The Written Wyrd

March 24, 2010

Of late, I’ve seen some works where the authors thought it was oh-so cool to change the spelling of words in order to attract attention. At first I thought the authors were abysmal spellers, but I noticed that the misspellings were done on purpose for effect.

For instance, Magic became Magick, Classic became Clasick [that took me a while to figure out, dense soul that I am], Quest became Kwest. Bleh. When I used to teach school, I saw the most bizarre spelling of kids’ names: Ahn/Ann, Ghrase/Grace, Lihn/Lynn, Jenipher/Jennifer, Khristi/Kristi, etc. And I’m not talking about these being cultural changes, but your typical WAS [white, Anglo Saxon]. These poor kids were doomed to a lifetime of mispronunciation and misspelling all because mummy wanted to spruce up a “clasick” name.

The same goes for punctuation. I’ve seen authors eschewing quote marks to denote dialog. I’ve been told it’s because they write experimentally. The only thing experimental is the lack of quotation marks because it certainly isn’t in the writing.

WTF peeps? Spelling and punctuation are there to make life easy for the poor slob reading your work. Do you think it’s really in your best interest to make it harder with cutesy spelling? Being clever – Magic/Magick doesn’t turn a rotten banana into a banana cream pie. All it means, to me at least, is that you’re trying to deflect the real issue – and that’s your writing.

“Kutesie” doen’t equal “Phabulous.” Stick to the standard spelling, and let your writing stand on its own.


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