Friday, February 26, 2010

Goodbye or goodby? from anonymous

I have been wondering for a while which is correct 'goodbye' or 'goodby'. I always thought it was the first until I read 'The Catcher in the Rye' and now I'm unsure. Please help me?

from Anonymous

Dear friend Anonymous,

I'm with you - I always thought it had to be "goodbye" or "good-bye". I can't remember seeing "goodby" before, but a bit of spying and snooping has led me to discover that in some dictionaries it's listed as an "alternative spelling" which just means that some people use it. Perhaps J.D. Salinger, the writer of "The Catcher in the Rye" was one of those people!

The word itself is pretty old, going back at least 500 years. It's a short way of saying "God be with ye", which is a nice friendly way to say, um, goodbye.

Did you enjoy "The Catcher in the Rye"?

your pal,

The Word Spy

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