May 19, 2011

Kessel Run Diaries: Wookiee Has Two E’s

Do spelling mistakes in articles about Star Wars bother anyone else? I’m not faulting anyone for misspelling Wookiee in casual conversation. But. If you are writing an article for the internet or traditional media about Star Wars? Take the time to get it right.  Vader hates spelling mistakes.

Please know that when I say I'm bothered, I don’t mean I'm angry.  That would be sad.  As a human being, I make spelling and grammar errors. Sometimes they slip past even though I’ve reviewed a post a dozen times.* Readers will use that one frakking comma you missed or that single misspelled word to claim that your entire argument is invalid. I don’t go to that extreme, but I can’t help but roll my eyes at windy tirades about “Lucasfilms.” I recognize that people can slip, but there is a difference between a one time mistake and spelling something wrong throughout an entire piece. If you’re taking the time to write about a subject, you obviously like it or you’re being paid to pretend you like it. Be professional and check to make sure you have Tatooine spelled right.**

But how can you check to make sure Kashyyyk has three y’s? Here are my tips:

- I find myself writing about The Clone Wars on a semi-regular basis. When I question the spelling of a character name, a planet, a plant, anything – I go to first. If I can’t verify it there, I search Google books and try to cross-reference anything I find on Wookieepedia. I also have reference books that I can turn to if I feel like walking across the room to get them (it's so far). It might be a little (or a lot) on the anal side, but I try to be correct. Once you verify it, add it to your word processing program’s dictionary. You can also make a separate reference list. It will save you time later.

- You can get every word just right, but what about when an editor changes your carefully researched essay on the Jedi Temple?  Don’t be afraid to tell said editor that Padawan is indeed capitalized if one is using it within the context of the Star Wars universe. Provide reference in the form of a Star Wars book or Argue with him or her if necessary. Remind your editor that you are a Jedi.

- Phone a friend.  People are full of random trivia.  You probably know someone that knows Star Wars in and out.  I am lucky to know lots of these people.  They are a great source for fact-checking.

- The most important tip I can offer: don’t assume. If you’re not 100% sure that you have it right, check it out. Use the Force. It’s totally meant to be used for academic purposes.

I’m going to try to organize a Star Wars spelling bee at the next celebration.

*And yes, I read this 100 times. I’m still paranoid that I missed a spelling error.
**This post is only half-serious. I'm not a Star Wars spelling tyrant.  Promise.


  1. Hahaha, oh yes. When I was eleven or so, I was just getting into Star Wars and the library had a copy of "The Adventures of Luke Skywalker", which I read with relish. I was very surprised, confused, and hurt to see Wookiee spelled with one E throughout. George Lucas, I thought, don't you know that Wookiee has two Es?

    A Star Wars spelling bee would be so fun. :B

  2. I think I mentioned this in some blog's comments many months ago, so forgive me if I'm repeating myself (funny how these things come up). On vacation once, I was searching for an unprotected wireless network to tap into. One network that popped up was called "Kashyyk". My brothers and I were amused: plus points for the Star Wars reference, but minus some of those points for the spelling error.

    I didn't notice any spelling errors here :)

  3. indeed, it irks me a little too. and I totally do the same thing with looking stuff up to verify it first.

    but, it is open season (and intensely satisfying) to go after someone who made a mistake while they were criticizing someone ELSE for making a mistake. ya know... the people that blast spelling it wookie while they spell it Kashyyk.

  4. BTW.... can I say I geek out just a little when I type something like Kashyyyk and don't get the little squiggly red line that it's wrong, lol

  5. but you have to know how to spell wookiee to go to wookieepedia. No fair!

  6. Noted and I will be going through my past blog posts and fixing my Wookiee spelling mistakes... I cannot make any promises for the rest of my spelling.

  7. a little different, but along the same lines, I hate when someone (especially a "non geek") uses the popular Battlestar Galactica fauxswear FRAK, and then spell it frack. Fracking is a process in which natural gas is mined from rocks, FRAKKING is, well you know.

    Frak is a four letter word.

  8. I'm glad I'm not the only who is irked by this.

    @Dave - I feel the same way about frak!

    @William - You should geek out over that. :)

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