I didn’t know his–or her–real name, but they were one of my favorite online correspondents–not least because they, like me, tried to maintain capitalization and punctuation even in the anything-goes milieu of the ‘net. Most of our conversations tended to revolve around spelling, pronunciation, and other lexical matters, come to think of it. Any other conversation tended to arrive at that point rather quickly.

daleksex89: I must admit I was impressed you got my username’s reference back in the dark days when so few Americans had seen the programme.

tiberiusjk01: “Programme?” I can’t get over seeing it spelled that way. All those unnecessary letters at the end. Couldn’t you spell it my way and save yourself two keystrokes?

daleksex89: Couldn’t you spell it the proper way at the cost of two necessary keystrokes? You make the effort for capitals and full stops, so why not spell properly while you’re about it?

tiberiusjk01: What’s incorrect about American spelling? It’s much more concise.

daleksex89: Oh, I think American spelling is adorable. So earnestly phonetic, like a child’s letters on an icebox door, with no regard given etymology and history.

tiberiusjk01: And I think British spellings are like an old bottle of snake oil patent medicine, all old-fashioned and hoity-toity just for the sake of appearances. It’s…what’s the word…quaint. Or should that be “kwaynt?”

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