I reviewed a book a few months ago that every single time the main character smelled something (which oddly, for any story, was a lot), he smelt it.
The first time I saw it, I chuckled…the 6th time I saw it, I knew this writer had no idea how to find and hire an editor.
The story was great; but I could not get past the smelt-situation. There were other spelling and sentence errors, but they seemed like nothing compared to this.
This, my friends, is why you should not trust your spell-checker 100%.
You can smell something (verb), or something can smell. You can never smelt something, because it is a fish, and I am not a veterinarian, but I believe the sense of smell in a fish has something to do with the gills, and amount of oxygen in the water. Honestly, I am not even sure if they can “smell” anything.
Just save yourself the hassle, and your readers the pain, and find a great editor. We really are nice people who only want to help 🙂
Technically you can smelt something (grin) but that’s all to do with melting down metal, I believe.
Funny business aside – YES, I hate when you come across repeated mistakes like that. Or just repeats in general. My pet peeve is when an author constantly uses the characters names. “Leroy grinned. Then Leroy stood up. Then Leroy said..” /twitches
Oh. My. Goodness. I would be done reading about Leroy 🙂
Believe me, I WAS. Thank goodness it was a short story.
Sorry, the smelt actually being a fish thing was not something I immediately caught. The smelt I think about is smelting metal. Always. Why the world is a fish named smelt??
I am sure that Smelt have been swimming around long before we were even here. And yes, I agree that “smelt” has to be one of the dumbest names for a fish…probably after carp.
I’m afraid I beg to differ here. It’s like learned/learnt or spelled/spelt. Somewhere there is a rule that probably says the later two (and smelt) are officially wrong, but colloquially they are fine. In fact Collins even have smelt as the past tense of smell. http://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/smelt
I am a real sticker for good grammar, but in this case I would say the book may not be smelling of roses…but I don’t think it’s a complete stinker either.
Thanks for sharing Gpeynon! I had no idea! And it still hurts my eyes to see someone write smelt instead of smelled. Smelt is a fish, there are no-two-ways around it 🙂
Yeah, I think it’s definitely a case of personal taste. I don’t mind, but this would drive my dad insane.
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