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View Full Version : New York Times Buckles to Pressure from Scotch Snobs.



cowdery
02-11-2009, 22:09
That spelling thing is back.

Eric Asimov writes a drinks column for the Times called The Pour. He's all excited because he got his editors at the New York Times to let him spell whiskey without the "e" when he writes about scotch or Canadian whiskey.

My response, bearing the headline above, is here (http://chuckcowdery.blogspot.com/2009/02/new-york-times-buckles-to-pressure-from.html).

ILLfarmboy
02-11-2009, 22:43
I have a third take on the Issue.

I like to read the original text, even if it was written long ago with archaic spellings. Why convert the spelling of words like "colour", "centre" and "theatre" to their American spellings? Its not as if British spellings will confuse anyone. This neuters Eric Asimov because no one will know just why it is spelled "wkisky". That is, unless he references American or Irish whiskey in the same article.

If an English author uses the word "torch" to mean "flashlight" etc. is that changed too, when it is published in the US?

Attila
02-11-2009, 23:27
I cant get excited about the removal of an unpronounced letter.

Luna56
02-12-2009, 00:08
I cant get excited about the removal of an unpronounced letter.

You're no fun at all.

Cheers!

ILLfarmboy
02-12-2009, 00:09
.. no one will know just why it is spelled "wkisky"....

Well, there's some unintended comedy. I suppose people would wonder why it is spelled "wkisky".

bonneamie
02-12-2009, 13:04
Let's get rid of the "h" too while we're at it.

Attila
02-12-2009, 18:18
Let's get rid of the "h" too while we're at it.

I second the motion.

I think we need several hundred million more votes to make it binding though.

Luna56
02-12-2009, 23:47
How about:
wski
Or:
brbn

Soon the entire dictionary will be replaced by idiotic internet abbreviations.
Then, naturally, even they will be misspelled . LRL!

Look out in 2012 for Webster's Emoticon Dictionary.

Cheers!

Buffalo Bill
02-13-2009, 09:11
That spelling thing is back.

Eric Asimov writes a drinks column for the Times called The Pour. He's all excited because he got his editors at the New York Times to let him spell whiskey without the "e" when he writes about scotch or Canadian whiskey.

My response, bearing the headline above, is here (http://chuckcowdery.blogspot.com/2009/02/new-york-times-buckles-to-pressure-from.html).

So, what we have here is a matter of semantics... I say "Drink Bourbon and drop the W." (Scottish Pride vs. American Guts & Glory)

BB

ps. Chuck, that was a good read all the way around and back.

AVB
02-13-2009, 19:44
Good read on both sides but as a fan of both styles of spirit it never bothered me that American spirits was spelled with the "e" and foreign was without. In fact, it bothers me when American firms DON'T use the "e" for their product. Maker's Mark being the prime example.

cowdery
02-13-2009, 21:29
No one should think I'm advocating one worldwide spelling. I'm comfortable with both being used, I just get tired of -- yes, scotch snobs -- who won't accept that it is one word, with one meaning, but alternate spellings. People continually make so much of getting it right. Everything written about whiskey has to address it, so people can make sure they use the right spelling in reference to the right whiskey, and they twist themselves up with formulations like "whiskey and whisky" or "whisky and bourbon" or "whisk(e)y," when it is so unnecessary. Whiskey (or whisky) is made in Scotland and Ireland and Kentucky and Tennessee and Ontario and Alberta and Kyoto and so on.

Megawatt
02-14-2009, 12:19
Very good point. I never really thought of it that way. When I'm refering to Irish or bourbon I spell it with an E. I've always thought it incorrect to say "Scotch whiskey" or "Irish whisky", but as you pointed out it is regional spelling, so technically you should use the spelling that applies to your region.

cowdery
02-14-2009, 22:47
My friend, Davin de Kergommeaux, made a great point: "An American automotive magazine wouldn’t dream of calling those round, black, rubber things on a car’s wheels 'tyres' just because they were made in a Commonwealth country, 'tires' if they were made in America, or 'pneus' if they were made in France. No, in America they’d be tires no matter where they came from. Similarly you’d read about tyres in Britain and pneus in France whether the manufacturer was Goodyear, Dunlop, or Michelin."

callmeox
02-15-2009, 09:24
That's true as long as the tire snobs don't catch on.

JohnHansell
02-15-2009, 13:44
Guys, I can understand why you would want to think of them (me??) as scotch snobs. And maybe some of them are, but I don't think of myself as one (or a snob about any category of whiskey for that matter).

I thought about this for a while today. To me it's more about being respectful to an industry that I care very much about. I think that the scotch industry expects us to spell it "whisky" and that the bourbon/Tennessee/Irish whiskey industry expects us to spell it with an "e". (Yes, there are exceptions to the rule--no need to go there.) There is a lot of history and tradition here. I oblige by doing so out of respect more than anything else.

Whisky is whiskey, no matter how you spell it. I am fine with that. But it's not that simple. Not for me, anyway. I know a lot of people in the industry who would be hurt if I (and my magazine) suddenly started spelling all whiskey with a "e" just because I live in America. To me, that's being just as much a snob.

jburlowski
02-15-2009, 15:16
Very well said, John.

Buffalo Bill
02-15-2009, 16:15
Guys, I can understand why you would want to think of them (me??) as scotch snobs. And maybe some of them are, but I don't think of myself as one (or a snob about any category of whiskey for that matter).

I thought about this for a while today. To me it's more about being respectful to an industry that I care very much about. I think that the scotch industry expects us to spell it "whisky" and that the bourbon/Tennessee/Irish whiskey industry expects us to spell it with an "e". (Yes, there are exceptions to the rule--no need to go there.) There is a lot of history and tradition here. I oblige by doing so out of respect more than anything else.

Whisky is whiskey, no matter how you spell it. I am fine with that. But it's not that simple. Not for me, anyway. I know a lot of people in the industry who would be hurt if I (and my magazine) suddenly started spelling all whiskey with a "e" just because I live in America. To me, that's being just as much a snob.

---------

Hey guys, I knew we could get Hansell to come out of the woodwork, a little controversy goes a long way!!! Good to hear from you John - I still look forward to the subscription coming to the door. Good blogging and good to have you aboard - don't be a stranger. I always wanted to speak with you about how you base your tasting notes... to come up with the berry scheme related to O.F. Repeal was right on par. And a tough delineation... you can really fine tune your tasting notes to great degree. I can only wish that I had met or spent time with Michael Jackson as you did throughout the years.

Bill

JohnHansell
02-15-2009, 17:56
Michael was my mentor. I learned from him, but I could never be him. I'm just grateful for what he has done for me (and so many others). BTW, I think that SB.com is a great forum. It's good to know you're here!

Buffalo Bill
02-16-2009, 14:25
Michael was my mentor. I learned from him, but I could never be him. I'm just grateful for what he has done for me (and so many others). BTW, I think that SB.com is a great forum. It's good to know you're here!

It's good to know that YOU are here. I was one of your first subscribers right from the onset... still am. Feel free to PM me anytime, especially related to tasting or product shots etc. It would be good to chat one of these days.

Bill

JohnHansell
02-16-2009, 20:49
Bill, I appreciate your loyalty. Thanks. I'll try to chime in here from time to time.