Just get me the coffee

Randomly, because that’s what I have time for.

1. I’m drinking a fantastic cup of coffee. 

2. When I’m done drinking this I will go back to editing the edits.

3. I’m almost done.

4. Don’t hate my editor. She’s very good, I like her, and every publisher has a house style. It is The Way Things Are Done, and an individual editor has no more power to change that then you have to change most things at your work.  All of my books have been published by an American publisher, and all of them have had US English spelling, and it’s been fine. There is no need to revolt now.  American publishers have a right to spell things the American way.  It’s an American company.

5. I just like to keep reminding people that I’m not a bad speller. I don’t mind that my spellings are changed (sort of- I understand it-but don’t like it) the only thing that ever puts me over the top is ignorance that there might be another system at all.  (Believe it or not, I’ve had emails correcting my spelling.) Americans have a right to Americanise English for their own purposes, and nobody will be even slightly irritated unless there’s no acknowledgement that the rest of the English speaking world has a right not to Americanise theirs without anyone thinking anyone else can’t spell their way out of a paper bag.  

6. If an American author was published by a Canadian/British/Irish/South African/Austrailan/Indian publisher, their house style would apply and their manuscripts would be changed too. We’d be rearranging letters and sticking U’s in all over the place, and I bet that author would be worried about appearing un-American and they would still change it.  The author, like me, would live.

7. In the Globe and Mail (big Canadian national newspaper) if President Obama is quoted about working on the border and he used the word defence (instead of the Americanised "defense") that’s how it would be spelled.  Even though he’s American, and he would have written it defense, that’s not how we write it here, and it is being published here. 

8. Just like my books are being published in the US.

9. Yes. I’m a proud Canadian.  I still don’t control the spelling in another country, and unbelievably, don’t think I should.

10.  I do agree that the Harry Potter books were better before the translation.

11.  I knit a hat to replace my current one, because while it’s a very nice hat,  it  makes me look like a penis.

12.  A lot of hats make me look like that.  If you don’t believe me, you can ask my friends or my mother. 

13. Right now someone is upset that I typed penis, as though it was a filthy word that could lead people straight into poor behaviour rather than a name of a body part.  There’s something about typing that word that just upsets people more than typing elbow.

14.  I could type all sorts of body part names all day and I wouldn’t get any emails.  I could say elbow, aorta, ankle, scapula, nose, lung- it would all be fine.  Type penis once or twice and whammo. You’ve got someone in your inbox telling you that you’re pretty depraved and aught to rein it in.

15.  Vagina and breast can get people pretty wound up too. 

16.  Damn.  Just typed those too. That’s going to be at least three emails.

17.  Four.  There will be one about saying damn too.  (Now five.)

18.  Anyway, to try and not look like a penis (six) I have been trying on lots of hats.  (This is Canada.  Hats are not optional, and it’s important to have one you like.)  I tried on Andrea’s a little while ago and it had absolutely no qualities that were reminiscent of any male organ what so ever.  (Better?) 

19. It was Wurm.  I knit it out of Cascade Eco+.  The colour is 2452. 

See?  Pretty un-penisey. (Seven – though now one of the emails will tell me I do too look like a penis.) 

20.  I don’t think I do.   I like the hat. 

589 thoughts on “Just get me the coffee

  1. You really made me want to read what comments people had written – but there aren’t any! I’ll be back later to read the complaints!

  2. I like your hat too, especially on a frigid day like today. You do not look like a penis, there I said it too.
    I too have issues with English-Canadian/American spellings with my students at school, they even want to write to text short forms, let alone add another letter that is silent.
    And I did not know that defence was spelled any other way.
    And I may just be in the first 10 of email replies. Be still my heart.

  3. No – you don’t. Great hat.
    PENISPENISPENISPENIS. LOL – Now you can get comments about someone writing (penis) in the comments.

  4. May I be first??? Ok, I’m not one of those complaining about swearing or body parts – but here in the states we say “individual editor has no more power to change that THAN you have to change most things at your work”
    Just sayin’. Love your rants.

  5. For the record, my American daughter attending the University of Toronto adores Canadian spelling and probably will forever embrace it.

  6. I think I must be sort of, well, deviant, because after reading that post and then seeing the hat, all I could think was ‘ribbed for her pleasure.’
    I am sorry. That’s from an American condom ad.
    And now you can have people upset because we brought up sex.

  7. Just wait for the comments about “aught” vs “ought” and people who think “wurm” should be “warm” or “worm.” 🙂

  8. Lovely hat, beautiful knitter, and fantastic writer – even though you knit penis look-a-like head gear at one time. You seem to have fixed that issue.

  9. I haven’t laughed that hard in a while. Though it was aimed a bit at myself as I seem to look like a penis (eight!) in most hats, too.
    I’ll have to look at that pattern!

  10. Started cracking up laughing around number 11 & didn’t stop til I got to the end. Thanks for the laugh. LOVE the hat. It looks GREAT on you!

  11. And this hat is already in my queue, and I love it, even if, from a certain angle, it kind of resembles a foreskin, but that’s just me, and the powers of suggestion, and maybe it’s not ALL foreskins, but a certain one…
    I’m a gonna knit MY Wurm in something stripey.

  12. Hi,
    You should really read The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde to understand why spelling is different in different countries. Very funny – if you like off the wall books.

  13. Ok. I too was drinking a fantastic cup of coffee……only now, it is all over my keyboard because I spewed it every time you said PENIS!
    Now you HAVE to clarify. Uncircumcised or not? Which one is your particular look?? HA!

  14. I like the hat, but I’d also like to see a picture of you wearing one in which you think you look like a penis. Your blog readers could vote. But then you would probably get emails for publishing pornographic pictures.

  15. I live in San Francisco, which is unfortunate, because I would LOVE to wear knit hats. I just simply don’t need them, whether they made me look like a penis or not. Great post.
    Penis penis PENIS!!!! There you freakyfolks, take THAT!

  16. Bless you for defending your editor! That inspired me to do something knitterly in your honor, so I wove in the ends of the sweater I finished knitting on January 1.

  17. First, I believe that, in point five, you should have spelled it “Americanize” rather than “Americanise” just for the sake of showing how silly it looks with a zee. (And I’m an American who just prefers the -ise ending.)
    Secondly, I think it’s funny how often people freak about about racy-sounding words that really aren’t: Uvula is a prime example. No, really, it isn’t a female body part. (People, buy a dictionary. And use it.)
    I won’t argue about how you looked in your “other” hat, except to say that I’ve never seen a penis that had a face, glasses and a knitted condom on it. However, your new hat is lovely, and it does suit your face very well!

  18. I’ve always preferred theatre; it seems more cultured.
    Have you ever put on a hat that makes you look like an elbow? 🙂

  19. I have never heard a man complain that a hat made his head look like a penis, though if it is true about some female heads, it must also be true about some male heads. Hmm.
    Iattended first through fourth grade in an Anglican school in Italy, and learnt British spelling. When I moved to the US, my spelling became a mish-mash of British spelling for words learnt before fourth grade, and US spelling for words learned after fourth grade. No matter what I do, I still get the red squiggle line under most everything I write.

  20. Here’s my thought. With so many editors/writers commenting on your writing/editing post, I can’t help but wonder if there is an unduly high percentage of the literarily inclined among knitters and vice versa. I’m both too. And I fight like hell not to let electronica creep into my editorial doings. . . I prefer the paper-and-pencil
    route, too. Now as for penises. . .and ellipses!

  21. As an American English teacher in an American high school, I like to use non-American spellings just to mess with their little heads…and to prove a point that “our” English isn’t the same as everyone else’s. That doesn’t make it good or bad, just different. (Although, British English did come first, so it MAY be a touch better…I sort of sneak that into the discussion, too!) Also, I think using British/Australian/etc. spelling makes me seem exotic. That’s right! I said it…Canada is exotic!

  22. I’m looking forward to reading the new book -but please Stephanie, now I’m stuck with a mental image of a penis contentedly knitting a sock, and I just can’t deal with it.

  23. I would have liked to see the old hat so I could form my own opinion about whether you looked like a penis or not. Oops!

  24. But I rather think the back looks like the way a shriveled, cold testicle looks, don’t ask me how I know. There now you are off the hook and I can be in DEEP SHEEP.

  25. I will never understand people who complain about what someone else writes in their own damn penis blog. Write whatever you like, however you like it and spell it anyway you please. Larynx.

  26. Too funny! All the laughing helped warm me up on a bitterly cold day. I don’t wear hats because they make me look like, well, a dork. I might have to try the “unpenisy” one though.

  27. Some penises are actually quite attractive. Although I do stand by my belief that the scrotum is proof of evolution. No one could take a look at one of those and say “that’s just perfect!” It’s sort of like the alligator–you look at an alligator and believe in dinosaurs. You look at a scrotum and believe in prehistoric man.

  28. When my kids were younger, they got upset if I used “bad” words like penis. Which would lead me to walking around the house yelling out body parts until they got over it. I’m pretty certain that someone at school insisted that penis and vagina and breast were “bad” words but I don’t know if it was another kid or a teacher.
    Regardless, my kids know the names of all sorts of body parts, including the uvula, the coccyx, and the clitoris, and where they actually are (that was a fun evening of sketches and one kid accidentally got himself suspended from school for a day by making use of Google to see the details of the female genitals).
    Also, I have heard that those of us who look untoward in a typical toque or beanie look smashing in a slouchy type of hat. I didn’t think of it as being penis-y, but I fear now I will never be able to not think of it that way.

  29. It drives me nuts when our American newspapers change Labour to Labor when discussing British (and probably Canadian, too) politics. We wrote in to complain once and they tried to defend their action saying it was an alternate spelling. Honestly! It’s a proper name, people! I should have written back to the person with an alternate spelling of their name…

  30. I’m just glad you picked Wurm and not prinz eisenherz — that would have brought ‘nipple’ into the post! LOL

  31. Very funny post! Thank you. And as a true, blue American, I have to say that I love to read Canadian/English/Australian/etc. literature because of the spelling. It just seems so much more picturesque and detailed. Just my view.

