- a collection of essays on Neodruidic Studies
- a journal of Post-Reconstructionist Neopaganism

Monday, October 24, 2011

It's HALLOW, not HOLLOW !!

I just Googled the spelling "HOLLOWEEN" and came up with TWENTY NINE MILLION citations with this mis-spelling and yes,  I do think my head is about to explode...

I started public school as a first grader in the fall of 1959, as part of the first generation of American children growing up under continual exposure to television. The suburbs of Pittsburgh then spoke a very middle of the road, almost neutral American accent, sounding neither of New England, nor was it Southern, nor was it Appalachian. And, in listening to the adults around us or the actors and announcers on television, never did we hear the word Hallowe'en pronounced oddly in those days.  

It was simply always pronounced "hal - oh", rhyming with shallow...

Yet, the mis-spellings we see are basically a secondary effect. This is of course indicative of the huge shift in the standard pronunciation since the first time Americans had ever (ever) experienced a large scale exposure to the "hollow-een" pronunciation back in the 1960's... I really believe this whole mess can be traced to a single, primary source:  1966, in one of the early animated Charles Shultzs' PEANUTS features...

"It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown".

And, to quote good ol' Charlie Brown:   "Sigh..."

Now, a decade into the 21st Century, the general American news and video mediafolk have almost completely converted over to the Post-Peanuts Pronounciation (PPP). Survival of the Lowest Common Denominator, eh? Remember, these are the same Einsteins who lead the world in the New Years Eve celebrations of the "Millenium" at the dawn of the 1999th year of the Common Era...

It's wrong, just wrong, and worse, it's stupid.

Pumpkins are hollow,  HALLOWEEN is NOT !

ALAS, the size of the phenomena indicates there's probably no going back - UNLESS the issue of the pronunciation itself actually makes it back into the big-time media, somehow. Great Mother of us all! If we could -just- get someone on NPR or The Daily Show or Colbert to mention this issue - even once... But beware, there are apologetics afoot now, historical revisionists, who are trying to contrive justifications and false histories to support a pre-Peanuts history for this huge piece of pop-cultural inbreeding...


You can make a difference.
You can Facebook it.
You can Twitter it..
You can re-blog it.
You can post it to The Daily Show
and the Colbert Report  via Comedy Central.

Before it's too late...

PS - (rant not quite over...) And by the way, in a couple weeks you're going to start hearing a lot of "SOUL-STICE" again too. That pronunciation has been going through much the same shameful de-volution. The New Age-ish pronunciation "Soul-stice" is an erroneous californication of SOLSTICE. 

The Sun is "SOL"... not "SOUL", Mr Winters.

From a related rant of mine: 

More on the Ruination of Hallowe'en...
  • Through the self-referential dynamics of the media and marketing, our Halloween imagery is becoming severely culturally “inbred”. The result is frequently so brutal that it is virtually obscene in its violent, heartless and vulgar content. What began as a time for the honoring of the Spirits of the Departed and an opportunity for children to shuffle through the Autumn leaves in fantastic garb begging for treats at the doors of their neighbors, has become a theatre of blood, butchery and inhumanity. Halloween may once have been meant to be atmospheric and “spooky” but never was its true spirit upheld by the horrific and brutal.

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