Definition of cacography
Our definition of cacography: A deliberate misspelling, often silly or comical
Also known as (with respect to naming)
- Misspelled name
- Magic spell name (term used in Alina Wheeler‘s Designing Brand Identity: An Essential Guide for the Whole Branding Team)
DEFINITION OF CACOGRAPHY from other sources around the web
“Deliberate comic misspelling, a type of humour similar to malapropism” – Wikipedia
“Incorrect spelling” – Dictionary.com
“Consists … of clumsily scrawled words (the opposite of calligraphy, or ‘beautifully written’) or badly spelled words—especially if the bad spelling is intentional” – Fritinancy (Nancy Friedman)
“An intentionally comic misspelling” – Benjamin Dreyer, Dreyer’s English: An Utterly Correct Guide to Clarity and Style
EXAMPLES OF CACOGRAPHY IN BRAND NAMES
- Froot Loops
- Krispy Kreme
Maybe you’re wondering, Why would anyone misspell their brand name? Misspelling a name can have several advantages, including:
- Domain availability: This is why the e was removed from Flickr.
- Evoking a brand personality: Playskool is just more fun and childlike than Play School would’ve been.
- Repetition, alliteration, and other wordplay: That repeated oo in Froot Loops creates a nice visual symmetry.
- Distinctiveness and memorability: While Crispy Cream would’ve had a repeated C, the repeated K in Krispy Kreme makes the name stand out.
- Ease of pronunciation, brevity: With the removal of that ght consonant cluster, Lite Brite is easier to read, looks better, and is two letters shorter than Light Bright.
Cacography also has drawbacks, however. Misspelling a name can make it harder to remember (which misspelling is correct?), harder to pronounce, and give it an unintended, juvenile tonality. Be careful.
Which definition of cacography do you agree with? Which ones resonate most with you? Share your point of view in the comments below. Do you have your own definition, different from those listed here? Feel free to add that in the comments, too.