  32. Cool hat!
    As a kid I “misspelled” a word on a spelling test… Never could understand it as I KNEW I’d read the word “grey” spelled with an “e” dangit. And I’m old enough to have learned the “doubled consonant” rule for “labelled” and “travelled” and “busses” (seeing the red underline on those last two even now).
    What wit was it anyway, that said England and the US are two countries “separated by a common language”?
    Fun post.

  33. Thank you so much for making me laugh about using the word penis.
    I’ve almost finished a hat for myself and sure enough, when I tried it on it looked like a … I must rip it and try the wurm pattern.
    I live in the U.S. but I wish Harry Potter had been published here with the more English spelling, it would have added to the setting of the story. That is how I feel about your books, since I read your blog and your Canadian spelling most days, so it actually seems strange for your books to read as americanized.
    The new hat looks really good on you. Is it because your hair is fluffy and the hat is full, not tight, so they go together? You should knit yourself more than one of them, one solid and the other multi-colored for a change off. I love the pattern.

  34. Hat looks GREAT on you. We are anatomically correct @ our house, since I think it makes the adults look stupid (another bad word) to teach children funny names for body parts, which then have to be un-learned later, usually @ school. Hope you don’t get too many scolding emails!

  35. The hat is wonderful. You can type penis all day long if you like as far as I’m concerned. Even though this particular body part isn’t one of my personal favorites, I’ll not be offended. Bring the hat next week – might not be Canadian cold here, but it will be rainy and in the 40’s… Can’t wait to see you!

  36. Very cool (um warm) hat. I really like how the top is done. Wonderful un-anatomical photo!

  37. Darn, come to think of it, the hat I have been wearing looks like a penis. Does keep my head and ears warm … but next time I put it on, that is what I will remember. I like your new one – Very Much.

  38. OMG, #11 just cracked me up! As did #13. Which reminds me of a funny story from long-ago college days. I’d met up after classes with a good friend for lunch. We were discussing our course loads. I noted my friend’s extreme discomfort when I asked how her Human Sexuality class was going.
    She squirmed in her seat. I noticed pink creeping up her neck into her cheeks. She said she didn’t want to talk about it.
    I pressed further. She revealed with reluctance that they’d been reading aloud in class about, uh, body parts. When it was her turn, every time she came to the word “penis”, she was so embarrassed about it that she couldn’t say it out loud. She read it silently to herself, hoping no one would notice.
    But the professor did, and asked why she skipped over the word “penis”. I absolutely rolled out of the booth when she flushed violently red and blurted out, “I’m sorry–I can’t say it, but I can mouth it.”

  39. Well at least you didn’t spell nipple! OMG Actually, my favorite typo of all time was pubic instead of public (in a planning staff report).

  40. I can’t imagine what all the fuss is about. I’m very American…in fact a friend who helped with our family genealogy said I’m the most American American she’s ever known. And I believe each person in every culture should be the most – insert country – as they can be. And that includes the way they spell.
    In short – get over it people! And I love the hat. You look not at all penis-y.

  41. Second post, to avoid taking away from the story in the first: the problem with “uvula” is that people mistake it for “vulva” and get their panties in a knot.
    And may I say, your new hat is very lovely, and not penisy at all. (Note to self: avoid knitting hats in flesh-colored yarn.)

  42. Use the word Moist sometime. It sounds so dirty and yet isn’t.
    You aren’t at all phallic looking in that hat.

  43. Okay, have you watched “(500) Days of Summer”? There’s a great scene in it about saying “penis” out loud in a park. It’s hilarious! And the best dance scene I’ve watched in a long, long time. I highly recommend it.

  44. “11. I knit a hat to replace my current one, because while it’s a very nice hat, it makes me look like a penis.”
    OMG, I almost fell out of my chair laughing – I want proof that your old hat makes you look like a penis.
    (Dear netnannies – pls send me anti-penis email).
    Oh, you forgot “scrotum” – people get all twitchy about that one, too. 😛
    That is a pretty spiffy new hat 🙂

  45. Bravo, Stephanie. This is probably the most number of times the word “penis” has appeared on a knitting blog, lol.
    LOVE the hat.

  46. Hahaha! Don’t worry about angry emails. You didn’t mention clitoris or labia, so you’ll probably be fine.
    Nice hat!

  47. thanks for the laugh……. but i am not sure how a hat could make you look like a penis????? model it so we can judge. FYI in my opinion kids should always be taught the proper words for each part of their body.

  48. If it’s any consolation, I’m in the UK and have survived reading various of your books (published in US-English) without having any hissy, apoplectic or any other type of fit. In fact, I don’t think my brain registered the US-Englishness.
    I also once said VAGINA loudly outside my daughter’s primary school. Just because I could and also because I wanted to see if there would be head-turning. There was. But then, it’s a Very Small English Town.

  49. As a citizen of the US, I say, ‘Here is to the letter Zed!’ You and I are both American’s and it bugs me when other nationalities from Central, North and South America are not referred to as American’s. We all have our foibles. I tend to not get my panties in a bunch about spellings or body parts. Other things set me off. What can I say…(oh, I like ellipsis as well.)
    And, Cascade Eco Wool or Eco+, very cool, makes for quick hats, I know, I knit 4 out of one skein of Eco-Wool for men in my family at Christmas. Of course, we also live where hats are an option.

  50. Did you know that Gone With The Wind almost got an “Adults only” rating? Apparently Rhett Butler telling Ms Scarlett that he didn’t give a damn was enough to have the censors chewing on their pencils and furrowing their brows…

  51. I love that your hat and scarf are both green. Despite being up against a deadline, you still manage to look put-together. 🙂
    While we’re naming body parts, pancreas. So there.

  52. Just today I was looking at myself wearing a hat (which I rarely do as it is not usually that cold in Tennessee) and thinking I looked dumb. Now I know why. I too looked like a penis.
    Time to knit a new hat.

  53. I do not think the hat makes you look like a penis. But I think the name of the hat seems close to the word worm which makes me think of a penis. But I won’t do anything inappropriate at work because of it but if I did I would probably blame you…and your penis-named hat. Or not. Anyway, I like the hat. And it’s not like you posted pictures of yourself in your underwear while wearing the un-penis like hat. I should probably not keep typing the word penis in case my work somehow monitors my keystrokes. I would just tell them I was typing the sentence My pen is huge!

  54. As one of your south-of-the-border readers I’m perfectly comfortable with my U.S. spellings. And with your Canadian spellings. Think it’s kinda funny how people are trying to define one as “right” and the other, consequently, as “wrong.” Vive la difference!

  55. wonderful hat and hilarious post! thanks for the laugh, I needed it today.
    I did have an disagreement with my husband when he saw “defenceman” on the screen during a hockey game, until I pointed out that that is correct, particularly if we are watching a game being played in Canada. (also, it’s hockey – I feel they should use Canadian English spellings for anything related to hockey)

  56. Very unpenisy indeed. Lovely actually. I’ve looked at this hat before but couldn’t deal with having no idea what “small,” “medium,” and “large” actually meant. Now if I had only had one size to deal with …

  57. I don’t know why I enjoyed this post so much, but I did. Perhaps because the 3yr-old has been especially challenging today. Thank you.

  58. I also look like said appendage in hats (can’t use the word; I’m at work). I like your solution; may try it myself.
    Side note–I seem to be partial to ellipses and semicolons. You are not alone; there are others out here in the great web continuum who are more fanatical about the overuse of punctuation.

  59. You are the funniest woman alive. I read your books and blogs aloud to my fiance and we both convulse with laughter. The audiobooks are good too, when we’re knitting and can’t scroll down as easily. (I taught him to knit. He’s just finished a hat. Luckily, his hat doesn’t make him look like a penis either.)

  60. I’m a science teacher and you wouldn’t believe how frequently the Head teacher will be showing people around when I’m teaching reproduction. It can be amusing to see people’s faces when they are brought into the lab and are confronted with 30 eleven year olds talking about the shape of a vagina or penis……
    Hehe we also often give the trainee teachers the reproduction topic to see how they cope. You can either face down a class of kids on the topic or you can’t…..

  61. Well – a couple of people above said it first but I also thought “ribbed for your pleasure” and flaccid.

  62. lolololol . . . . too true.
    I think some people get wound up because the word-that-you-typed-so-many-times is the subject of 99.99999% of juvenile jokes and conversations (well, and a lot of adult jokes and conversations, for that matter). I’m one who is a bit uncomfortable with it, but that’s due 100% to bad associations from years of school, not due to anything inherently wrong with the word itself.
    And I do like that hat on you. It looks almost as great as the cowboy had you brought back from one of your book tours. (I really liked that one on you . . . too bad it’s made of straw with lots of ventilation, or it would be a fantastic winter hat, eh? ;o)

  63. That hat looks good on you and not like a penis at all. Those beautiful mitts take the cake tho and I’m happy that you still have them . Watch out that someone doesn’t tackle you for them. Great post , made me laugh out loud. You are some good writer and comedian. Thank you .

  64. I always read your blog, though I rarely read the comments. Given your latest, I’m thinking you shouldn’t read them either! Including this one. You’re fine. Your hat is more than fine. Your parka is one I had in 8th grade and I loved it more than life itself … eight or nine pockets, I’m thinking.

  65. I hope you are getting a cut from Blue Moon given they had to take the hankies of the site for unprecedented demand 🙂
    You hat looks scrumptious

  66. I quite literally laughed out loud at number eleven, and startled the women who sit outside my office.

  67. You look totally un-penis-like in that hat. Maybe because of the floofy ribs (for her pleasure). Sorry I couldn’t resist. You have my permission to palm of a couple of the complaining emails this way. After all I said “it” too.

