Saturday, June 27, 2009

Memento or Momento?

Hmmmmm, did anybody think twice about my spelling of memento yesterday? Normally I wouldn't give this a post of its own, but I have a little history with this word!

While typing up my post the spell checker corrected my spelling of momento and wanted to change it to memento. So, I brought out the Merriam-Webster.

me-men-to: something that serves to warn or remind; also: souvenir

momento- not in my dictionary at all.

I looked online and found that the words can be used interchangeably, but memento is actually the correct spelling.

While in Europe we saw so many paintings that had skulls. In churches, paintings of ministers with these awful skeleton heads, usually setting on a table with the minister's hand on it. We also saw a lot of carved skulls. We saw it again and again and I had to find out what the meaning of those skulls were.

This is what I found:
Memento Mori- Remember you are a man and you shall die. It was a reminder, especially for the religious, that death would come, no matter how important they were on earth.

So, memento=reminder

I hope you found that interesting:) I wouldn't have posted this but it is Saturday.


  1. You can post whatever you like, it's your blog, lol. I would have spelt it like you too, I've never come across the other one.

  2. I found it very interesting. I love words, their origins, oddities, etc.

  3. One night when I was working as a copy editor for a newspaper, one editor grumbled about a misspelling on a proof. Another editor said, "I edited that story. There are no misspellings in it."
    "Memento is spelled wrong."
    "No it isn't. I looked it up in the dictionary."
    "What did it say for the definition?"
    The editor opened the dictionary and read, "Momento: Common misspelling of memento."
    We all had to look. Whoever heard of a misspelled word being in the dictionary?

  4. Well I'll be darned. I would have spelled it wrong for sure.

  5. I believe "momento" means moment in Italian as in uno momento, one moment. Just my bit of trivia. I love your quilts, and your 4th of July decor in the later post.

  6. Is it one of those American versus English spelling mysteries? Aluminum or Aluminium type of things?

    Memento sounds like it has something about memory of a moment, momento sounds like, well, memory of the moment.

    Ah well. A visit to the library which has all versions of dictionaries is due.

  7. Suena bien, me gusta leer tu blog, acaba de agregar a mis favoritos;)

  8. csharpe1110@me.comApril 12, 2011 at 3:39 AM

    This helped me write a caption to my story in a local newspaper. I, too, was surprised that spellchecker hung onto this. I am always warning my writing students about getting decked by spellcheckers. Now I've been checked by a spellchecker and a quilter. Thanks.

  9. I just did the same thing...googling memento vs momento because I was auto-corrected and your blog answered my thank you!

  10. "Momento" is a Spanish word meaning "moment" (e.g., "Un momento, por favor.").


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