Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Grumble Pie

I think I need to make an apology.

You may recall that last April, I poked a little fun at a flyer announcing the arrival of a "distinguised" speaker at my university.

I received a similar flyer today (pictured at left), and believe it or not, the spelling was again "distinguised" rather than "distinguished." After haughtily snorting in disgust, I decided to give the political science folks a bit of credit.

Some rudimentary Googling later, it appears I was too hasty in my self-righteous snickering.

Sure, all the dictionaries I rely on list only "distinguished" as a real word, and Yahoo is like, "Dude, we're pretty sure you actually meant 'distinguished'," but a look at the search results shows other academic institutions (some of them pretty distinguished themselves) use the term too. And seriously - can 100,000 Google hits all be wrong?!*

I'm not fully convinced it's a real and interchangeable alternative, but hey, if the British can get away with spelling things souper crazy, then why not let a missing "h" slide in our hallowed halls of academia?**

So if you need me, I'll be here in the corner wearing a pretty distinguised-looking dunce cap.

*Answer: Goodness gracious yes.
**Answer: Because pretty soon computer geeks will think it's perfectly OK when they spell absolutely everything wrong.

1 comment:

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