  68. I remember in seventh grade writing the word “catalogue”. The teacher took me aside and asked me why I spelled it that way… surprised and puzzled (because I read lots of English books) I said I thought it was spelled that way. She had me check in the classroom dictionary, which only had it listed as “catalogue” (no alternate spellings), then sent me to the school library to check in the bigger dictionary there… it still had “catalogue” as the main spelling, but listed “catalog” as an alternate. That was the first time I realized that there WERE American spellings for some words, even though I am American!
    one other story: I had a friend who was so embarrassed by the word “penis” that she couldn’t bring herself to say it to her young son. She decided she needed to practice saying it to get comfortable with it… so then her four-year-old walked in on her standing in front of the mirror in the bathroom saying, “Penis penis penis penis penis penis…”

  69. The great thing about reading blogs is that if you find something objectionable in a post, you can always STOP READING. This is much more effective than trying to get the writer to change the way she says things.

  70. Thanks, Stephanie. This was so funny. I need humour as often as possible. And these comments should be almost as fun as your post. We all have our favourite body parts. Mine is breast because I love to help mothers nurse. Look at all the fun words I can say.
    Did you notice that I’m practicing adding U whenever I can? I particularly prefer honour over honor. It just seems to express it so much better.

  71. If you have never caught Craig Ferguson, host of TV’s Late Late Show (you might know him from television!), I hope you do at some point. You made me think of him just now, and how he will say something utterly outrageous, give the camera a shit-eating grin, and then say with complete sincerity, “I look forward to your letters.” All with a charming Scottish accent. I love Craig, and I love you. And no, your hat does not look like a penis, and neither do you. You do, however, look a bit chilled.

  72. Truly laugh-out-loud funny post today. Though I am going to make a point of NOT trying on any of my hats while I have the image of looking like a penis in my head. 🙂

  73. I like the hat. There’s nothing worse than wearing one that makes you look like a penis. This solves the problem nicely, I think.

  74. Actually, if an Australian publisher was publishing a book they hoped would be of interest outside Australia they’d Americanise the spelling. Sad but true.
    I bought my son a toy car that sings the alphabet for Christmas. It ends with zed. I am inordinately pleased by that. This is the first year that I have noticed talky-toys in the shops that have “British accent” written on the boxes 🙂

  75. But the grammer: Try TO, not try AND. Trying is not doing. “Try and” implies doing, not trying. One of my pet peeves. Sorry, I really do love your blog.

  76. That hat does not make you look like a penis, I really want to see the penis hat now though.
    Also you forgot nipple.
    I was more upset that one of your comments suggested Patrick Stewart/Captain Jean-Luc Picard sounded a bit Scottish when he’s from beautiful Yorkshire than I was about the American/Canadian/English spelling thing.

  77. ~shrugs~ I think you should stick to your spelling. I prefer it, and think it’s worthwhile for people to learn that spelling is not static.

  78. I got very depressed when studying English Language to learn that a lot of Americanisms are actually the original English spellings, but over the centuries we (in the UK) have changed and they haven’t. And apparently some of them, like the missing ‘u’s, were a deliberate attempt to gain cultural independence after they gained political independence.
    Doesn’t make them right though.

  79. You could do the plaid flannel hat with ear flaps. That shouldn’t make you look like a penis. Oh shoot. Did I just say that?

  80. as i read your blog i’m waiting for a dress rehearsal of the vagina monologues at my university (of guelph), for which i’m doing lights. the word vagina gets people riled up, one way or another.

  81. I just wish the name of the hat was something other that Wurm. It just makes me think of a wrinkly penis. Do you think you get into more trouble when you describe the penis instead of just leaving it as penis?
    Anyways, I like the slouched look of the hat on you. Your head looks lovely in it, not at all like a penis.
    Very funny post!

  82. I have a button on my knitting bag (one of) that says “K2P2 – Ribbed for her pleasure.”
    Last night a contestant on Wheel of Fortune was named Scotta. I initially mis-read her tag as “Scrota.”
    But then she’d be plural. I think.

  83. I’m surprised that you haven’t found a non-penis hat yet. Well, you did now, and I would hot glue that hat to your head, so you don’t lose it, which is what happens to ALL good hats.
    Good for you saying words that make some people squirm. I personally think that if everyone appraoched these word with a mature mind, then no one would squirm.

  84. Come on Stephanie, could you not have got “arse” in there too?
    My husband is following you on Twitter (it came as a surprise to him so I might have been logged on as him at some point) and he says you are funny. He should have worked that out by now by the number of times I’ve snorted tea down my nose while reading here.

  85. Try a beret? Ones that are suppose to make the top of my head flat and flare out a little tend to balance out my big hair and then don’t make me look like a penis. That one with how it gathers needs a circumcision.

  86. You forgot, “nipple”. =P
    That being said, I’m not certain how I feel about the slouchy hat. It vaguely reminds me of an uncircumsized penis, but that might be because of the number of times the word “penis” has been used in the post and in the comments above mine. =/ Still. You look good. And I assume the slouchy-ness of the hat is better if you have curly hair? I have really straight hair, so I don’t quite grasp the importance of friction/static cling on curly hair. =P

  87. I cannot for the life of me imagine you looking like a penis.
    It may be that I lack imagination, or your previous hats were just unkind (regardless of how beautifully knit they may be)… but either way this post tapped into my deep and abiding secret shameful potty humour gene.
    Couldn’t stop laughing, might still be giggling.

  88. The hat looks great on you and the color is very complimentary to your skin tone. I, too, have curly hair and feel that most hats make me look like Bozo the clown since I have huge tufts of hair sticking out. (Google Bozo if you don’t know who he is. Luckily, my hair isn’t orange.) That’s why I opt for a beret style. I like to think I don’t look like Bozo because of the slouch. Go figure…
    p.s. Thanks for making me laugh, as usual.

  89. Plus also, I knit that same hat, alternating between light blue and dark blue. I was going to knit it using light pink for the purls and dark pink for the knits. But then when I thought about it, I decided it would look a little vagina-ish.
    And then I said that at Knit Night. Out Loud. Everyone was stricken.
    It is nice to know I can come over here if I ever feel the need to talk about how knitting can look like body parts.

  90. The hat is lovely, and yes I want to make myself one. Been looking for a quick fix knit for a while now.
    And as a man, I do have to agree that from that one angle, it does look very foreskin like. Which make me chuckle to no end. [g]
    Funny – I thought it was Rachael who had all hats make her look like a penis. Guess I was remembering it wrong!

  91. Thanks for bringing a smile to my morning.
    You cannot show an after photo without the corresponding before so come on put up a penishead shot!

  92. Ironic that the hat that does not make you look like a penis is called Wurm?
    Thanks for your defence of house style; I was quite nervous getting a manuscript back from an author yesterday but it turns out she was quite happy with my editing. The fear works on both sides of the equation, I assure you!
    Also, it’s quite tricky to edit in US English when it’s not your native variation and you’ve never lived there, as one publisher – bizarrely, an Australian one – required me to do.

  93. I cracked up when I read this post! I think I scared the plumber working in the bathroom!
    FWIW: ‘Wurm’ is German for our word ‘worm’ (In German names and nouns are capitolized.)

  94. Oh, Steph, you would SO fit in with one of my Jane Austen online fan groups- we are always discussing penises, and no one seems to mind.
    And I agree with whoever mentioned it above, the hat does have some foreskin tendencies… but really, no one will notice.;)

  95. I don’t think you look like a penis at all.
    The body part that has the funniest sounding name to me is spleen. Seriously, who came up with that one?

  96. I must say that it’s a toque not a hat… just sayin! — By the way… I had a great chuckle when you said “penis”… hee hee, penis.

  97. You know what I love about this post, other than the spelling debate, is that lots of teenagers looking for porn will end up looking at a knitting blog!
    What I hate is the way that my spelling gets corrected by the internet as I type, even though I’m typing in the UK. There is no way for me to change it. I am beginning to spell like an American. I hate that.

  98. I used to work for a large internet company and “translations” are a very big deal for customer service email responses. We have to have a translation from US English to the Queen’s English.
    I don’t understand why they have to translate books. There are generally only a few words that need to be explained. And we are “protected” from TV shows that are filmed in other countries too. They can be a fabulous show with a fabulous cast and we’ll just take that show and film it again in the states. Don’t get me started on what they are doing to Torchwood.
    All of this just helps us forget we aren’t the only country in the world.
    Oh dear, there I go on a rant again. And all I meant to say was it looks like you are still on a green kick. Love the hat!

  99. I think you should get to spell your words the way you always spell them…you are Canadian…just because the editor is from the U.S. doesn’t mean that you should change your spelling unless you are spelling them wrong to start with.
    (I tried to add more times of using the words spell/spelling but couldn’t figure out how to do it!) 😉

  100. This post, no matter how amusing it actually was, was useless without photographic PROOF that you look like a penis in most hats. I SO want to see you look like a penis! Penis! BWWHAAA HAAA! OMG! I find this SO hysterical!
    Also, you now have given each and every one of your readers a new worry when they try on a hat. “Honey, does this hat make me look like a penis?!?” You know what? I’m putting on some random hat tonight just so I can ask my dear husband that very question! And the next time I’m trying on hats with my friends at the store I’m just going to mutter “Hmm.. You don’t think this makes my head look to penis-y, do you?”

  101. Love the hat. Love the non-U.S. spelling (also as U.S. as they come). Maybe I would be a better speller if the U.S. had not dropped all those lovely nuances that make the words look so much more interesting. Also, if one is reading a blog with the word “harlot” in the title, should they really complain about language?

