To ‘ or Not to ‘

How you spell Hallowe’en (or Halloween) depends largely on your age and how stubborn you are.

Putting the apostrophe in Hallowe’en, as accurate as it may have been, always struck me as pretentious.  It’s like adding uber to a word.  I found it to be uber pretentious!  It is the strangest contraction in our language, squishing the phrase All Hallows Eve or Evening into one strange word.  But somewhere along the way, and rather recently, newspaper and ad copy writers dropped the apostrophe and just started writing Halloween.  It took me a while to accept it but language is fluid, it changes.  Unique now means rare instead of one of a kind.  I suspect it’s because of a new generation that didn’t bother to learn the proper meaning of the word.  They mucked it up so often that the establishment just finally threw up its hands and said, okay!  Let’s just loosen the definition because I’m tired of correcting you!

But I digress.

So those of us who grew up with Hallowe’en are reluctant to change the spelling because it’s “proper”.   This is true!    But you will notice that its apostrophe-less cousin is everywhere.   So we’ve arrived at the moment of truth.  Do we dig in our heels and insist on the uber traditional spelling or do we jump in and ride the waves with those who are too lazy to press “shift” and the apostrophe key?? 

And speaking of Halloween, we will be continuing the tradition of turning out the lights and watching TV in the back room during trick-or-treat time.   There’s a good reason for this.  I’m tired of giving up an entire evening waiting near the door with a candy bowl whose contents will only end up in our bellies, while a very small trickle of kids comes to call.  There just isn’t enough of a payoff for my time.  If we had a kid-filled ‘hood that would be one thing but we do not.  So they can get their candy elsewhere and we can lurk in the back of our homes like Scrooge McDucks and have a quiet evening to ourselves!  Happy Halloween!  Or Hallowe’en.

2 thoughts on “To ‘ or Not to ‘”

  1. I’ll try not to ‘ you off with my comment, by the way, no shift key required for the ‘ but it is for the “. For those of us who were taught that writing was a skill and not a mere after thought, we likely will continue to use the hallowe’en spelling of the word primarily because its an automatic habit with our generation. This problem is very similar to the Americanization/bastardization of the English language, is it labour or labor, humour or humor, manour or manor and the list continues, in my world its the former not the latter.

    And I shall be virtually joining you, but in my case it will be watching TV in the family room in the basement.

  2. I’m not giving out any candy but have purchased very inexpensive puzzles to give to the few kids nearby. The leftover puzzles will go to our church’s Shoebox project for Samaritan’s Purse. They send millions of shoeboxes around the world to impoverished countries like Haiti for children from 2 to 14 with contents from toys to school supplies. Great way to get deals on crayons from Office Max and actually use them.

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