Spelling corrections

Discussion of the confirmed Zodiac letters

Spelling corrections

Postby entropy » Sun Nov 17, 2013 3:38 am

There are two words in the early Zodiac letters that I've always believed strongly support the idea that the majority of Z's spelling mistakes were unintentional. In both cases, Z attempts to correct spelling mistakes, which would seem to contradict the idea of him generating purposeful mistakes.

1. The word CIPHER is botched the first time Z attempts it in his 7/31/69 letters. In what I strongly believe is the first letter written of the 3 to the Vallejo Times-Herald, Z spells the word as cyipher as if he is unsure whether to use a y or an i. To me, this is an indication that he started to spell the word with a y, realized that it did not look right, then added in an i because he was genuinely unsure which phonetically equivalent letter was used for the word. He then nails the word later in the same letter, the other two letters on the same day and every future attempt.

http://www.zodiackiller.com/VTHLetter1.html

2. The word ADDRESS in the next letter in which Z signs off as "NO ADDRESS". Here he clearly wrote the word as ADRESS and squeezed in an extra D once he realized that it didn't look right. The mistake is entirely consistent with his frequent confusion about when to use double letter combinations.

http://www.zodiackiller.com/ZLetter3.html

Another example is the attempts at the word BUTTONS. The first time it is used, Z wavers between spelling it with one and two t's, seemingly unsure of whether to use the double t. In future letters, the word is spelled correctly several times, which I would suggest is the result of him deciding from the first letter that "BUTTONS" look more correct.

I know I'm in the minority with this belief and I do certainly think it's possible that some words like "cid" and "doo" were purposely misspelled but I think the consistency of Z's phonetic spelling mistakes and his apparent attempts to correct his own spelling indicate that the majority of spelling errors were exactly that... errors related to his uncertainty about some of the phonetically equivalent options that make spelling difficult in the English language.
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Re: Spelling corrections

Postby traveller1st » Sun Nov 17, 2013 3:55 am

Makes sense to me.
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Re: Spelling corrections

Postby glurk » Sun Nov 17, 2013 6:26 am

Even though I think it has been done before, perhaps a thread on Zodiac's misspellings would be a good idea.
I don't know if all of them have ever been put together in one post. I will try. And perhaps they can even be classified.
Thanks to entropy for the idea, I've collected these, please feel free to add to what I have found.

1) Egregious Mistakes:

CID - kid
CEROUS - curious
CLEW - clue
CYIPHER - cipher
DARCK - dark
FRUNT - front
HOWERS - hours
WOEMAN - woman

2) ING Mistakes

CRUZEING - cruising
HAVEING - having
LYEING - lying
RACEING - racing
TIREING - tiring
USEING - using
WAVEING - waving
WIPEING - wiping

3) Doubled letter mistakes (added, or omitted)

COUPPLE - couple
UNTILL - until
ORIGINALY - originally
SQEALLING - squealing
CHRISTMASS - christmas
COMMITT - commit
EFECT/EFECTIVE - effect/effective
BUSSY - busy
DISSAPEARED - disappeared
RUBED - rubbed
ALLREADY - already
APROX - approx
DIFICULT - difficult
POSIBLY - possibly
TRIGER - trigger
TERITORY - territory
BUTONS - buttons

I know that this is not a complete list. But maybe we could add to this thread and complete it? Would it be useful - I don't know.

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Re: Spelling corrections

Postby entropy » Sun Nov 17, 2013 6:48 am

Here's a few other categorizations I've come up with:

Inability to distinguish use of s vs. z, s vs. c and c vs. k for similar sounds. This seems to be the source of many of Z's worst and most tantalizing spelling errors:

cruse/cruzeing
noze
cerous
cid
promiced

Confusion of vowel sounds:
backwords
epasode
victoms
pencel
motorcicles
frunt
entirle
ventalate
machiene
woeman
saterical

Others?

It may seem like a useless, tedious exercise but I do believe that these TYPES of spelling errors would likely be found in z's everyday handwriting.
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Re: Spelling corrections

Postby morf13 » Sun Nov 17, 2013 11:29 am

Very good topic, but personally, I think his misspellings are done on purpose.
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Re: Spelling corrections

Postby mike_r » Sun Nov 17, 2013 11:35 am

I've often wondered how many people can correctly use semi-colons but can't spell. ;)
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Re: Spelling corrections

Postby morf13 » Sun Nov 17, 2013 1:34 pm

mike_r wrote:I've often wondered how many people can correctly use semi-colons but can't spell. ;)



Not many I bet
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Re: Spelling corrections

Postby smithy » Sun Nov 17, 2013 1:40 pm

Have you read the "Hunter among the Stars" thing you blokes? Good spelling insights from the author, who knows that stuff.
Lots of less interesting "Zodiacal" rubbish too, mind you.
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Re: Spelling corrections

Postby entropy » Sun Nov 17, 2013 6:01 pm

Can you summarize the opinions on the spelling errors, smithy? Otherwise, I may need to wait for a Black Friday sale.
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Re: Spelling corrections

Postby smithy » Mon Nov 18, 2013 7:41 am

Sorry E., in truth I can't. Not just copyright (which would be an issue I suspect) but also 'cos they really do comprise about 1/2 the content of the book. It's worth getting in that sale, yep.
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