Archive for the ‘Faith vs. WF’ Category

Non sequiturs meet associative thinking

May 27, 2018

On a larger scale, the war between randomness and organization, in which Zippy fights on both sides. In today’s strip, he’s in his random mode, distributing non sequiturs from a polka-dot van:


One thing doesn’t lead to another. Instead, things just pop up from out of nowhere, without rationale.

But at other times in Zippy’s world, everything leads to something else, in steps. On paths that might go in surprising directions, the way conversations tend to wander.

Either way, linearity bites.


-ible -able

April 8, 2016

Wilson Gray, posting on ADS-L on the 4th, boldfacing added:

In the on-line catalog is pictured a CD whose title clearly reads:

Rare, Collectable & Soulful

Nevertheless, the catalog captions the picture as:

Rare, Collectible & Soulful

Not just one CD, but a whole series under that title. Here’s the cover for volume 2:

The catalog writers apparently “corrected” what they saw as a “spelling error” on the part of the record company — opting for WF (well-formedness, according to the writers’ lights) over Faith (faithfulness to the source). (There’s a Page on this blog listing postings about Faith vs. WF.) The facts are complex, but what’s undeniable is that most modern dictionaries recognize both collectible and collectable as acceptable spellings, with collectable having the edge for a specialized sense; from Wikipedia:

A collectable (collectible or collector’s item) is any object regarded as being of value or interest to a collector (not necessarily monetarily valuable or antique).


Faith vs. WF in the magazine world

May 29, 2015

From The Atlantic‘s March 2015 issue, “Mind the Gap: As more U.K. publications woo U.S. readers, British and American English are mixing in strange, sometimes baffling, ways” by Sophie Gilbert, beginning:

Imagine first making someone’s acquaintance, perhaps in a classroom or an office, and having him immediately and unabashedly ask you for a rubber. Is he gleefully transgressing normal social boundaries? Is he drunk? Is he brandishing a pencil?

Such are the choppy and perilous waters that have long divided American and British English.

(covered recently in my posting “Rubber trees, rubber plants”).

This is a lexical difference, but there are also spelling differences, punctuation differences, and more, all of which present difficulties for publications with writers and readers on both sides of the Atlantic.