Lens? Lense?

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by happypoo, Sep 15, 2005.

  1. Why do some people say "lense" instead of "lens"?
  2. Happy, I have the same questions. It should be "Lensa", right ?
  3. English as she am writ.
  4. Historically the correct spelling is 'lens', however, the misspelling 'lense' has become so prevalent that even the OED now includes it as a legitimate alternative.
  5. The OED tracks usage, so if there are enough instances of "lense", the OED will list it. That's not the same as being "legitimate". Not sure what that means anyway. Standardized spellings came in with Johnson's dictionary, but there's never been a law about how things should be spelt.
    I prefer "lens" because I grew up with it.
  6. Standardised spelling came in with Johnson"s dictionary? Is that the same Dr Samuel Johnson who, on being challenged about spelling a word differently in two places on the same page replied: "'tis a poor man who can only spell a word one way."?

    Mind you, it's such a useful quote that Andrew Jackson later recycled it as "It's a damn poor mind that can only think of one way to spell a word."
  7. Since language is a living, evolving thing, 'legitimate' means something like having become correct (or at least not clearly incorrect) by virtue of common usage. Language develops through use, not prescription, but, nonetheless, at any time there are commonly accepted correct and incorrect spellings and grammatical forms. At one time 'lense' would clearly have been wrong. Now it's not. Irritating, maybe, but not necessarily wrong.
  8. Steve - agree with much of what you say but I prefer to think of it as "not right" - splitting hairs perhaps. Language will always evolve but some of the evolution should be resisted, strongly at times.
  9. Absolutely. How long have you got? Let me tell you about a few of my pet hates.......
  10. Dens, fens, hens, lens, pens, tens, vens. One of the most misspelled words is "definately" (definitely), and there are many others, like "seperate" (separate), but inspite of much popular usage, they are NEVER correct, irregardless 2 menshun.
  11. And the most prevalent one of all, people using "loose" instead of "lose"!
  12. It's really supposed to be "lanz", right? ;)
  13. My personal favorite spelling peeve is when someone writes " could of " in place of " could've ", short for " could have ".
  14. .

    When COMPUTER editing, we often make typos and also cut and paste without realigning singular and plural, or we change one end of a sentence and forget to change the other. "lenses" re-edited to be non plural by simply removing the "s" becomes "lense", oops, we forgot to also remove the final "e", and should have made it "lens". If we edit our posts off line in a proper spell/grammer checker, we'd catch such gaffs. I see them all the time in the newspapers and magazines and write them off as computer editing sloppiness, not an alternative spilling, er, spelling! ;-)


    Love and hugs,

    Pete Blaise peterblaise@yahoo.com http://www.peterblaisephotography.com/
  15. Dawson up there has the right thought. If you read the beginning of most dictionaries, it explains that the usage of words changes depending on there use in reputable writings. And that this is a continueing and frequent use of the word in that meaning. Thru out the dictionary, good ones anyhow, they constantly add "Usage Notes" to the definition sections for each word. Also, dictionaries list the definitions (ie numerous definitions for the same word) in their chronological order. In otherwords, the first use of the word is always the first definition as the word was used.....the last is the last accepted definition.

    In my 1992 copy of The American Heritage dictionary, it does not even recognized the word "lense"........lenses, yes, the plural of lens....my copy of Word 2003 does not recognize lense either, it defaults to lens............Word Reference on the web does however recognize lense as a seperate word from lens...........Princeton.edu also recognizes lense as a seperate word from lens.....

    Sounds like it's a word in transition. Probably might show up in Webster's latest...........and I'd look it up, if my company hadn't stopped buying dictionaries and relied on Word spell check as of late.
  16. hmmmm.....that's interesting...........found a 1975 release of Webster's...............although they don't list lense seperately, the have it listed as "lens, also lense..."

    I believe that means that it is an accepted variant.
  17. "the usage of words changes depending on there use in reputable writings."

    Shurely shum mishtake? 'there' is a demonstrative adverb denoting a location. You probably mean 'their' which is the collective pronoun.

    Isn't it fun being picky?
  18. heh...demnostrative adverb?! wazzat?
  19. This whole discussion puts me in mind of the controversy surrounding the issue of the third edition of Webster's New International Dictionary back in the 60's. It was the first major dictionary to change from "prescriptive" to "descriptive" definitions, which bothered many people. Does it keep the language growing, or just perpetuate common errors? Do you look in the dictionary for information or affirmation? People usually look in the dictionary to find out the best way to spell something, or what a word best means; to include a word seems a good idea, but not to tell people when it's a poor choice seems a disservice.

    I had never seen the variant word "lense" until I started reading Photonet. I wonder why people spell it that way, and how it got started. It doesn't make much sense, even in the limited way that English makes sense, because it implies a pronunciation like "sense" or "dense." Of course, with "lens" as the singular, the plural "lenses" also leads to an anomalous pronunciation.

    The more you think about it the more you realize what a jumble English is.
  20. Steve- probably as long as you have if I were to list some of mine. I wonder if they will be different to or from yours !
  21. Cool! There are some linguists among us!

    Makes it more interesting to read as I surveil these pages.....

    surveill? surveille? survale?

