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Re: USAGE: YAEUT: "Molten" vs. "Melted"

From:Eugene Oh <un.doing@...>
Date:Monday, October 13, 2008, 20:27
I would agree with Mark. It is of my observation that molten things tend to
be of extremely high temperatures, whether melted things can be seen in
liquid form at normal temperatures livable to a human. Using the examples
already provided, compare "melted snow" (one does not say "molten snow")
with molten iron.
Perhaps an explanation is that "molten" was used commonly for substances
like iron, but not those like snow because snowmelt is simply water; some
time later, after the link between melt and molten had disappeared, people
found a need to describe water as being melted snow rather than spring
water, say, and back-formed the participle. That has happened before, IIRC.


On Mon, Oct 13, 2008 at 8:17 PM, Gary Shannon <fiziwig@...> wrote:

> --- On Mon, 10/13/08, Eldin Raigmore <eldin_raigmore@...> wrote: > > > In English the verb "melt" has two passive perfect > > participles; to wit, "molten" > > and "melted". > > When is it more appropriate to use "molten" than > > "melted", and when is it more > > appropriate to use "melted" than > > "molten"? > > Are there any circumstances in which only one is > > appropriate? If so, what > > circumstances, and which one is appropriate? > > In my experience, "melted" is used for things which are seen in their > melted state under conditions an average person might easily create or > observe, such as melted ice, melted cheese, melted plastic, melted butter, > ... > > Things which require extraordinary conditions, not normally encountered in > daily life, in order to melt would use "molten", such as molten lead, molten > lava, molten steel, molten glass. > > --gary >


Matthew Turnbull <ave.jor@...>
Peter Collier <petecollier@...>