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Topic: Research help needed
Replies: 6   Last Post: Apr 23, 2013 10:36 PM

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GS Chandy

Posts: 8,307
From: Hyderabad, Mumbai/Bangalore, India
Registered: 9/29/05
Re: Research help needed
Posted: Apr 23, 2013 10:36 PM
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The following message was originally posted quite a few days ago, but was not originally passed by the Moderator. It has now been modified to reflect the concerns expressed by the Moderator and is here reposted. I regret the delay.
Greg Goodknight posted Apr 17, 2013 9:58 AM:
> On 04/16/2013 06:06 PM, GS Chandy wrote:
> > Daniel Sarkes posted Apr 12, 2013 8:48 AM:
> >> Hi, I am conducting an undergrad research project
> >> involving L'Hopital's rule and Excel. The idea is

> to
> >> use computation L'Hopital's rule works. I have
> >> attached the lab and the teacher's guide. I also

> have
> >> a pre and post test so I can make an attempt at
> >> getting some sort of quantifiable data from this
> >> project. If you can help me and run the lab let me
> >> know an I will email them.
> >>
> >> thanks you for your time Dan
> >>

> > I am not a math teacher so I shan't be able to get
> you any quantifiable data on your project (relating
> to how students respond to it). However, I have some
> thoughts that may be useful.

> > 1. It's "L'Hospital" not "L'Hopital" as you've
> consistently spelt [sic] it. Also, it should be
> "L'Hospital's" not "L'Hopitals" as you've put it
> somewhere.
> To be precise, it's "l'Hôpital's rule" using the
> appropriate alphabet
> but it's been consistently spelled as Dan spelled it
> on this side of the
> planet in my lifetime.

To be even more precise, Greg Goodknight, the name is French.

To be yet more precise, the French spell the name as "L'Hospital" - the "s", in French, being silent. (There is an accent above the "o", like this "ô" - but we generally leave that out in English because the effect of that accent is not known in English).

Whatever: that was the original spelling of the name. In full, the name is "Guillaume de L'Hospital". Lately, doubtless to cater to the perceived rather confused needs of English speakers from the USA, the spelling of the name has often been distorted to "L'Hopital".

I prefer to go with the original (and correct) spelling.

Here is a brief historical note about L'Hospital (and the way his name is 'spelt' [about "spelled" and "spelt", see note further below]):

"To give Guillaume de l'Hôspital's full name would take a whole paragraph so we give just a much shortened version: Guillaume-François-Antoine Marquis de l'Hôspital, Marquis de Sainte-Mesme, Comte d'Entremont and Seigneur d'Ouques-la-Chaise. The family had been a prominent one in France over many generations going back to around the 12th century.

"There are various spellings of the name Hôspital, the earlier versions being l'Hospital or Lhospital with l'Hôpital being a relatively modern form of the name. His father was Anne-Alexandre de l'Hôspital, a Lieutenant-general in the King's Army; he was Comte de Sainte-Mesme and Duc d'Orléans. Guillaume's mother was Elisabeth Gobelin, the daughter of Claude Gobelin who was an Intendant in the King's Army and a Councillor of State."

As noted, I prefer to stay with "L'Hospital" - as that was the way they originally used to spell it. You're welcome to go with the modern distortion "L'Hopital" if you must, but I reserve my right to point out what is correct.
>And please note, that's "spelled", not "spelt".

And please note the following:

US English does, I agree, nowadays usually modify the past participle of the verb "spell" as "spelled".

QUOTE (from 'The Grammarist', I believe):
In American English, spelt primarily refers to the hardy wheat grown mostly in Europe, and the verb spell makes spelled in the past tense and as a past participle. In all other main varieties of English, spelt and spelled both work as the past tense and past participle of spell, at least where spell means to form words letter by letter or (with out) to make clear. Outside the U.S., the two forms are interchangeable in these senses, and both are commonly used.

I am, I agree, writing in a Forum populated to a sizable extent by Greg Goodknight (who prefers "spelled"), but I still prefer to use "spelt" when I'm comfortable with it; though on occasion - depending on the context - I do feel more comfortable with "spelled". Specific instances and reasons can be provided, if desired - but it'll take a while to do it as I'm otherwise occupied. (If Greg Goodknight can give me any better rule than his didactic pronouncements [which are of little value in the real world], I may be willing to consider change).

I generally allow my instinct to guide me, as I have done in the case you brought to attention, and as I have done above.
> Perhaps, since you're obviously not an English
> teacher either, perhaps
> you should refrain from lecturing others on grammar
> and spelling.

How do YOU know I don't teach English?!!! (Where did you get that "obviously" from?!! Do tell).

Perhaps, Greg Goodknight, you might one day come to understand how not to make pronouncements on issues you know nothing about. (There are, I understand, many teaching shops in India, several of them offering helpful ruidance on precisely such matters. Just Google it, and I'm sure you'll find plenty of appropriate help for you. It will be of considerable benefit, in my opinion).

I also observe, Greg Goodknight, that you've not troubled to discuss any of the substantive issues that Daniel Sarkes had requested help on, namely, on the possibility of developing some aids to help students understand and apply L'Hospital's Rule. For some strange reason, you've been more interested in teaching me about "spelt" and "spelled" rather than responding to Daniel Sarkes. I note that Jerry Johnson has offered some substantive suggestions.

My view on this, as earlier stated, is that Daniel Sarkes is possibly onto rather a good thing (maybe even a very good thing), and I wish him well with it - notwithstanding your guru Professor Wayne Bishop's discouraging words about his efforts.

("Still Shoveling!")

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