Blog Spelling: A Question of Grammar, Spelling, and the Tyranny of Convention

Why is it that Blogger is spelled with two “g’s”, but Blogosphere is spelled with only one? Though I am a writer, grammar and spelling have always been my weak points (thank you open-office). I’ve always felt more like an orator who writes down his oratory, than a quiet writer who thinks more in the written word than the spoken word. [You know the type, they learned all of their vocabulary through reading, rather than listening, and as such, they mispronounce words all the time (the spoken version of a mispelling).]

Blogging (two g’s) may be a good fit for a guy like me. But, if I’ve got problems with the spellings of old words, then the new ones are all out alien.

Grammar is a distinctly relative affair as it is. Shakespeare made up all his own spelling, grammar, and even a large number of the words themselves. (He was hooked on “Phonics”, I guess.) Unlike the rules of Mathematics, there are little in the way of objective, provable reasons for most grammatical rules, which is likely why they keep changing. Like how often are you supposed to use comma’s … ellipses … why did we decide that a possessive apostrophe goes on the outside rather than the inside on some words, but goes on the inside on others? Is the distinction all that important to a readers understanding? Or is context fine? Context is clearly fine in other cases.

We differentiate the spelling of words like write and right when we’re writing, but is it important? We don’t do that when we’re talking. And I don’t often confuse them in speech. Do you?

English writers are constantly berated if they engage in the elementary mistake of the “run on sentence”, but, Italian writing (and the writing of James Joyce for that matter) is made up of nothing but and their writing is often rather fantastic, full of adjectives and explorations of a singular topic expounded upon deeply with metaphor and symbolism.

German has ridiculously long compound words, we have some in English, but most romance languages have very little. Which language got it right? Is there such a thing as right at all? Can we really have a dogmatic Church of Grammar and Spelling in a modern pluralized world where languages and emails are flowing so freely? Do we secretly want to be France, and instate a Ministry of the English Language?

I don’t. So, if I spell Bloggosphere with 2 g’s, and bloging with 1, I won’t die of a heart attack. Will you?

(notice I tagged this under a number of headings that may not have anything to do with spelling, as I’m not sure how to categorize this strange little post.)


5 responses to “Blog Spelling: A Question of Grammar, Spelling, and the Tyranny of Convention

  1. I agree fully . . . To me all that is important is the words. Sometimes one has to forget the critics, for there are so many. Everyone is a critic.

    But the words, they sing all by themselves.

    Dan Hanosh
    Dreams Are Yours To Share

  2. Good luck with the site Sometimes I can’t help but surrender to my conventional mission A joke for you peoples! Did you hear about the flasher who was thinking of retiring? He decided to stick it out for one more year!

  3. Pingback: Bad traffic - September 09 | Sitegeist Blog

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