TITLE: Learning by Dint of Experience
AUTHOR: Eugene Wallingford
DATE: September 27, 2005 7:29 PM
DESC: I learned something about an American idiom this evening. Lots of people helped.
While writing my
I encountered one of those strange cognitive moments.
I was in the process of writing the trite phrase
"through sheer dint of repetition" when I had a sudden
urge to use dent in place of 'dint' -- even
though I know deep inside that dint is correct.
What to do? I used what for many folks is now the
standard Spell Checker for Tough Cases: Google.
dent of repetition
found 4 matches; googling
dint of repetition
found 470. This is certainly not conclusive evidence;
maybe everyone else is as clueless as I. But it was
enough evidence to help me go with my instinct in the
face of a temporary brain cramp.
Of course, our growing experience with the World Wide Web
and other forms of collaborative technologies is that the
group is often smarter than the individual. The
wisdom of crowds
and all that. It's probably no accident that I link
"wisdom of crowds" to Amazon.com, either.
To further confirm my decision to stick with 'dint', I
spent some time at
where I learned that 'dint' and 'dent' share a common
etymology. It's funny what I can learn when I sit down