Monday, 17 June 2013

Swop Box Needs Swapping?


My local library has a Swop Box for magazines. Ideally, they want you to bring a magazine to leave for others, and you can take one to read. It’s a great idea for having a quick look at magazines you might not normally buy, and if you come across a magazine that could be a potential market, if the issue is a little out of date (which some of them can be) at least you know it’s worth lashing out and buying the latest copy in the newsagents for proper market analysis purposes. It’s worth spending ten to fifteen minutes going through the box analysing them all for their potential as markets. Have you checked your local library to see if they have such a box? If not, why not suggest it?

But have you noticed the spelling? Swop, as opposed to swap? I was sorely tempted to ask the library if they had a dictionary so that they could check the spelling, but I didn’t … and I’m glad I didn’t! I would never spell swap with an O, but when I got home I opened my trusty Oxford English dictionary and searched for ‘swop’ … and found it. According to the OED ‘swop’ is an accepted variant of ‘swap’. Whilst it identified that ‘swap’ is the traditional version that most people would use, it confirmed that ‘swop’ is an acceptable spelling and not, as I first thought, an incorrect spelling.

Which just goes to illustrate the point that sometimes things are not wrong when we think they are … just different. So, the next time you come across a word that you’re convinced is incorrectly spelt, why not get out the dictionary, just to double check?

Good luck!

10 comments:

  1. I think the 'swop' (swap) box is a good idea and do you know I have only just found out, after many years in this world - many of them teaching English, that exaggerate has a double g. I was so convinced it was wrong when I saw it that I had to look it up. I have been spelling it with one g all my life and I'm not exaggerating!

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    1. Brilliant! I'm so glad it's not just me then, Wendy!

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  2. "All season tickets to be shewn" read the sign on the bus I took to school (longer ago than I care to admit.) This was the only place I ever saw it even then and today I see "shew" is listed as an old-fashioned variant of show by the OED. Grandad or granddad is another example I came across more recently. Our language is constantly changing.
    I think the swap box is a great idea. I often check charity shops, too, as a few accept magazines to sell and I have come across some unusual titles that way.
    Ann

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    1. "Shewn" - that's a new one on me, Ann! Just 'shews' ya, doesn't it?

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  3. My latest delve into the charity shop magazine swap/swop box revealed a mag called 'cards' which, although only a couple of years old, was still massively out of date in its content.
    Its main headline proclaimed, 'Sir Jimmy Saville, National Treasure!'
    What a difference a couple of years makes.

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    1. Yes, it's surprising how quickly attitudes change, isn't it?

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  4. Well the BBC opted for 'Swap' back in 1976 when Noel Edmunds presented the 'Multi-Coloured Swap Shop.'
    Naturally I would like to make it clear that I had to research on Google - those sort of facts do not live in my memory!

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    1. I had to check whether it was Swap Shop or Swop Shop online!

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  5. What a great idea to have a magazine Swap Box. I've never seen one in any of our local libraries but will suggest it next time I'm in.

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  6. Great idea - agree. As for the spellings - reminds me of my mistake in thinking 'till' wasn't an acceptable variant of 'until' ... As for 'shewn' ... well, had I not read it here, I'd never have knewn ...

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