Tyre

Discuss word origins and meanings.
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Tyre

Post by Bobinwales » Mon Sep 01, 2014 12:01 am

I have had a bit of an argument about the word 'tyre'.

The Oxford on-line tells me that the rubber thing that goes around a wheel is a tyre, with 'tire' as the US spelling.

My protagonist insists that 'tyre' was the original spelling, that it changed to 'tire' and then back to 'tyre' about a hundred or so years later. Interestingly, he also claims that 'tire' is still the correct spelling of a metal thing that goes around a wheel.

My paper dictionaries are not very full and cannot help. Is there anything in your libraries, fellow Wizards, which would settle the argument and tell us which of us is correct please?
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Re: Tyre

Post by Wizard of Oz » Mon Sep 01, 2014 7:33 am

.. Bob without reinventing the wheel I found this answer on Yahoo >>
Tire or tyre?
Depends on where you are
Americans write “tire,” while the British prefer “tyre.” Is one more correct than the
other?
Etymologists have suggested two possible derivations of the word “tire/tyre.”
One comes from the original function of the tire as the metal hoop or band of iron
that “tied” or bound the wheel together. In this usage, referring to wagon wheels
and the like, tire has consistently been spelled with an “i” on both sides of the
Atlantic.
The other possible origin of the word and the one which has the greater
etymological support is the word “attire,” from which the short first syllable was
dropped over time.
In this sense, the tire is the attire or dressing of the wheel. As etymologist Webb
Garrison explained in his book, “What’s in a Word?”
“For centuries, any type of dress or equipment was commonly known
as attire. Careless pronunciation clipped off the first syllable so that it
became customary to speak of both useful and ornamental coverings as
’tire. This name applied to a multitude of objects from a woman’s frock
to the curved iron plates used to ‘dress up’ wheels of carts and wagons.”
Two of the most authoritative dictionaries of the English language, “Webster’s
Third New International” in the United States and “The Oxford English Dictionary”
in Britain, agree with Garrison.
The Oxford dictionary, the British standard, says tyre is a variant spelling of tire
(implying that tire is the more etymologically correct spelling). Regarding the
spelling, the dictionary’s entry under “Tire” says:
“From 15th to 17th c. spelt tire and tyre indifferently. Before 1700 tyre
became generally obsolete, and tire remained the regular form, as it still does
in America; but in Great Britain tyre has been revived as the popular term for
the rubber rim of bicycle, tricycle, carriage, or motor car wheels, and is
sometimes used for the steel tires of locomotive wheels.”
In 1956, Philip Schidrowitz, writing in the “European Rubber Journal,” argued for
the British spelling of tyre, by pointing out that the official spelling in the various
classified publications of the British patent office has consistently been with a “y.”
Nevertheless, he also noted that the patent for the first pneumatic tire, that of
R.W. Thomson in 1845, used the spelling “tire.” However, Schidrowitz
contended that Thomson used the word as applying only to the rim of the wheel,
referring to his own invention as an “elastic belt” or “elastic bearing.”
The British evidently resurrected the archaic spelling −tyre− to distinguish
between the modern pneumatic tire, made of rubber, and its iron predecessor,
used on wagon wheels.
.. seems from this that the metal tire is still considered to be the correct spelling ..

WoZ the ouroboros
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Re: Tyre

Post by Erik_Kowal » Mon Sep 01, 2014 8:40 am

I hope no circular tirade revolving around Bob and his friend will result from your findings, WoZ... (I mean, ..)
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Re: Tyre

Post by Bobinwales » Mon Sep 01, 2014 8:53 pm

Thank you WoZ. I particularly like the quote,
The British evidently resurrected the archaic spelling −tyre− to distinguish
between the modern pneumatic tire, made of rubber, and its iron predecessor,
used on wagon wheels.
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Bob in Wales

Re: Tyre

Post by Wizard of Oz » Wed Sep 03, 2014 5:33 am

.. Erik I can just see them at the pub, all pumped up and fit to blow a valve while simply going round in circles till one of them gets a bit flat and decides to inflate the debate by increasing the pressure .. end result ?? .. pints all round !!

WoZ with a puncture
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Re: Tyre

Post by Erik_Kowal » Wed Sep 03, 2014 5:35 am

Now, that's the kind of inflation everybody's in favour of...
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Re: Tyre

Post by Bobinwales » Wed Sep 03, 2014 6:04 pm

Pub? Moi?
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Re: Tyre

Post by Phil White » Sun Sep 07, 2014 10:34 am

I always thought it was spelled "Tyre" when seen from Sidon.
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Non sum felix lepus

Re: Tyre

Post by Edwin F Ashworth » Sun Sep 07, 2014 11:14 am

Wizard of Oz wrote: Tire or tyre?
Depends on where you are
Americans write “tire,” while the British prefer “tyre.” Is one more correct than the
other?
Wikipedia has:

The etymological fallacy is a genetic fallacy that holds, erroneously, that the present-day meaning of a word or phrase should necessarily be similar to its historical meaning. This is a linguistic misconception, and is sometimes used as a basis for linguistic prescription. An argument constitutes an etymological fallacy if it makes a claim about the present meaning of a word based exclusively on its etymology. This does not, however, show that etymology is irrelevant in any way, nor does it attempt to prove such.

A variant of the etymological fallacy involves looking for the "true" meaning of words by delving into their etymologies, or claiming that a word should be used in a particular way because it has a particular etymology.


Wouldn't this at least suggest that the belief that 'the present-day spelling of a word or phrase should necessarily be identical to its [earliest traceable] historical spelling' constitutes a similar fallacy?
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