Retired English Teacher
Botanic vs botanical?
I believe there’s no difference.
One more pair for you: ironic; ironical.
Ok, how about adjectives that have the same meaning like geographic VS geographical (electric shock vs electrical shock)? is the difference about WHERE in the sentence the word is used? or does it have to do with the phrases they appear in?
I'm convinced the the diachronic track should be followed : function changes (adverbs--> adj) entailing meaning changes . I'm afraid the synchronic analysis might be limited to the building of a mere corpus of pairs and respective places in the sentences.However, I guess the relevant idea of the place in the sentence might be clue .. functions and places are closely related
Google, for all its limitations, confirms this:The Columbia Guide to Standard American English. 1993.
publicly, publically (advs.)
Publicly is the usual spelling; publically does occur, but rarely in Edited English.
In another thread someone - it may have been Bianca ? - quoted David Crystal about final Es. It seems to me quite possible that typesetters had a similarly cavalier attitude to -ic/-ical - they just stuck in an extra syllable if they wanted to pad out a line of type. And this applied not only to -ic/ical; physic (an archaic word referring to various aspects of medicine, which unlike 'public' has only the -ical form in current English) was sometimes spelt with -ic, sometimes -ick, and sometimes -icke.Results 1 - 10 of about 2,550,000 for publically. (0.31 seconds)
Did you mean: publicly
Results 1 - 10 of about 81,700,000 for publicly
(I didn't join this thread earlier, since the issue has been discussed before and I didn't feel I had much to add. For the language learner, the situation is unavoidably unclear: there are four possibilities - a pair with the same meaning, a pair with distinct meanings, a 'pair' with only an -ic form, and a 'pair' with only an -ical form. There is no way of predicting which ones were 'chosen' by usage. And sometimes, even when there is a distinction, a quotation uses the 'wrong' form - simply because at the time of the quotation there was no such distinction.)
Last edited by BobK; 19-Jun-2007 at 18:00.
I was responding to a post in another Forum just the other day using "electric" and "electrical" as an example:
An electric car (Not *electrical car)
Electrical engineering (Not *electric engineering)
An electric current (Not *electrical current)
An electric shock (Not *electrical shock)
Electrical equipment (Not *electric equipment)
Electrical components (Not *electric components)