Friday August 17, 2007

Whatever else we may take away from the recent CG Playhouse post, we learned that the South Florida theater scene has a blog(!): South Florida Theatre Scene. Three months of archives, nine (count ‘em) contributors, and no silly “blogroll” (whatever that is). Good job guys! (But note: you’re spelling “theater” wrong.)

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  1. Christopher Jahn    Fri Aug 17, 08:46 AM #  

    Thanks for the plug;

    “Theatre” denotes the craft of performing onstage, while “theater” denotes a building where performing takes place.

    Coconut Grove Playhouse is a theater that used to produce theatre.

  2. alesh    Fri Aug 17, 12:36 PM #  


    I’ve heard this distinction before from theater people. No dictionary in the world recognizes it; they list “theatre” simply as a variation of “theater” if at all (my spellchecker is screaming about the “re” version right now).

    Frankly, those of us in the outside world see this sort of thing as pretentious and/or confusing, and it makes it harder for us to find things in google.

  3. Christopher Jahn    Fri Aug 17, 01:20 PM #  

    Most people outside this industry don’t work in a field whose name is also a building. Spelling is largely a matter of mere opinion, anyway. Have you ever read any Shakespeare as he wrote it? Or Poor Richard’s Almanac? Until Webster got involved, any combination of letters that could lead you to saying the word correctly was “correct spelling.”

    Chalk it up to the complexities of English, and move on to more important issues, like people who misuse “it’s” for “its” and “to” for “too.”

  4. alesh    Fri Aug 17, 03:26 PM #  


    I recognize that my English is imperfect. The difference is that I’m happy to be corrected.

    I also recognize that there was a time when we didn’t have dictionaries, and spelling wasn’t standardized then. Now we do, and it is.

    But the thing about people outside your industry . . . I think that if you stop and think about it for a moment, you will realize that there is 0% chance of confusion in any real-world sentence about which meaning the word “theater” has. I’m sure you realize that there are plenty of other words in the English language that have multiple meanings, yet communication seems not to break down around them.

  5. Steve    Fri Aug 17, 04:07 PM #  

    Alesh: your thinking is coloured by the Art and Culture Centre and the neighbourhood where you work.

  6. knowless    Fri Aug 17, 05:55 PM #  

    blah, than or then…i thought that british people, not just the pretentious, write theatre and not theater.

    i love steve’s comments, he’s always right on when grilling alesh.

  7. alesh    Sat Aug 18, 11:47 AM #  

    Here’s the second person bringing up my english (as a second language) mistakes, and completely missing the point. The difference: I admit it when I’m wrong, and I’m not doing it on purpose.

  8. CalypsoArt    Sat Aug 18, 12:56 PM #  

    One might also note that people going to see a movie often go to a “movie theater” Here the term is definitely the building.

    In my upbringing, I went to the theater to see Theatre, and to the cinema to see movies. What ever the current vernacular, I’m never misunderstood which ever way I spell it.

  9. knowless    Sat Aug 18, 03:53 PM #  

    so, you don’t know when you’re wrong and that makes it o.k.?
    it’s like you’re missing the point….even if admitting it later, or too late that is!

  10. alesh    Sat Aug 18, 04:56 PM #  


    fine. MIA’s new single is called “boyz.” I know what she’s talking about, too. But the “theatre” people are talking like this distinction is founded on ENGLISH, of which it ain’t.


    like, if someone bumps into you in the hallway, and you’re like “hey!” and it sounds like you’re saying it’s not relevant whether they say

    “fuck you, bitch, watch where you’re going next time”

    or “excuse me”

  11. Christopher Jahn    Sat Aug 18, 08:40 PM #  


    “yet.” Ain’t “yet.” ;-)