also guys i think it’s time to start spelling ‘small’ right again,, it’s been long enough
see the thing is, at this point, smol isn’t even a “mispelling” of small anymore; it has its own connotations. while small is a regular adjective, smol acts more like a diminutive marker, which English has been lacking
in essence, a smol dog will always be a small dog, but not all small dogs are smol.
what the fuck are you talking about
Linguistic evolution. Accept the smolness into your vocabulary and be cleansed.
@nentindo, assuming you’re asking in good faith & not just trying to dismiss a perfectly accurate analysis, here’s an elaboration of what @princeofdoomrps said:
small and smol mean different things, so they’re different words. smol means something like “small in a cute way” & not just like both small and cute but the two are related. This is what makes smol more like a diminutive marker (c.f. -tje in Dutch, or -let/-ling/-ie [like in kidlet/kidling/kiddie] in some forms of English*)
1. not all small things are smol. Microbes and electrons? Generally not considered smol.
2. similar-sized things in the same category can be smol or not depending on cuteness. So, a tiny cottage may be a smol house, but an equally tiny tenement room that is an awful place to live? Not smol.
3. smol can refer to youth (e.g. the people I call my “smol frens” are mostly taller than I am but much younger)
4. It also can have implications of fondness/emotional attachment, especially, from what I’ve seen, in fandoms where people call characters things like “my smol son”, which doesn’t have to mean someone who’s actually young, short, or cute at all. Like, IDK if anyone uses that to refer to Hannibal but I wouldn’t be surprised?
So! There are contexts where you could call something/someone small but not smol, and contexts where you could call something/someone smol but not small. This is the textbook definition of “different words”. They are no longer the same word and op, you are very welcome to only use one of them! Anyone is!
Just be aware that pretty much every part of your vocabulary, someone at some point has decried as “wrong” usage and complained about people mangling the language this way, and when you do this thing you’re carrying on a long tradition of pompous silliness.
English isn’t completely lacking in diminutive markers just kinda deficient.
And some of those markers have become derisive or dismissive in usage, which i hope never happens to my smol word-child, smol.
[edited for clarity]