Tag Archives: Spelling counts!

My principle on principal.

In my free time, I go to library school.  Since I have a full-time job, this means that my evenings and weekends (and whatever paltry social life these might have included before) are generally consumed with doing schoolwork.  But I’m not complaining.  I all-too-frequently find myself shirking responsibility with various distractions — the array of the internet (my new blog, for instance), and (of late, most popularly) sleeping.

However, I find that my patience for lectures, and schoolwork in general, is increasingly diminished by the presence of grammatical or spelling errors in professors’ lectures, or other class materials.

For example.  In one of my classes this quarter, we have been discussing the foundational principles of cataloging.  One of these principles is the Principle of Principal Responsibility.  In the lecture materials, this has been alternately referred to as:  the principal of principal responsibility, the principal of principle responsibility, and the principle of principal responsibility.

Really.

In the interest of venting my intolerance in a medium more appropriate than class discussion, a primer:

principal: 1) noun, person who has controlling authority or is in a leading position; 2) adjective, most important, consequential, or influential

principle: 1) noun, a comprehensive and fundamental law, doctrine, or assumption

Definitions from http://www.merriam-webster.com

In other words, principal, which can be either a noun or an adjective, and thus modifies responsibility, indicating chief responsibility; and principle, referring to a fundamental assumption, in this context a fundamental assumption of cataloging related to chief responsibility.