TWTS: Do you scream for ice cream or "iced" cream? | Michigan Radio
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TWTS: Do you scream for ice cream or "iced" cream?

Jan 19, 2020

This week, That's What They Say is taking some inspiration from the Simpsons. Specifically, we were amused by a clip in which Mr. Burns tells Smithers how much he's enjoying "so-called iced cream."

Unless you're the same age as Springfield's oldest resident, you're probably more likely to enjoy "ice cream" over "iced cream."

Frankly, we're happy to eat it no matter what you call it. Especially if it's mint chocolate chip.


The transition of "iced cream" to "ice cream" happened over time, and now dictionaries recognize the latter as the accepted form. 

There are plenty of other compounds that have lost a participial adjective, i.e., an adjective with an "ed" that comes before a noun. When was the last time you drank "skimmed" milk? Or put "creamed" cheese on your bagel? Or "whipped" cream on your pie?

The reason many of us have dropped the "ed" in these compounds probably has to do with pronunciation.

When we drop the "ed," it's easier to pronounce the consonant at the beginning of the second word.

For example, what do you call the cold tea that many of us like to drink in the summer? You probably say "ice tea." It's just easier to say it that way than annunciate the "ed" ending before "tea."

You may still use the "ed" for some of these compounds, and that's okay. Many are in transition though, and new forms will eventually take over. Who knows, before long we could be eating "cream" corn instead of "creamed" corn.

While we're on the subject, does anyone actually like creamed corn? We'll have some of that so-called "iced cream" instead.