  102. Hmmm, if a hat made me look like a penis, I’d be inclined to keep it until I found a dick and could say, “here, this is obviously yours!”
    As to @ Jackie’s comment (4:26pm):
    1. you make me laugh and
    2. the idea of a penis knitting makes more sense than an elbow.
    And Leta’s comment reminded me: now that the stepboy is living with us (16) he kept saying penis at the dinner table. I didn’t realize he was trying to get me upset until, having said penis (in appropriate sentences) 3-4 times, he switched to scrotum. I found that advising him on why he needed to inspect his scrotum has stopped these dinner table discussions. I guess his mother isn’t jiggy with real names for body parts, but those were the ONLY names we were allowed to use growing up! i didn’t even know what a “coochy” was until high school! And what’s with “down there?!” Are you talking about your feet? your penis? your thigh?

  103. Love the hat. You look like no body part — except, you know, a head.
    I think the word naked is fine, but nude sounds dirty. I feel uncomfortable saying the word toes…Why is that?
    Still trying to envision how a hat would make one look like a penis. Please forward your mum’s email so I can contact her.

  104. It could be worse. You could play the “penis game” in public. (Where you see who will say the word penis the loudest.) I can say I have been the winner at that one before. LOL I don’t understand why people can get so bent out of shape about a name of a body part, but I think it is kind of funny. Of course I live in a house with 2 boys 6 and 8 and a little girl 4 so we hear body part names quite frequently. Most of the time it is in public and not so quietly.

  105. *faints* What is the world coming to? Oh the depravity and brazenness of it all.
    You said…scapula! And I’m not even going to mention ankle – those should be kept completely covered.

  106. Here is an email you did not predict (ha ha, got in a sort of nasty syllable!): what is “aught”?….in Canadian, course!

  107. I did not know that penises wore glasses. Although I admit I am not the world’s expert on all penises. Still……
    I really like that hat. And now I want one. Hat. Not penis.

  108. I worked at a community radio station, and during a fund drive, we did a story on the local news about someone who was protesting an art exhibit in Santa Fe. The volunteer who was speaking mentioned that people were upset over the depiction of a “bare-breasted angel.” Someone called and vehemently complained about “that kind of language and imagery during the breakfast hour when children were at home.” The volunteer apologized on-air for offending listeners. During her apology she used the term “bare-breasted angel” 6 times. Just thought I’d share — people do get their panties in a bunch of the oddest things. Oh — can I say “panties?”

  109. You forgot “nipple” – didn’t that cause a fuss a few years ago.. You’re kinda like the George Carlin of knitter blogs.. penis, penis penis…nipple nipple nipple.. if we write a hiku with the word penis in it do we win a prize??

  110. Love that hat. I have that yarn. I’m casting on tonight. And if I look like a dick in it, I’m ok with that.

  111. Before I give my opinion of the new hat, please may I see a picture of you in the old one? I’m sure the new one is probably better but I would like to see you in the penis hat. I just need a chuckle.

  112. Spelling? How about dates? All my life I’ve
    written number/month/year. Now I am asked to
    write month/number/year. I get confused, but as
    I am in the USA, I am trying to do it right. There’s no “spell check” for dates.
    As for unmentionable body parts, why are they
    unmentionable? If we don’t mention them will
    all be sweetness and light? Will sex go away?
    Do we really want that to happen?

  113. what do you do when your current hat makes you look penis-y? (other than knit a new one, of course) do you give the penis-y hat away? that seems, i don’t know, kind of mean spirited….

  114. a. English is my 2nd language. Is it wrong to say mouses? deers? sheeps? I know it is wrong wrong, but if i like saying it … does it matter? i think they all deserve a proper plural.
    b. is there a way that, when i click on a link in your page, then it opens another tab or window as opposed to use the same window i am in? Dont know if this is my pc doing it or the way the link is set up in the page ….

  115. I too, never wear beanies because I look like that unmentionable male appendage. I do however wear knitted berets. And I think I may just have to knit a Wurm as it looks super cool and funky!
    For what it’s worth, my Mum who never swore (or drink, or smoke or run around with loose men) didn’t consider ‘damn’ to be a swear word – just an exclamation. Actually I think she just let us all get away with damn so we wouldn’t use anything worse in her presence. I remember Mum at nearly 80 berating her 70-something brother for using a word beginning with ‘f’. It was so funny.
    And to add to the body parts debate – cerebellum

  116. I didn’t know there was a “translation” of Harry Potter. Huh. Jason tells me that the British release of the Beatles albums are always better, is it something like that? And hey, you spell your way, I’ll spell mine. I would like to know what the aversion to the letter z is all about though. Maybe Americans thought it wasn’t getting enough use? I laughed out loud about the penis comment. I understand what you’re trying to say. Living in Michigan, hats aren’t much an option either. It’s either that or hoods. I’d never quite thought of the penis thing though. Puts a new spin on it. Now when I see people walking around with big bulky hats I’m going to be thinking “Penis Head!” hehe.

  117. I prefer to see a variety of spellings. I want a Canadian to sound different than an American and I want their writing to reflect their uniqueness.
    I had my sister buy me the first three Harry Potter books in England so I could read crumpet rather than English muffin and ready colour instead of color.

  118. The small glimpse of your mittens look lovely. Have we seen these yet?
    I would also like another look at your current hat that you so desperately wanted to ditch. 🙂

  119. Aw, heck, Stephanie. Now I am going to be spending my entire morning commute spotting all the people who look like penises.
    …Actually, that sounds like it will be great fun.

  120. Thank you for a truly funny post. I had a horrible, horrible day, and I would have thought nothing could make me smile, let alone laugh. Words cannot express my gratitude.
    PS. Love the new hat pattern.

  121. I so wanted to see the shots of you in your cock-eyed hat (see what I did there). However in your defence it’s your right to colour your posts however you want. After all it’s your labour of love.
    Aussie spelling lizzie

  122. Coming out of exile to say you are in fine form today and I love it!!!!!! You are so right about the supposedly offensive words issue and even more so about people who refuse to acknowledge that the rest of the world has a right to do things their own way. I am Spanish-speaking and I had an American girl correct me on the way you pronounce flan. Excuuuuuse me.

  123. Oh my gosh, that post cracked me up and the comments did NOT help quell the laughter.
    So, just to add to the frivolity, I’m about to cast on for a new pair of socks, yarn by Knitter’s Brewing Co., color Butter Nipple. Her yarns are named after drinks. I wonder what color would represent a Screaming Orgasm?
    I’m waiting to re-read the Harry Potter books until I can get them the way they were written. I’ll probably have to order them online somewhere unless I get lucky and get to take a trip to the UK sometime soon.

  124. LOL! I can’t imagine how you could look like a penis! Love your new hat, but would love to see a picture of the old one!

  125. I just mailed off a cowl that I knit for my daughter. It is exactly like Wurm except no ribbing & it is open at both ends. It is the second one in that style I have knit for her. She loves them because, in really cold weather, she can pull it up over her head.

  126. Let me advise our neighbours to the south that they should not be giving advice to Canadians about how to spell their own language. I would suggest they practise the practice of being tolerant.

  127. That’s a great hat!
    Also, when you do put penis in a post, that should increase your Google hits for people looking for more nefarious content on the internet. Good times.

  128. HAHA. The only reason I’m going to complain is that I spit tea out of my nose when I read the sentence. OW OW OW.
    I better get used to all the different words because I’m training to be a doula, and I assume there’s lots of vagina talk…

  129. Someone commented on your use of the word “grammer.” I teach English – so what you can say is this “Yeah, my grammer, she lives with my gramper.”
    And, you want to see something funny, see what happens when I say penis to a bunch of seventh graders!

  130. that is a pretty funky (in the cool way) hat, and not penis-y at all. (seven!)
    By the way, if you want a cup of coffee that’s even more than fantastic, and you’re coming through San Francisco on your next book tour, I can point you in a couple of good directions.

  131. ROFLMAO!!! Wait! Is that a politically incorrect acronym? Oh well…never claimed to be politically correct. 🙂
    Thanks for the laugh Stephanie!

  132. I worked for a Canadian once. He had been in US a long time, (educated here) but his older brother got most of his education in Canada.
    I was asked by Boss (J) to type up something for B (his brother) B gave me a pile of neatly written notes.. and off to work i went.
    I ended up presenting B with 2 final papers.
    One had labour, and programme, and other UK type spelling, the other had labor and program, and US type spelling.
    I told him, it wasn’t clear if the final result was for a US or Canadian audience.. (B worked for an international company in boston)
    J was all What? what is this about. but B gave me one of his rare smiles.. (and never did tell me which version he wanted/ending up using)
    do you think in 1000 years US and UK english will be different enough to be 2 different languages?

  133. So I’m an American, working in America, getting a Ph.D. from a Canadian school. I couldn’t spell in the first place, but now I’m just done in.

  134. The Harry Potter books WERE better before the Americanization, but that’s because our division by a common language makes everything funnier. I was living in Madrid in 2003 and I had bought a copy of The Goblet of Fire. I saw something so funny I forgot myself and called my poor mother and woke her up at 6:30am Eastern Standard Time. Whoops. I still say it was worth it. In the American printing, a Weasley twin is describing a trying time in his life but that he maintained a positive outlook. He says, “but we managed to keep our spirits up.” In the British printing, they say “but we managed to keep our peckers up.” This, in American-ese means that he (and someone else! managed to maintain their erections. HILARIOUS.
    Also, it’s worth stating that I get a little excitable about the word scapula.
    A little bit of US oppression of your happy spelling flair will in no way diminish the content or style of your writing. Your readers like to read what you have to say and how you say it. How you spell it is pretty irrelevant so long as it’s close enough for government work. Your new publication will be splendiferous and beloved by the masses. Now pet some cashmere until you can face your Word document with restored good humor.
    Lots of love,
    A complete stranger

  135. Yesterday I discovered a post on a website (a tumblr, really) that had a picture of penises dressed up in clothing. I can honestly attest that you absolutely do NOT look like a penis.
    That’s a really cute hat.