    Don't you just love it when a word comes into common usage tracing its etymology all the way back to Fox Mulder, and then is considered legitimate because it got listed in the "Internet Dictionary"?

  22. until Webster decided to standardize the spelling of words, there was no 'correct' spelling for any given word. it is all relative anyway, so long as the idea is communicated,,, the ultimate purpose of language.

    sometimes I write lense instead of lens because my fingers are really gittery on the keyboard when typing. and many words are habit.. like lenses. so sometimes the e slips in.

    that is only me though.
  23. It really depends on why the person who wrote "lense" chose to spell it that way. It may be acceptable as a variant spelling if the person actually knew that it could be a variant, but it's wrong if the person spelled it that way out of ignorance. Instances of the latter case probably far outnumber those of the former. Don't loose your lens unless it's tied up and wants to be let go.
  24. "there was no 'correct' spelling for any given word. it is all relative anyway, so long as the idea is communicated,,, the ultimate purpose of language"

    And wasn't that how Ebonics got started?
  25. For those who find the evolution of the English language fascinating as I do, perhaps there are still video tapes of Robin McNeal's "The Story of English" which was aired on PBS about ten years ago. In addition there is currently a similar series produced in the UK on the History Channel.

    Q. How should you pronounce words that contain the sequence of letters "ough"?
  26. When I was a freshman in college, on the very first day of my English composition class, before she uttered the first word to the class, the professor wrote the following on the board: "If, in any of your written work for this class or on any of the exams, you use the non-word 'alot' you will immediately be given a grade of 'F' for the semester. I am not kidding; trust me on this one."

    To this day it drives me nuts. Every time a see "alot" written, I have to fight of the urge to scream, "Alot is not a #@%&ing word." Arrgggghh!!
  27. Ah Jeffrey. I am right there with you. It drives me crazy when people write "alot." Perhaps
    the confusion is rooted in the word "allot" (as in "you can allot a lot of money"). In the end,
    language is dynamic and words and their meanings change over time. Sooner or later you
    and I will have to get used to the idea that "alot" is acceptable. For some reason, I always
    thought that "lense" was simply British and "lens" American (sort of like "tyre" and "tire." I
    must admit that I never looked it up.
  28. vdp


    How about Lenz, or better yet Lentz?
  29. Gup

    Gup Gup

    Byron, are you sure your fingers don't get 'jittery'?

    Last night I spotted 3 deer on the way home.
    I celebrated with 3 beers.

  30. Results 1 - 100 of about 2,630,000 for lense.

    Results 1 - 100 of about 49,000,000 for lens.
  31. Main Entry: lens
    Variant(s): also lense /'lenz/
    Function: noun
    Etymology: New Latin lent-, lens, from Latin, lentil; from its shape 1 a : a piece of transparent material (as glass) that has two opposite regular surfaces either both curved or one curved and the other plane and that is used either singly or combined in an optical instrument for forming an image by focusing rays of light b : a combination of two or more simple lenses c : a piece of glass or plastic used (as in safety goggles or sunglasses) to protect the eye
    2 : a device for directing or focusing radiation other than light (as sound waves, radio microwaves, or electrons)
    3 : something shaped like a biconvex optical lens 4 : a highly transparent biconvex lens-shaped or nearly spherical body in the eye that focuses light rays (as upon the retina) -- see EYE illustration
    5 : something that facilitates and influences perception, comprehension, or evaluation
    - lensed /'lenzd/ adjective
    - lens?less /'lenz-l&s/ adjective
  32. I like the German word for it: Objektiv.
  33. I like the German word for it: Objektiv. But of course, you could spell that with an "e" as
    well (let alone replace the "k" with "c" to "anglofy" it. What are we gonna do?
  34. Oh look - me got double post. Must be the Rum.
  35. Just reading an article in the Daily Bellylaugh which probably explains a lot about this and the UK. Most students studying English up to A Level standard have been "taught" not to worry about the spelling, it is the meaning that counts. Now however there is considerable concern amongst the examiners that the standard of spelling has sunk to new depths and they feel that "they couda done better".

    The educationalists have a lot to answer for ( non-competitive sport is my favourite rant ) !!
  36. "Lens" = singular<br>Lense(s) =plural
  37. No.

    Lens = singular.

    Lenses = plural.

    The way you put it, Ed, it seems that one could use lense or lenses as a plural, which is
  38. Hi Bill:

    It's not just the UK; my daughters got that same "don't try to spell" qrappe when they were in elementary school. It really bothered my older daugher, as she already knew how to spell many words correctly and her teacher seemed to insist that she misspell to free herself from this burden......

    Even later, a teacher marked points off on one of her papers for a reference to a Mourning Dove, which the teacher insisted should be spelled "Morning". Yes, this was an ENGLISH teacher (I guess at least we should be glad it wasn't a Biology teacher....)

    Uv corse, sints the langwidge iz contunurilly evaulving enniwhey, aye gess theyrze noe reel sutch thinge azze "cerreckt" speling enihowwe, sow wye werrie ubbowt itt..... yew kin unnerstant hwut ime ritin, caintcha?

  39. So, how about the plural for roof: rooves, or roofs? I always used to think it was rooves, like leaves is the plural of leaf (or is that actually leafs?), but google assures me it is roofs... uh, I dunno - whatever!

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