Sunday, July 17, 2011

"Oh, SHUT UP, Spell-Checker!"

Yep, another Grammar Nazi post!) 

I typed the word "glamor" while writing an email recently, and my handy-dandy (and intrusive) spell-checker red-lined the word. Suggested substitution? "Glamour."

Oh, really? Hmmmm, I thought, let's see what the 'net has to say bout that.

Apparently, "glamor" is acceptable, but "glamour" is the preferred spelling. According to American Heritage: "Many words, such as honor, vapor, and labor, are usually spelled with an –or ending in American English but with an –our ending in British English. The preferred spelling of glamour, however, is –our, making it an exception to the usual American practice."

Uh-huh. Okay, fine. Be that way. The old "exception to the rule" thing, eh? Lord knows, the English language is full of them.  

But wait! It gets better!

They add, "The adjective is more often spelled glamorous in both American and British usage."


I guess it's like the "mic/mike" thing. Even people who abbreviate "microphone" as "mic" used "miked" (yeah, with a K!) for the past tense, when using it as a verb. So arbitrarily dropping the "U" when turning "glamour" into the adjective "glamorous" makes perfect sense... in a perfectly senseless way. (Or would that be "perfectly nonsensical?")

*sigh* No matter...

Let's turn instead to a much more important subject: The photo at the top of today's post.

When looking for an illustration to... errr... illustrate the concept of glamor/glamour, I naturally thought of Glamour, the magazine. A quick image search gave me dozens of choices. I (obviously) decided on the cover scan pictured above, featuring Beyoncé.

However, I couldn't help being sidetracked by the realization that the same month, June of 2009, featured several versions of the Beyoncé cover.

I mean, there was this one...

And then, there was this one...

Again, WTF?

Well, a close look at the photo scans told the tale. These were different international editions, from Spain, the UK...

Anyway, I thought I'd probably be better off using the cover from the United States edition...

And I couldn't find it.

Once again, WTF?

A little more time was invested by Yours Truly, and I finally did locate the cover of Glamour's June 2009 edition. And here it is:

Uhhh... No Beyoncé at all?


So, for the fourth and final time this go-round, fellow babies...


I guess that makes sense in a perfectly nonsensical way, as well, huh?

(Now, does today's post make me a Glamour Nazi?)

Thanks for your time.


  1. Hi Silver Fox.. I am Australian and we spell the British way using 'our' .. for such words as glamour, colour, neighbour & palour and when I type anything up on the computer spellcheck wants to Americanise it for me and in truth I really don't mind, so long as people can understand what I write.
    Argh...the complexity of the English language, so many silly rules with blended sounds, silent letters. Words that are spelled & said the same way but have a different meanings. Then there are words that are spelled differently, are pronounced the same way and have different meanings.
    Great Post1

  2. @Katherine: Yeah, the "Grammar Nazi" posts have been featured a lot on my Foxyblog lately. Feel free to click on the link provided at the beginning of my post for more related info!

    And just remember... nobody's "purrfikt"... not even me!

  3. Ah yes, the trials and tribulations of a language evolved from about 5 different sources! There are no rules, only exceptions.

  4. Wow Rhythm, Grammar and now Glamour Nazi, really adding to your resume..hahaha

    I know up here we spell words with the u too. We are even special and spell check, cheque. No idea why but I guess it can't be all the same. Still don't really see the point though. "Oh our word is spelled different than yours, that really defines our countries differences"...pfft.

  5. Glamour Nazi. lol. Love it.

    And for what it's worth, I've noticed that many magazines have different covers for the same month. The few magazines I subscribe to have a different cover than the ones in the news stands for the same month.

  6. I am roaring in laughter! WTF! Yes, dear silver...even I dropped this abbreviated bomb today! I am moving forwards leaps in bounds in this whole blogging/social networking thing. But sorry...I'm an ...our type of gal, must be the ol'maple syrup coursing through my veins! Still joined at the hip to the monarchy you know....Will & Kate got rock star treatments on their recent visit...but I missed most of that as I was on twitter :)
    Are u? Who run the world? Girls! (sorry...had to say it!)

  7. @Roy: Yep, contradictions seem to outweigh the standard usages.

    @Betsy and Pat: Well, "Glamour Nazi" was only a play on words, not really a new title, of course, haha. How would that work, anyway? "Hey, you misspelled 'you're'... and you need to wear your hair differently!"

    @Natasha: Am I on Twitter? Nahhhh, I could never be that brief.

  8. Leave off our language pal - get your own if you don't like it. And, while I am on the subject, where is that tax you owe us on that tea that went down in Boston Harbour? (and please note how I spell that word)

  9. No, I didn't mean the glamour nazi would point out grammar errors, too. This would be a totally different nazi.. he would just note glamour when he saw it. You're good at that, aren't you? ;)

    @Alan ~ your comments are just as entertaining as your posts! lol.

  10. @Betsy: Well, no, I didn't think that's what you meant, but what else would a "glamour NAZI" do, except point out errors, haha?

    And yeah, I think I'm pretty good at spotting "glamourous" -- oops -- things, and people...

    And Alan's just being curmudgeonly because I didn't mail any beer to him a few posts ago!


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