Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Made up words vs spelling errors

When I drew this cartoon I wondered that, should it be published, would the magazine think that I had spelt 'Heavenly' wrong? I thought about changing 'Heaveny' to 'Heavenly' to avoid such a misunderstanding, but decided in the end that it took the edge off. Anyway, I forgot about it and when it appeared in this month's Prospect, they had done just that. Should have added a note saying that Heaveny was the desired spelling, but I suppose it looks too much like an error. It's not the first time a cartoon of mine has been altered. There was the great Reader's Digest added movement lines debacle. Private Eye dropped a word from a caption, and my grammar has been corrected a few times. The thing is that I spend a great deal of time trying to get the flow of words right-to mimic speech, or to make a caption more quirky and funny, so it miffs me a little. I wouldn't mind if the mag would contact me and ask about altering the caption-but they never do. It's not the worst thing to happen to my work. Teacher's TV brutalised a cartoon graphic that I had done which appeared on their channel. It was of a classroom with a large blank whiteboard, onto which they would add statistics. Unfortunately they had given me the wrong dimensions and needed it wider. They got some artistically incompetent oaf to draw some walls and details at the sides-with a mouse! It was horrific. I would have done it for them free of charge in about 10 minutes, had they asked, but they didn't and I stopped working for them. Bit hasty maybe-but principles are principles. So, comment if you would: Heaveny or Heavenly. What works better?

Added bonus: Two more from this month's Prospect. A triple whammy.


Royston Robertson said...

I can see that "heaveny" works better for the joke. Heavenly means majestic, wonderful etc and that's obviously not what he's saying.

However, I read it originally in Prospect and it still worked. I think if I was the sub-editor at the mag, I may have made the same change. Even if they knew it was deliberate on your part, they'd know that many readers would see it as a typo and that would reflect badly on the magazine.

You maybe could have put the word in quotes in the caption, to make it more obvious.

alexander matthews said...

Quote marks! I didn't think of that. I though that maybe they'd get some pedants writing in to say (use your nerd voice) "In issue 123 I noticed a spelling error in your cartoon on page 17..." But would people really do that? Maybe-there's a lot of people with a lot of time on their hands about. Heavenly is fine, but I think 'Heaveny' makes it sing.

waldo pancake said...

ly ruins it for me. i would've put it away for a few years then have another go.

waldo pancake said...

had not have

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