  136. Love the hat. It looks great on you. I have a friend who can’t wear hats. We have tried out many, and none look right on her. I may have to suggest this one – though I suspect it might make her look like a penis.

  137. I have a nasty cold, and I’m laughing out loud for the first time today. I love you, I love your writing. Happy Feb. 10.
    Some years ago (20?) the big Episcopal cathedral in Seattle (St Marks – let it all hang out) was repainting the interior. The part around the rose window behind the alter was painted a lovely greyish pink. Several women protested that it was “penis pink”, but they kept the color. I think of that every time I go there (GGG)!

  138. You forgot “nipple”. That one always gets peoples’ dander up. Or you could have been really “offensive” and started mentioning labia, of a clitoris…

  139. Franklin could totally make a cartoon out of this post. Thanks for the smirk. I know better than to drink ANYTHING while reading anything posted here.

  140. Oh thank you. I laughed out loud at the penis comments, much needed as I am in the middle of a round of edits from a proofing board, and shaking my head over the way people deliberate over the minutest of words.

  141. I’m a fan of classic black watch caps. Especially with curly hair in the winter. I think it makes women look romantic and hearty. You know I love those traits.
    ps. COCK.

  142. Are you wearing a Woven Fabric scarf?? How can that be? PS Chalk me up as one who doesn’t care for words or images that are graphically.. er.. “unappealing”, shall we say. I find it repulsive and unnecessary.

  143. That made me laugh so hard. Just reading along, agreeing with your frustrations (though I am an American!), and got to the penis hat and almost wet my pants! I also agree with the Harry Potter comment. If Americans are too stupid to figure out the real English version, we have no business reading the book in the first place.

  144. Love your ranting! I was secretary to the president of a small company, and he was born in England, moved to Canada and then the U.S. I got so used to his “Canadian” spellings, I find myself using them at times and no exactly what the words are when spelled a “different” way.

  145. My daughter was quite excited to see that you and she have almost identical coats – that’s right, this comment has nothing to do with knitting: She loves your coat as much as she loves hers, and wanted you to know that.

  146. Well, Stephanie, today your post made me laugh aloud| So did most of the comments. 🙂 Love the hat! What pattern are your mittens? I can’t get a very close look at them. Thanks!

  147. “Why can’t the English teach the English how to speak?…In America, they haven’t spoken it for years!” (Henry Higgins, My Fair Lady, a song by Lerner and Lowe)
    I too ‘kick against the goads’ (Jesus to Saul/Paul in Acts, on the road to Damascus; Book of Acts somewhere; look it up!) — and insert extra “Ls” and whatever…Horrified to learn that my Webter’s Dictionary was created by Daniel Webster to purposely create a ‘non-British spelling’ of English words…
    But I persist! Of course, having been published very little (one essay in one compilation thereof), what can I say?
    Love your slouchy hat. I can’t do slouchy. Doesn’t cover my ears. Lets in the Western Prairie Wind. Not good.
    Notice: I will not send you an e-mail about body parts or ‘damn’ – because, frankly, Scarlett…

  148. As a retired teacher, I think our US students should encounter British English. It would broaden their cultural horizons. Perhaps it would be good to have a short introduction to the differences between the British English and American English at the beginning of the book so that they would not assume there was a lot of misspellings. Several years ago I overheard a student in a small reading group mention the odd spellings in PETER RABBIT. The TEACHER said that there were a lot of spelling problems in the book. I did something I normally never would do – I interrupted the teacher and spent some time discussing -or/our, er/re, se/ce. It bothered me no end that a college educated teacher was not aware of British spelling and the students would miss a chance to learn about something outside their own small world.

  149. oh and
    Love the hat, great pic!!!
    You are just too damned (seven) cute to be mistaken for a penis….

  150. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!! My family also tells me that I look like a penis in most toque or beanie style hats ~ and I agree! (‘Twas even worse when I went through chemo and lost all my hair! The resemblance then was rather “in your face!”) Since you look nothing like a penis in Wurm, there’s a better than good chance that I won’t either. A hat to be knit for me! YAY!

  151. I had just the opposite adventure: A British magazine asked me to “britizice” my English to publish a pattern. I am a Spaniard, English is my second language, so I had to ask my tech editor to help me. It was rolling good fun – neither of us had any idea whether “bust” or “chest” was to be used, and all that stuff. She usually has enough trouble trying to keep my propositions straight, since I randomly throw my “ins” and “ons” and such.
    BTW… now, we MUST have some penis hat pictures… PLEEEEEEASE!!!!

  152. Actually “busses” with the doubled S means kisses. If there is more than one large vehicle for transporting lots of people, they’re buses. (I used to do this, too. I was enlightened in embarrassing circumstances. Don’t let this happen to you.)

  153. Your post made me laugh out loud–normally a very good thing, except I was sneaking a peak at work (in a library!). Shhhh!
    Your post also made me think of the book, “We’re in a Book”–if you haven’t read it, you might want to check it out. It’s hysterical!
    The hat is fab–and looks great on you.

  154. Up until a few years ago for my project, organisation was spelled with an S until American pressure forced it to be a Z for the World Health Org. I work on a charitable project based in Canada that was forced to change S to Z for every use in the project for the word organization. It forced review of every programmatic / web page of the system in 6 languages.

  155. I agree with Maribel, that hat DOES look like an uncircumcised penis. penis penis penis penis dick and cock and a famous quote (but I don’t know who) because I just dictionary.com’d penis.
    A life is more valuable than a penis.
    Thanks for the laugh, now I’m going to find the towel to clean my screen off.

  156. I used to constantly (according to my fellow Americans) mispell the word “Rumours”, because that was the name of the club we went to in Niagara Falls, Ontario, and I just thought that was the way it was spelled.
    Very nice hat.

  157. Just adding my vote to the list of those who want to see a picture of you in the hat that makes you look like a penis :-).

  158. I do prefer the British Harry Potter audiobook with Stephen Fry over the US one with Jim Dale, but that’s only because I absolutely love, love, love Stephen Fry. Jim Dale did get a Guinness World Record for the number of voices he did for the last book, and sang the Sorting Hat song for book 4.

  159. I am shocked and appalled at the comments on this blog comparing the back your new hat to a testicle, a scrotum or a foreskin.
    It clearly looks like an anus.

  160. LOL! All the amusing people on the internet are hanging out here today.
    The post was great, but the comments were priceless. I’m glad nearly everyone else has gone home, because I’m truly laughing out loud here.

  161. hhahahahaha. maybe my comment won’t be edited out as it can’t come close to that post! Criticism of American spelling, the words breast, vagina and penis in the same blog…pro Canadian hoohah to boot! gotta love you gal! tx for breaking out!

  162. You won’t get an email from me for writing penis, breast, vulva, vagina or anus. I bet this post gets lots of google hits, though. Imagine a 14-year-old boy getting directed to a knitting blog. Giggle.

  163. OK, this may be a completely radical idea, but why don’t you do a global Find and Replace to change the words with variant spelling right before you submit the manuscript? That way you could spell it the Canadian way while writing and then not have to deal with spelling comments that vex you.

  164. Hat is great. Your writing, even better. I am honoured to be able to make a comment, using a “u”. Carry on.

  165. For the record, this post/thread now boasts 157 instances of the word “penis”. Well, 158, now.
    I love knitters.

  166. #11 on was so funny I called my husband over to read it. Now I think to increase my own readership I should make a post where I use penis and breast at least once and ideally multiple times. It will be an awesome time had by me.
    Of course, if people find me by searching for penis they will be sorely disappointed. Maybe I should find a funny photo to enhance or assuage their disappointment.

  167. I couldn’t help but notice not only do you distinctly NOT look like a penis in your new hat, but that you also seem to have some sort of colour coordination thing going on with your other accessories. at least it seemed that way on my screen. How very stylish and un-knitterly of you. *tongue planted firmly in cheek.

  168. Oh come on, I scrolled through all the comments, sure that I would find something droll from either Rams or Presbytera. Maybe they don’t want to touch this one.

  169. I see your penis and raise you a giant blue condom! I made a cover for a huge presentation clock for our new downtown streetscape and unfortunatly didn’t put it on the clock until about an hour before presentation – and it looked EXACTLY like a giant blue condom complete with gold sashing and ready for business.

  170. Love it! Not penisy/penisey/penisie at all! I recently made London
    for DD and she adores it. I have another on the needles for her BFF.
    Regarding the language and body part backlash: Do you ever feel people just need to chill about things that really do NOT matter? I do. Sending the love up to you in the Great White North from Florida! Come see us again sometime!

  171. Very cute hat & post! People are way too uptight about a lot of things. As an American, other spellings don’t disturb me as much as improper punctuation, such as apostrophes used as plurals (aaaugh!).

  172. It’d be cool to have a collection, so you could pick which body part you wanted to look like that day. Penis is clearly already covered (Ahem. As it were.). I feel that breast wouldn’t be too difficult either, and aorta could make a fine looking hat. Elbow might be pushing it.
    It’d be fun to tell everyone that the Canadian spelling is penise. Just to see what would fly.

  173. I admit I haven’t read them all that closely (my WORD, there are a lot of comments), but I’m amazed nobody has mentioned the Penis Game.
    In case this is a uniquely New Jersey phenomenon, it is a game whereby you lean over to a friend, whisper “penis”, and know that the game is ON. It has BEGUN.
    From there, the individual players must say the word “penis” in progressively louder ways, preferably in public. It’s hilarious in, say, the grocery. Not as hilarious in, oh, church.
    My first husband was an amazing Penis Gamer. Once, when I had already shouted that they had a can of PENIS is aisle six in WalMart, the man PICKED UP THE OVERHEAD PHONE THINGIE and yelled PENIS FOR PICKUP in the receiver.
    Shortly thereafter, our local WalMart changed the intercoms to have a passcode.
    Imagine that. Ahem. (penis)

  174. Re spelling of “Labor”. There is a movement called Spelling Reform Association, been around since 1876, remnants still exist.
    Spelling Reform No. 1 was to drop the “u” in colour, valour, labour etc.
    The British and Australian Labor Parties adopted this reform for their name, but it never caught on outside the name of the political party, therefore the Labor Party represents labour ….
    And that’s as far as it got in British English, but the movement did well in the States.
    I spent a year in a US school and had to relearn to spell some words. Upon my return I had to unlearn them. To this day I have to stop and think about licence, defence, gaol….
    I met Americans who didn’t know that English was my first language and that Australians celebrate Christmas in the summer.

