 'priv-e-see' versus 'prai-vuh-see'.

    Cees
     
  17. Jack Shappa

    Jack Shappa Second Unit

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    My favorite has to be aluminum (AL-LOO-MIN-NUM) vs. aluminium (AL-LOO-MINI-YUM).

    - Jack
     
  18. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    Seeing that I was born and raised in England, let me just say that for every word used in the US, there is an equivalent different word in the UK, for just about everything. But since, we are talking about the "english" language, I say that whatever we say, goes. [​IMG]
     
  19. ChuckSolo

    ChuckSolo Screenwriter

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    Poppycock!!! WE Americans took the "King's English" and merely civilized it! The way I look at it, you can credit US for expanding the language.[​IMG]

    BTW-Where do you guys get "Leftenant" from the word "Lieutenant?" See what I mean!!!
     
  20. SteveKNJ

    SteveKNJ Stunt Coordinator

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    If you live in the U.S. "theater" is correct, if you live in more Anglisized countries that speak English (UK, Canada, Hong Kong) it's "theatre". There's a reason behind the differences. Back in the early 1800 (or it might have been late 1700s) when Daniel Webster wrote his first American English dictionary, there was a movement to "correct" many of the English idiosyncracies to spell words more like they are pronounced and take way letters that were not pronounced (so for example "colour" became "color"). This was done to further seperate the U.S. from England and to help more of the early immigrants learn English. I may not have all these details totally correct, but I am close.
     

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