i’m also a word and language geek. one could say a novice linguist, but that would suggest way to much attention and study. i love homonyms and word games; double entendres and mondegreens; malapropisms and eggcorns. my interest in words is purely for entertainment. the fact that i write a lot is simply happy synergy of this interest with my day job.
however, i’m stuck at the moment in a quandary that is entertaining for me.
if i am the partner that is responsible for and a technical contributor to our MySQL practice will i be the principal (as i was taught over-simplistically in elementary school – the principal is your pal. it’s a noun.) or the principle (a law or precept -again simplistic).
i don’t tend to think of myself as a law unto myself or the primary source, so spelling it principle doesn’t seem right. and the definition of principal of most important, consequential, or influential is closer. but, i’ve gotten feedback from clients that each is wrong. i can’t have it both ways or in this case, neither way.
i’m stumped. i assume there is a right answer, but i’m going to have to defer to greater minds.
mirriam webster says —
Although nearly every handbook and many dictionaries warn against confusing principle and principal, many people still do. Principle is only a noun; principal is both adjective and noun. If you are unsure which noun you want, read the definitions in this dictionary.
yeah, that didn’t really help, but thanks!
is there a definitive answer?