  175. Spoken like Dana Carvey in The Master of Disguise, “turtle, turtle”. Your hat reminds of a penis all wrinkled and hiding from the cold. Just saying…

  176. Ha! I work in an OB Gyn dept in a University medical center. When I answer my phone, I say my name and OB Gyn. Often times I’ll get a wrong number caller, someone who had no intention of calling the OB Gyn dept. As soon as they hear the name of the dept, they get so flustered and effusively apologize that they dialed the wrong number. Among my co-workers, we laugh at this interaction and say it is like we answered the phone and said ‘vagina.’ They are scared off the phone just as fast as if we did! People are funny.

  177. I find it necessary to point out here that if someone is reading the writings of a woman who is not afraid to call herself a harlot–yarn or otherwise–they should not feel betrayed when she refers to penises, vaginas, nipples, breasts, clitorises, or any other part of the body that is frightening to the more . . . rigid personality types. There, now you will get fifty more emails and it will be all my fault.
    And I’m glad I’m not the only one who thought of “ribbed for her pleasure”.
    Dirty minded knitters unite!

  178. Oh, how I needed this laugh today 🙂 Here . . . I will help you out. Penis, Penis, Penis. You can send some of your emails my way 🙂 I love the new hat.

  179. The hat is quite dashing, where “quite” ,means “very” in the American way, not “a little bit” like the British way.

  180. We here in the good ol’ U S of A have Daniel Webster to thank for American spelling. Don’t really think he did us any favors, to be honest. We spell the way we’re taught.
    And, btw, anus and scrotum. Just more ammo for the haters. (Hee-hee)

  181. Yes, the Harry Potter books were different – and better — in the “original” English. My son was gifted them in the British version (# 2 and 3), and insisted on getting the rest in the original text (the typeface and the illustrations changed as well). There was even brouhaha in the NY Times about the changes — no one changes Jane Austen or Charles Dickens … and the best part is that kids complained!
    and I like the hat!

  182. As a high school biology teacher, I completely support and applaud your use of the word penis. My students think this is a bad word and I have to spend much time attempting to deprogram them. (I’m actually teaching about human reproduction this week and have them practice saying penis and vagina until they can say them without giggling.)
    And the hat is lovely. Bravo. 🙂

  183. Great hat! I might have to make that for my mom.
    Isn’t Americanize/sea another one of those words? 😉 I know someone else pointed it out, but it certainly made me laugh.
    There’s not a single thing I don’t like better about the British Harry Potter books.

  184. Which is exactly why I bought the Harry Potter books in the UK.
    Some things, well they just got changed, like sweater and jumper. But Spell-o-tape is only funny if one is familiar with Cello-tape, which kids in the US aren’t. 🙁

  185. I like your hat. However, the back of it looks like a large scrotum on a very cold day. Don’t ask me how I know….

  186. Laughing my American arse off (I’m a Canadian sympathizer). This is the kind of post that has kept me reading almost daily for YEARS!
    And for good measure, penis.

  187. Just had to comment on the word “penis.” I had my own penis moment today – I work in the investment field and had to print out a graph showing a customer their portfolio growth. Well, it turned out their growth was represented by a long, large & thick red shape that had a rounded tip – guess what it looked like?

  188. I haven’t laughed this hard in a long time! I teach biology…my favorite is when a student intends to say the word “organism” and it comes out “orgasm”…class is usually pretty much over then!

  189. Very nice hat!
    And the word “penis” generated nothing but giggles when I read your blog to my 12 and 10 yo boys (while waiting for their father to come out of work) but I guess that’s to be expected…. the males have me outnumbered at 5:1 (only the youngest two left at home).
    A household full of females sounds much more civilized……. have fun with Nanook of the North this weekend 🙂

  190. I agree with everyone else-this is the funniest post I’ve read on your blog!
    A couple from our church are serving as missionaries. For the last two years they have been in London for training. Now everything she writes has the British spelling-very cute!

  191. Steph, your posts always improve my mood. I needed you tonight and you delivered once again. Teen age son, lying and not being responsible with his paying job. Sigh. But I can go to bed in a much better mood now, thinking of you and your spelling and hats! I love Canadians! or is that Canadiens? No, wait, there aren’t any “u”s in there….I like Canucks better!
    Keep up the great work and I can’t wait to get my hands on the book here in the US!

  192. Love the hat! Don’t care about body part words. It’s your blog you have a right to type what you want when you want. No matter what spelling your books have, I will still buy them and read them. (unless of course they are published in a foreign language that I can’t speak…then I would have to learn that language so I can read your books…)Keep on with what you do…(see I like elipses and parenthesis too)
    Oh and by the way…I was watching an old episode of a tv show called NCIS (don’t know if you get that up there) but Doctors Without Borders was mentioned in it and I thought of you!

  193. Very funny post. I hope you don’t get the predicted emails, but then I am one of those people that is STILL trying to figure out why I should be offended by Janet Jackson’s breast versus all the violence on TV today. It is the human body, deal with it.

  194. Maybe your current hat (not the new hat, which actually is your current hat, I suppose) needs a puffball, or perhaps several i-cords, or other embellishment on top. Then it would seem more like a working penis, not just an inactive one. I mean, if you’re going to look like one, you should make like a certain shoe manufacturer and just do it, ya know?

  195. The hat looks very warm and smooshy. I meant that as a compliment.
    Just wanted to add something I forgot to say yesterday.
    Stephanie, You Rock!!!
    ’nuff said!

  196. Hilarious! I don’t care that you use any of those body part names or that you spell in the Canadian way….however, in item 4 you should use “than” not “then”. Hat looks good btw!

  197. Wow! I beat you to a hat pattern! I have a “big hair” issue, not unlike yourself, and knit Wurm a year ago January. It is still my go-to hat -super warm and wonderful. You look great.
    Please keep up all of the “foul” language. I approve.

  198. Years ago, I spent the summer between grade school and high school visiting my grandmother in Germany. Since their school system is year round, I visited classes a couple of times and sat in on the English classes. They were taught both British and American English, not just the spelling variations but the different terms. The one that sticks in my head is sweet shop versus candy store.

  199. Cute hat. While it doesn’t make you look like a penis or any other organ, I do wonder if it ribbed for her pleasure?

  200. I hate to say it, but the first thing I thought was foreskin too…
    I hear you on the hat thing though. I have he ROUNDEST HEAD EVER and hats look horrible on me. Combine that with long thick hair and those really cute berets just fall off the back of my head. I’m destined to forever look stupid in hats. Thank god I live on Vancouver Island. 🙂

  201. I love it hat and it absolutely in no way, shape, or form looks like a penis. Had a rough day needed the laugh. Thanks so much.

  202. OK, from the front, no. From the back, maybe. Uncircumcised. Didn’t read all the other comments to see if anyone else felt the same way. So glad I wasn’t actually taking a sip of my beer when I was reading your post, ’cause its a good beer and spewing it out my nose is a waste of good beer. For the record, I’m an American, and I often add the “u” back into words like “behaviour” (my American spellchecker software doesn’t like this) when I write, because it sounds to me like it should be there. If you ever come to San Diego, California, and want to sample so local breweries, I’d be happy to act as tour guide. Along with some of my friends, so you would have a better rounded tasting experience. Oh, and I’ve yet to find any hat of any type that I think looks good on me. I’m beginning to think my head is actually the problem. Thank goodness I live where hats are pretty much optional.

  203. That spelling thing. I’m an American & I know we spell things differently. Very easily explained actually. Noah Webster came out with a dictionary in the US about the same time one came out back in the mother country. Unfortunately they failed to consult with one another. Before that I understand that spelling the English language was pretty chaotic. At least now we’re down to only two official versions of these things. Now if I could just get the rules to make sense.

  204. I am an American, I am a good speller in American English, and a reasonable speller in British English, and I have come to the following conclusions:
    1) I rather like seeing a variety of spellings. British spellings remind me of P.G. Wodehouse and Agatha Christie and make me feel all warm and fuzzy.
    2) Sometimes “bad spellers” were in too much of a hurry to catch a typo (like “then” for “than”) and can actually spell quite well.
    3) I still get annoyed by spelling and grammar mistakes in books I purchase, even if they are just typos.
    4) I like your new hat.

  205. My co-worker was recently told by her husband that she could teach their son to use the word penis, but not scrotum. “Those are his balls damn it!” So, you really needed to type scrotum over and over to anger people. Scrotum, scrotum,scrotum. There we fixed that problem 😉

  206. Hilarious! Love the new hat. No you don’t look like a male organ of any sort. Maybe a female one?
    Personally, I hate all the tiptoeing around proper words for body parts. Particularly loathe pussy. Would rather say cunt any day were I using a non-medical term. The misuse of vagina drives me nuts. What you see on the outside is NOT the vagina, folks.
    I speak several languages and never know which one I’m spelling in. Is ignorance bliss? Does everyone think I’m totally analphabet? Sweetie, you are welcome to say colour and humour and grey and centre all day long in my book. You should see all the red squiggly lines I’m getting here.

