Inherited Illiteracy Title
"This error has spread far and wide until a generation of students who have used this program now think that Hammurabi is the incorrect spelling."
Some works have titles that could have come straight from Rouge Angles of Satin
. It's not an error, though, at least not directly. It's a deliberate reference to someone else making the same misspelling (usually one in the work itself, so expect a Title Drop
), or otherwise an attempt to counterfeit the inability to spell.
Not to be confused with Tyop on the Cover
, when the misspelling occurs on accident. Also compare Xtreme Kool Letterz
and Funetik Aksent
open/close all folders
- Freex was a series about a bunch of super-powered teenagers that was part of the short-lived Ultraverse line from Malibu Comics in the 1990s. The title came from the misspelling of the word "freaks" by Ray, a boy who looked like a rock monster and, having spent most of his life locked in a basement because his parents were ashamed of his appearance, had a very limited education.
- Krazy Kat.
- Inglourious Basterds, the 2009 Tarantino film, contains a group called the "Basterds", but Tarantino has refused to explain the title further than that, saying, "You do an artistic flourish like that, and to explain it would just take the piss out of it and invalidate the whole stroke in the first place." In all likelihood, the reason for this is because there's already a movie called "The Inglorious Bastards".
- The Pursuit of Happyness, whose title is taken from a misspelling on a day-care mural.
- Charly, the film version of Flowers for Algernon. (This is odd, since in the book, Charlie can spell his own name, even before his increase in intelligence.)
- Inverted with Beetlejuice. The character Betelgeuse's name is always seen spelled correctly, to the point that a character mispronounces it while trying to read it aloud. The title of the film spells it phonetically so that viewers will be able to pronounce it correctly before seeing the film.
- The Spanish film El crimen ferpecto translates to "The Ferpect Crime." The film is about a meticulous man trying to plan a perfect crime to the last detail. In an attempt to get Genre Savvy, he rents a bunch of crime flicks and notices that one of the titles has a typo: El crimen ferpecto. He's quite upset because he can't afford to make any such errors. The film was released in English-speaking countries as The Perfect Crime, averting the trope.
- Dumb and Dumber To.
- Feersum Endjinn by Iain M. Banks. One of the narrators is an exceedingly poor speller. It's not just the title, but one third of the entire bloody text!
- Actually, it's even worse. If it were only Fonetik Inglish, it wouldn't be that hard to read, but gratuituously interspersed "&" for and, "1" for one etc. even inside words...AAARGH!
- Love and Freindship by Jane Austen is an Epistolary Novel where "freind" is always written for "friend", along with a number of other misspellings. The misspellings are all Austen's (she wrote it when she was 14). She corrected the spelling later in life, but editors of her work tend to leave it uncorrected as they think it's charming.
- Stephen King's Pet Sematary is spelled as it was written on a sign made by some kids outside the cemetery in the story.
- Dorp Dead by Julia Cunningham, titled after a note by an angry teenager.
- Granny The Pag is a nickname that stuck after a little girl tried write a note calling her grandmother a pig, but wasn't sure how to spell it.
- Darren Shan's Slawter is titled after the name of the town the plot takes place in.
- The Young Visiters was written when the author was nine. Most editions preserve the misspellings, and The Film of the Book pronounces them phonetically. Because it's funnier that way.
- Rainbows End is an ambiguous case. At one point, some characters wonder whether the name of the titular apartment complex is a philosophical observation, or just has a missing apostrophe, but never come to a definite conclusion.
- The Norwegian biography Mig selv; en biografi om Henrik Wergeland is an ambiguous case. "Mig selv" is the title of one of Wergeland's most known poems. While it was the correct spelling at the time Wergeland wrote the poem, it had been banned for 70 years at the time the biography was released.
- The Swell Foop is much better than any of the other, more ordinary foops.
- Back when Cracked was on paper, it always referred to itself as a "mazagine". When Cracked went online, they called themselves a "wesbite."
Live Axtion TV
- The Australian sketch comedy show The Micallef Program was The Micallef Pogram for its third season. This was because of running debate about the correct spelling of program/programme. It was 'Program' in the first season and became 'Programme' for the second. They went for deliberate misspelling in the third in an attempt to stop the letters.
- The Young Ones Vyvyan, aside from the unconventional spelling of his first name, was officially given the surname 'Basterd'.
- Numerus song titlez by Slade (e.g., "Cum on, Feel the Noize", "Gudbuy T'Jane").
- The band Y Kant Tori Read, whose lead singer is far better known that the actual band. Tori Amos continued this when she became a successful solo artist. "Caught a Lite Sneeze", anyone?
- Nevermind the Bollocks Here's The Sex Pistols.
- Likewise, Nirvana's album Nevermind. Part of Kurt Cobain's motivation was the wrong spelling!
- Indie rock band Carissa's Wierd. They would eventually lampshade it by calling an album I Before E.
- The Zombies' album Odessey and Oracle: Originally the band said it was a pun combining the words "ode" and "odyssey". Later on they claimed the designer of the cover art made the misspelling and they just went with it.
- In homage to said Zombies album, Velvet Crush called a compilation A Single Odessey.
- It's hard to prevent people from mis-mispelling the Tom Waits album Franks Wild Years. It doesn't help that Waits previously had a track called "Frank's Wild Years", with the correct punctuation.
- Stereolab's second album was titled The Groop Played Space Age Batchelor Pad Music (on the front cover at least—the spine and back cover spelled "Bachelor" correctly). The same album also had a song called "The Groop Played Chord X", and the liner notes of later albums would continue referring to the band as "the groop".
- Danielson Famile: In keeping with their childlike aesthetic, a lot of words are consistently misspelled in titles and lyrics: "famile", "hartz", "thanx", etc. When bandleader Daniel Smith started his own record label, he named it Sounds Familyre.
- Jay Reatard, and by extension his former band the Reatards. It apparently had something to do with a heckler at one of their early shows calling them "retards" and pronouncing it strangely.
- REM's 1986 album Lifes Rich Pageant. The lack of apostrophe was the result of Michael Stipe mistyping the album title (he was known for doing this a lot) when it came time to print the album cover, and the band ran with it.
- The Smashing Pumpkins mastermind Billy Corgan had a fondness for "alternative" spellings of words and phrases. In addition to the album Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, he also did this for at least song on every album, including "Window Paine", "Mayonaise", "Galapogos" and "Appels + Oranjes".
- The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster have "I Could Be an Angle", inspired by the misspelled sign a beggar was carrying.
- Cream's song "Badge" was so named because Eric Clapton misread "bridge" on the original sheet music.
- An early Mr Bungle demo had the intentionally Rouge Angles of Satin-invoking title of Bowel Of Chiley.
- "Raisans" by Dinosaur Jr. There's also "Kracked" from the same album, though that could be considered Xtreme Kool Letterz instead.
- Uncanney Valley by The Dismemberment Plan.
- Punk Rock group The Adicts.
- Shakespears Sister. According to founding member Siobhan Fahey, the slight misspelling of William Shakespeare's name was originally a mistake, but she ran with it because "it made it sort of my thing, as opposed to the song by The Smiths" note . The punctuation is apparently also a stylistic choice - The first album, Sacred Heart, was officially by "Shakespear's Sister", but subsequent albums dropped the apostrophe.
- Television Personalties' Mummy Your Not Watching Me - Presumably the use of "your" instead of "you're" is supposed to make the title sound more childish.
- Samurai Shodown. Whether this was for Rule of Cool or part of the "Blind Idiot" Translation that made the series famous is unknown, but it's remained to this day. Supposedly, this is because its originally planned title was Shogun Shodown, with "Shogun" changed to "Samurai" at the last minute.
- Abe's Oddysee had to shoehorn the word Odd in there. As did its sequel, Abe's Exoddus
- The ancient king was named "Hammurabi" but the creator of the videogame Hamurabi either forgot a 'm' or wanted to keep the name within the 8-digits limit.
- Buffalo State College is home to an organization officially named the "Campus Role-Playing, Animae, and Gaming Group", because the original writers of the organization's constitution failed at spelling.
- Ovomaltine is known in the English-speaking world as "Ovaltine" because someone fumbled the name in the British trademark registration form.
- According to one possible etymology, the term "OK" is short for the comically misspelled "Oll Korrect"
- The city of Cleveland was originally named "Cleaveland" after founder Moses Cleaveland. However, the spelling was changed by either the local newspaper who dropped the silent "a" so that the name could fit on the masthead, or by a surveyor who spelled it wrong on the map he published. Either way, the new spelling stuck.
- Kenesaw Mountain Landis, a US federal judge and then Major League Baseball's famously iron-fisted first commissioner, was named by his father after Georgia's Kennesaw Mountain, the site of the Civil War battle where he had received a permanent leg injury.
- When you type up a program for an evening of folk songs, but make one little typo ... thus is born the Filk Song.
- There's a station in The London Underground whose official name is "Barons Court", apparently because it was named after an estate called "Baronscourt". Just to be awkward, there's another one nearby called "Earl's Court".
- The Australian Labor Party. Australia actually uses the British/Commonwealth spelling "labour", but the party is named in honour of the American Labor Movement.