The Trouble with Tequila
Collaborative Bartending

Big News in Spelling

Eric Asimov of the New York Times writes:

The style at The Times was to use the spelling whiskey [even when it was scotch whisky], and that’s what I did. Given the vehemence of the reaction, though, I promised to ask the editors in charge of Times style to revisit the issue.

In fact, they did, and today, after careful consideration they’ve decided to alter our style. As of now, the spelling whisky will be used not only for Scotch but for Canadian liquor as well. The spelling whiskey will be used for all appropriate liquors from other sources.

Hooray! Proper spelling!

No wait. I dislike the proper spelling, because it brings up the ugly either: whisk(e)y, as in, "Which type of whisk(e)y should I order?" Blech.

I actually liked that the NYT tried to force it one way for all whiskeys (their style guide here).

Is it really so important to respect regional spelling that we need this ugly hybrid half-breed word? Do people go out of their way to respect the US vs. UK spelling of words like flavour vs. flavor? How do you hand the either case with that? Does anyone write flavo(u)r, or do you just use the proper spelling for the country in which the writing is published?

Or does everyone just not care as much as whisk(e)y snobs, who further affirm their status as such by forcing this spelling upon the world? 

Maybe we should pick a new generic spelling for the either/or case that will eliminate the need for the parentheses.


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