  207. Very unpenis-y, and yet, ribbed for pleasure! I can say that because I wear a very similar hat every day. 🙂

  208. Too funny!! I really have to wonder how tight some people are spun when normal everyday words upset them enough to send an email! Next they will want a disclaimer put up before getting on your blog and putting one of those “mature content inside ” stickers on your books!! I would love to know the term for these things that they use. Do they ever give you suggestions like “instead of saying penis, you could say tally whacker or the one eyed dragon” I would love to see them all in a room together deciding what was appropriate I will bring the popcorn!
    Great post Steph you always make me laugh

  209. This is my inner 10 year old boy’s favorite post yet. It makes me think of the old (yikes, 15 years, maybe?) skit on SNL with Matthew Broderick where they are all standing around at a nude beach singing the “Penis Penis Penis, Penis Penis Song!” (I looked for a video to link to, no luck.)
    I’ve been looking for a hat that will contain my ponytail and keep my ears warm at the same time while maintaining my non-genital-esque head shape; this has gone in my queue, thanks!

  210. Great post. The hat looks great. Having a hat you like in Canada is of utmost importance. I also find it helps to have at least two that you like since we’re wearing them for 4 or more months of the year.
    Are you committed to your publisher? Maybe you could look for a Canadian publisher who would love nothing more than to spell in Canadian fashion?

  211. My daughter says “zee” instead of “zed.” I correct her EVERY time. My son’s name is “Greyden” rather than “Grayden” because, to me, that is the correct spelling. It totally screws everyone else up.
    There is an older gentleman around my small town who has worn, every winter for the last 9 years, a brown touque that is tight around his crown, but has a little dome about three inches tall poking above the top of his head. My first thought every time I see him is “condom.”

  212. I loved today’s post! thank you for the laugh out loud contents. I like the new hat, very un-“naughty” looking.

  213. Someone might also email to tell you that ‘aught’ in #14 should be spelled ‘ought’. 8^) Personally I get a great deal of pleasure in observing all the differences in language and culture. Life is so much richer with all the variations. Without that it would be like living in a monochromatic world!
    I like the hat but for myself I would prefer a bright rust color…there you go, more differences!

  214. What a hilarious post!
    I don’t look good in most hats either, so I can commiserate. Glad you found a good one 🙂

  215. 1. Why would we be mad at your editor?
    2. Why don’t you use a Canadian publisher?
    3. English spelling is nice. With a Canadian publisher you could use it.

  216. I know lol is a common expression and totally overused, but I literally laughed out load while reading this post. So hilarious!!!

  217. Personally, I wouldn’t care if I picked up your book and it had Canadian spelling, but the sad fact is half of America would be completely confused that there’s any other spelling. Alas, that’s the same portion that believes we should be telling everyone else to do things our way. (We shouldn’t, we’re really not all that great it these days.) (Unless you’re talking about BBQ, in which case we’re totally right.)(But only if you’re from North Carolina. Texas has no idea what they’re talking about, BBQ comes from a pig. Ignore this crazy talk of brisket.)
    Also, the hat is lovely, and you look nothing like genitalia of any sort while wearing it.

  218. Nothing like saying ‘penis’ to get you lots of responses, huh?
    I won’t email you but will shortly rant about people who say vagina when they mean vulva. For example, The Vagina Monologues use vagina when they mean vulva. Perhaps vulva doesn’t have the same ring to it (or people are just ignorant or I’ve had too much wine and am more opinionated or I pick odd things to find annoying) but it’s under used while vagina is overused.
    Your hat does not look like a penis but if you creatively style it then it might look like a vulva.

  219. thank you for sharing randomness today. it’s been a while since i’ve laughed out loud at a post. this is awesome. though i have to say, while i am canadian, i didn’t realize that defence/defense were different between the two countries. it’s good to learn something new every day 🙂

  220. From Meg Cabot’s blog (thought you might appreciate it):
    “Whenever people ask, “What’s a typical day like for you?” I know they don’t want to hear the truth. They want to hear that I sit around drinking margaritas all day, then dash off a paragraph or two in my spare time, like Ernest Hemingway. So that’s what I tell them.
    But actually a typical day for most authors is REALLY spent freaking out that every reference to the word “booger” in the UK pass pages of her latest middle-grade manuscript got changed to “bogey,” and how could this have happened, since the characters in her book are living in the US, and in the US, no one says bogey, except Tom Cruise in Top Gun when he’s referring to incoming enemy fighter jets?
    Then the copy-editor says, kids in the UK don’t know what a booger is.
    But kids in the US understand that a “lift” is an elevator in British books. So surely kids in the UK will get that a booger is a bogey. Won’t they?
    But then the author becomes tortured with self-doubt, thinking maybe UK kids don’t know what a booger is, and she should just let them change it to bogey. But then is she not remaining true to her artistic vision? Does she even have an artistic vision? We’re talking about a book with boogers in it. That’s when she starts drinking margaritas in an attempt to forget she even had this conversation.
    So that’s why the final pass pages are often late. And why I lie when people ask me what a typical day in an author’s life is like.” — http://www.megcabot.com/2010/06/giving-back-or-youre-probably-fine/

  221. This is like a learning blog for me. Yesterday was the ellipse – who knew those dots had a name! I love Grammar girl. Now today, I learn publishers influence the spelling of words. I just thought there were multiple versions of a book for the different countries. Like I said, you write a blog that I learn from! Thanks.

  222. Our daughter, about 12 at the time, asked us to order the first Harry Potter from Amazon.uk for the title – “Philosopher’s Stone” – rather than the US Sorcerer’s Stone.
    Husband and I figured we were doing something right!

  223. I dont think it looks penisey (sp) at all! Besides its a shade of green,, not a penisey color at all! On the otherhand,, and I do love that hat,,, it does look like a ribbed condom!

  224. I am sitting in my “command center room” laughing my head off. All by myself. I can’t stop//Stephanie you are tooo funny (extra o on purpose) I would love to be your friend I would be laughing all the time. I’m sure it would be beneficial. Thanks!

  225. The green hat makes you look flat out cool and sophisticated. Those that want to spend time correcting your spelling should just get a life or start spending more time correcting an ex Alaska gov. Your writing is lovely and just plain wonderful so there.

  226. All hail to Meg who mentioned cloaca!
    Thanks for the very funny post, and all the very funny comments
    My favourite words-that-sound-rude-but-aren’t are cunding futs (spoonerised for funding cuts)
    off home to teach them to the budgie, who already says ‘pox’.

  227. Wracked with worry… of course you realize the “bushy hair” comment was a joke related to the general theme here and not in any way a criticism of your actual hair, right? Right? (Gulp.) I hope. 🙁

  228. And you haven’t even got on to the subject that breast cancer is so much more a social subject than bowel cancer. I don’t think it is just the smell that it conjures up.

  229. I’m all about slouchy hats. Fitted hats make me look weird…not sure if there’s a body part to describe it, but it’s definitely not a good look on me. So, go slouchy hats! 🙂

  230. Maybe you should go with the “add a u”
    plan and type penus. Might cut down on the emails
    and get us Americans a little more used to the stray u’s 🙂

  231. Penis, scrotum… phalange! Metatarsal! I want to wrap my tarsals and metatarsals in slouchy mitts.
    I laughed as much over the scrotum and prehistoric man comment as I did your post. Awesome company you keep here on your blog, Stephanie.
    PS – Am loving my Encompass cowl. I make everyone who comments on it look at it closely. They’re not commenting so much anymore, but I still love. love. love. it.

  232. You know, That hat will now forever be the Penis Hat, LOLOL.
    Being an RN while bringing up my kids, they were taught the correct names for body parts. Not the cutesy euphenisms. They are turning out to be fine people in spite of saying Penis, Vagina etc, etc. …..but I am thier Mom & maybe a touch biased. No complaints here.
    In High School our Spanish teacher told us there was Spanish Spanish, Mexican Spanish & so forth. just like there’s English English, American English & so forth… Had a Canadian patient tell me I spoke funny english once. We both had a good laugh on that one. He taught me lots of Canadian English….

  233. He, he, he, I am sitting here at my laptop giggling like a school kid. This is such a funny post and I have spent the last 10 minutes giggling my way through funny comments. Penis is just another word in our household as is vagina. My son calls it a pee though as he can’t say penis. He is trying though. I sort of can’t wait till he can yell penis out loud for all to hear, that has me giggling now too. Reminds me of the time my eldest daughter said at the top of her lungs in an op shop (thrift shop) “Mama, Tenneille (my other daughter) came out of your VAGINA (capitalised as it was said rather loudly, acutally she shouted it)”. Yes, she witnessed the birth of her sister at home and all the old ladies working at the shop on that day could be seen giving us funny looks as they realised what she had said. My reply was “yes, she did come out of my vagina”. What else would you say! Ok, enough of my life story. Thanks for the laughs. Jacinta

  234. @Gail: at February 10, 2011 9:13 PM ,,,, where “quite” ,means “very” in the American way, not “a little bit” like the British way. …
    Actually, I’ve always used “quite” in the opposite meanings – it used to confuse the husband, as he thought that “quite”did mean only a little bit, and our family used it as British understatement – something was “quite nice” when we really meant” OMG THAT IS SO WONDERFUL!!!” ‘Course, we also used “nice” as understatement.
    Stephanie – THANK YOU for the laughs today – and all the folks who commented – I haven’t laughed so hard, so long for many weeks – You all Rock!!!

  235. I agree with several previous commenters that what is important that we all know that other countries spell things differently. The biggest crime is to claim variations as spelling mistakes. Having said that, I have been known to get vocal about casual use of americanised english in very British contexts. I’m only human.
    I also aspire to be the kind of mother like the lady way back in the comments who teaches her children the proper names for body parts. With pictures. I salute thee…

  236. You look beautiful in your hat with matching
    I’m looking forward for your new book.

  237. There are a lot of comments already, no doubt about the type of language used in the blog!
    I would like to add ‘Amen’ to point number 5. Treat English as a separate language and suck it up!
    Love the hat, strange that I was looking at that pattern yesterday. Now there will be thousands, I can hear the massed needles kicking away already.

