As a happily self-professed language geek, I love that one of my most favourite holidays not only has roots in language evolution but it is also one that I can appreciate from different cultural perspectives.
An early spelling of Halloween was “All Hallows’ Even” where “even” stood for evening. Eventually the “all” and “s” were dropped, and “hallows” and “even” became a closed compound with an apostrophe taking the place of the “v” giving us Hallowe’en — This is the first way I remember learning to spell the word.
Samhain is the spelling of the Gaelic festival marking the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter. Typically this is celebrated between October 31 and November 1, which is about halfway between the autumn equinox and the winter solstice. All flavourful words I love to write and edit!
In Mexico they celebrate what is called the Day of the Dead (Día de Muertos) for several days from the end of October into early November. This multi-day holiday brings together family and friends to remember those who have passed.
It’s fun to learn the different holidays and the proper spelling of related terms … at least to me. It’s how I’m wired and forms the foundation of why I love my work as an editor. I also love the story, or history, on how language evolves, morphes, and occasionally retracts.
What are your favourite words associated with Halloween or other holidays this time of year?
My favourite catch (typo) a couple years ago hailed from a department store, where a decorative tombstone had written on it: Baried Alive! A change of vowel would help! Or when researching this post, I saw an image for a fast-food place where the sign read: Over 10 Billion Severed. That’s kind of Halloween-ish, but not so much appetizing.
So as always, happy holidays from EditAbove. Hope you find some amusing typos too that perhaps remind you why you love to edit, or why you appreciate hiring editors!