Letter: Since When Is Using Misspelled Words Thinking Outside the Box?

So now misspelling is being defended as “thinking outside the box” (Letters, Jan. 19). When I criticized “imposter” as nonstandard spelling, I was being charitable. Yes, it’s listed (second) in some dictionaries, but the Associated Press stylebook calls for “impostor.”

Strunk and White’s “The Elements of Style” says: “The practical objection to unaccepted and oversimplified spellings is the disfavor with which they are received by the reader. They distract his attention and exhaust his patience.” Lisa DeRosa defends nonstandard spelling, using Krispy Kreme and Dunkin’ Donuts as examples. Changing spelling to secure a trademark is a separate issue. You can bet those companies have style guides to guard against further changes in the spelling they’ve decided to use.

DeRosa “doth protest too much.” I doubt she took the time to look up the word in the dictionary and then chose to use “imposter.” Yet she now says she deserves a raise for getting my attention. No, as Strunk and White would say, she merely distracted my attention. How does it benefit the client to get attention that damages its credibility? Ask Martha Stewart.

Susan Pepperdine, Pepperdine & Associates Inc., Overland Park, KS

[email protected]

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