The Elements of Style, that most revered of writing guides, is chockablock with constructive, useful advice. Those 95 pages of wisdom are quoted, consulted, studied, and deferred to by all and sundry, not just fancy pants authors and stodgy grammarians. Me, I’d be a disaster without ready access to clear rules of usage.
Yet I do have a bone to pick.
They favor traditional spelling. Well, sure, you can’t win spelling bees by defaulting to phonetics. Imagine a contestant in the National Spelling Bee piping up with ‘n-i-t-e’ for night or t-h-r-u for through, examples cited by The Elements of Style. Why, s/he’d be laughed off the stage, washed up on the spelling circuit. A fate worse than cooties.
Even so, I insist on making a case to exempt one word: stupid. Never before has a word cried out so dolefully for reevaluation and a change in spelling. Stupid is a shoddy, feeble substitute for stoopid. You can see that, can’t you? Stoopid, with the double Os, is a lyrical delight to the senses. It’s fun to look at, fun to pronounce, and, yes, fun to hear.
Plus, in my unsolicited opinion, the Os communicate the meaning with more snap. Stoopid speaks volumes, hollers ‘duh’ at first sight. Stupid doesn’t, it just sits there, looking embarrassed to represent its definition, which is:
I, therefore, appeal to the Oxford Dictionaries, Merriam Webster, American Heritage, the whole bunch, please — in the name of good sense — reconsider the spelling of stupid. Until the new spelling is authorized, I‘ll continue to flaunt Rule 10 (Chapter V, An Approach to Style: With a List of Reminders). I’ll use stoopid flagrantly and with reckless abandon on every occasion, formal or casual. I ask you to join me in anarchy. Thank you.
Vive la stoopidity! Long may it wave.
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