Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Whisk(e)y Wednesday: To E or Not to E, Epilogue

You may recall that two years ago, we looked at the controversy over the various spellings of the word Whiskey (See our first column here and a follow-up here). We focused on the debate between whiskey bloggers and journalists about whether writers should change the spelling of the word whiskey depending on how it is used in the native land of the particular whiskey being described. That is, should we use whiskey (with an "e") for the US and Ireland and whisky (without the "e") for most other places.

As I described in those posts, since beginning this blog, I have simply used the American spelling, whiskey, to refer to any whiskey. I did this in an effort to minimize confusion among whiskey beginners who see the variant spellings; it seemed to me just one more whiskey matter that was mysterious and overly complicated.

It has always been the practice for the two major English language whiskey publications, Malt Advocate and Whisky Magazine, to vary their spellings, but earlier this month, no less an authority than the New York Times weighed in on the side of changing spelling to suit the whisk(e)y.

Well, I can only resist for so long. Now that the paper of record has weighed in, (and even while my pals Kevin Erskine and Chuck Cowdery continue to duke it out), I feel that this issue is settled. While there were good arguments on both sides, the overwhelming trend is to vary the spelling, so from now on, here on Whiskey Wednesday, Scotch, Japanese and Canadian will be whisky while American and Irish will be whiskey. When referring generically to whiskey, I will still use the American spelling, and I will not use the annoying whisk(e)y, except sarcastically.

Despite my change in spelling, I promise that I will not be one of those people who sends angry letters to newspapers when they choose not to use the alternate spellings or lectures newbies who confuse the spellings.

Now let's get back to enjoying our whisky, whiskey and whiskee.

No comments: