place it on the mantel, pass on the mantle

One of the things I like about Mignon Fogarty, the Grammar Girl, is that she admits when she makes a mistake. In fact, she sometimes writes a whole article about it.

That’s what she did when she when she wrote “mantle” when she meant to write “mantel.” She wrote a piece about how to remember when to use which spelling.

GrammarGirlShe writes that a “mantle” is what a king wears or what you pass on when continuing a dynasty. A “mantel” is what is above the fireplace. I have to admit that if I knew that there were two different spellings I had forgotten that a long time ago. We had a mantel in our house in Gilroy. I am likely to have written about it using the wrong spelling.

Mignon says that the two words have the same root, but according to the American Heritage Dictionary the roots are different.

As for that mnemonic device, it’s kind of silly. I’ll let you read the article if you’re interested. Besides, it’s worth your time to visit the Grammar Girl site.

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