  238. I love it when you make me laugh out loud at work, and I’m a biologist, so we get to say words like that all the time (though notice I’m not typing them in my comment…….just in case IT aren’t as liberal as the bio dept.)

  239. For me, this one is saying ‘anus’…think elderly female baboon….(not you, just the hat). Isn’t it wonderful?!!!! Knitting can be very Judy Chicago sometimes, even when you don’t plan it that way. IE there are definitely certain types of cable patterns that just look so vulva-like. It’s all good.

  240. Love the post, made me laugh. I have the same problem according to my friends as well. I will have to try that hat it looks great and simple.
    My 7 year old uses penis for the appropriate use. I thought it was better to use the correct word instead of some of the others out there. It sounds really funny coming from him, he has speech issues due to hearing aids and does not prounce the endings of words with ss in them, when he says “I just hurt my penis”, you can’t help but giggle.
    I learned about the spelling differences when I was a teenager and reading a lot of different books. No problem with me, you can figure out.

  241. As a Londoner I defend to the death anyone’s right to mangle the English language, (my heart bleeds for you, I would have apoplexy if I wrote books published in ‘Englisheeze’, but neither writing books nor being published is on any foreseeable future).
    Just NEVER NEVER pronounce the word ‘aluminium’ ‘al-loo-min-um’. That is criminal.
    Like the use of the word penis – it attracts us pervy/knitting hybrids out of the woodwork.
    pip pip

  242. As an Ex-English Aussie I am rather partial to the use of ARSE, does that translate well into Canadian? I don’t currently have a hat that makes me look like one, although my husband’s giant gardening sombrero certainly makes him look like a complete arse.

  243. Actually….I was a tiny bit affronted; I am one of the old-fashioned grandmamas I suppose, and the thought came to mind that you could probably have written a piece with every bit as much impact without using that particular word. I think you would have been VERY funny if you had described yourself as looking like a turnip, for example – or even a choc-top ice cream.
    I know I am out of step in this as even my two year old grandson comes home proudly from day care naming all parts of his precious little body accurately.
    I just don’t like it.

  244. eight, actually. you forgot to count the second time you typed penis (oh, now I did it too!). heh.

  245. First, great hat! Second, I would also like to point out that, ahem, your accessories match. Your beautiful mittens go with your funky hat, which goes with your lovely, richly colored scarf. (For once? 😉 Well done, anyway, you look great!
    As far as the varying kinds of English go, nobody Americanised English books for ME when I was a kid. I simply looked things up or asked people why a boy would be wearing a jumper and carrying a torch. I learned things!

  246. Wonderful post, wonderful comments – except for the one that gives a poor impression of we grandmothers… who did teach our children, and trust that our children taught our grandchildren in their turn, the proper use of the English language and naming of body parts.
    Not getting at any particular grandmama, so much as standing up for Grandmothers all over the world. We’re not old, we’re not fuddy duddy, we do not cloak prudishness in the totally unrelated term “old-fashioned”, but we are mature and confident and we know a penis when we see one. Some of us even like them.
    I wouldn’t knit one, though. Might make a willy warmer one day, perhaps :-p

  247. I can’t tell you what an absolute bummer of a day I’m having, and seriously I’m not going to go into the long length of mishaps that have beset me today (and it’s not even lunchtime yet here)… BUT this post made me actually ‘laugh out loud’. Very funny, really funny, and knickers to anyone who gets offended at the P word, funny is funny I say and to be honest there are much worse words you could have dropped in.

  248. It’s a great hat. You do not look like a penis. Possibly a ribbed condom, but in a very sophisticated way….

  249. Your right, that hat is not penisey at all. It looks far more like a withered old scrotum. But a very lovely scrotum.

  250. I like the hat too, and you don’t look like a penis in it. There, now I’ve said it too, which combined with the multitude of times it’s been said above, should have whoever was going to email you to complain in a dead faint by now, so they’ll hopefully leave you in peace! 😉

  251. gosh. i don’t know where to start.
    i read a blog written by a vegan… she recently announced that she would start including ANIMAL PRODUCTS in her diet and ALSO that after a year of divorce(from a MAN) she had fallen in love with a woman….and was living happily with her.
    she took a lot of shit from other vegans for the animals but NOBODY even blinked about the girlfriend (pretty cool, eh?)…
    all those extra U’s really mess me up… I like the American spelling because it just makes sense to me (born in the USA…)…
    oops… i lost the point somewhere… anyhoo…
    check out PENIS on SNL on Youtube…

  252. Better start back at #1. Is that really coffee in your cup? You’re getting downright silly! 🙂

  253. OK, Steph, I love your blog, your sense of humour (Canadian spelling), your enthusiasms. I have knit several things in imitation of you. But, dammit, you still misues it’s and its. And in this post, you typed then when you meant than. Editors are good and keep stuff like that from happening in print–I don’t care about American spelling, but I do care about its and it’s. I think the rules are the same in Canada.

  254. Your new hat is not in the slightest bit phallic, and suits you to boot.
    However, I will call you on your spelling of ‘ought’. There is no ‘a’ in it. Not even if you’re an American. 🙂

  255. I do feel better having listened to a linguist who said American grammar dates further back than in the UK. Of course, this could mean we are just slower.
    Your hat does make me think of Trojans. And not the horse. However a wool condom does not turn me on in any way. And your head does not look like any part except a head, the kind on top of someone’s shoulders.

  256. (= Like the hat – only very vague penis-ness, I promise. And only because you typed penis eighteen times before I saw you in it. Everything looks like a penis to me now… See what you’ve done?
    But I’m writing to say I really wish I could get my hands on the non-Americanised (I changed the z to an s there) Harry Potter books. Do they sell them in Canada? Or only in the UK? Just curious.

  257. Just think – anyone trolling for porn and randomly searching for real body part names will find your blog! – and be vastly disappointed.
    Nice hat – but the back view makes me think of the stereotypical schoolmarm with her mouth (body part) pursed in distaste. Sorry.

  258. I’m a freelance copyeditor/proofreader. I live in the US, but I have both British and American publisher clients, so I have style sheets for both; when I get the manuscript, the publisher will specify either British spellings or American spellings, and I’m off and running. There are some punctuation differences, too, and I must say that I often prefer the British punctuation!

  259. Love the hat. My neighbor made it and I have been contemplating one myself.
    Love the spelling discussion. I honour the differences.
    Our cat, as I was growing up was Grey Kitty. Not a great name but there were many discussion of why Grey was not Gray or vice versa. He was not bothered by it.

  260. As a copy editor, re: The spelling. Your editor is not implying that you don’t know how to spell. She is changing it to conform to American spelling because that is the style. The reason that is the style is so your readers won’t be distracted, even subtly, by spelling that they are not used to. She is merely trying to make it easier for your American readers, and she’s showing you the changes because she shows you all changes–because it’s your book. This way, instead of stopping, even momentarily, to notice that it says “colour” when they expect “color” your American readers will read straight through and be able to fully enjoy your brilliant writing. Which I am looking forward to doing myself when the book comes out!

  261. Is it weird to be so entertained that you un-Americanized the spelling of Americanised?
    Hmm? Oh. Well, I’ll go crawl back in my Dork Cave now.

  262. Well, you opened my eyes..I had no idea that in the same language (english) things were spelled differently in other countries..or that Harry Potter was americanized…makes me want to order them up the other way…thanks for making a person think this a.m.

  263. I totally love wurm… just knit it for my hubby for Christmas in a dark grey. I did some stockinette at the end and put in some eyelets and didn’t do any decreasing on the crown, then did an i-chord and wound it through so the hat can be a hat or a cowel. That was very cool… until I borrowed it to walk to the gym and lost it. Starting Wurm #2 today!

  264. Dude, I can’t believe you said a*rta!
    I would very much like to see a photo of you in a hat that makes you look like a penis. I have much concern now that I may wear hats that make *me* look like a penis, but no one has ever told me because they didn’t want to use the word penis. If you could provide a frame of reference, I think it would be helpful.
    Think if it as a public service announcement. I would appreciate it greatly.

  265. Love the hat! I’ve looked at Wurm before but don’t think it’s quite *me*. I’m a big hat person (wearing one right now, around the house, because it’s new and I loves it).
    I love this post! The comments are brilliant and it’s bringing out the funny from all your readers. For the record, our household is also anatomically correct because I think it’s ridiculous to teach children to be ashamed of their bodies. Plus it’s funny when a 3yo boy learns that “girls don’t have penis’s” and then asks “but Mommy, how do you pee?!!”.

  266. When I was in high school (US) I used to routinely go out of my way to incorporate British spelling into my writing in the way of being a too smart teenager. Luckily my teachers were very tolerant and never said anything. Besides Grey has always seemed more like grey than gray.

  267. Well, Stephanie – it’s 0548 and i’m just about to head to bed here on the west coast after pulling an all-nighter to get some professional creds out the door. Thank you for this hilarious post – I can’t think of better companions right now than you and the hot rum i dripped on the keyboard while laughing out loud…

  268. anything can be made to look penisey, if you look hard enough (hurr hurr ) *ahem*
    Anyway. It’s a lovely hat and you’re warm, so that’s what’s important, right?

  269. Was going to say – my partner has a hat that makes him look not only like a penis, but one with a condom on. It’s because his mother, the knitter, started the decreases towards the top and then seemed to think better of them. Sort of a teat effect. 🙂
    (‘aught’ – well yes, it IS a word, but archaic now, and meaning ‘nothing’ or ‘of little importance’.
    And if I’m making a tit of myself and ‘aught’ is common Canadian useage, somebody please shoot me now.)

  270. Thanks for making me laugh on a Friday!! And I love that hat, may have to make one form myself so I don’t look like a penis!

  271. This post reminded me of the game we used to play in middle school while riding SEPTA around Philadelphia.
    Someone would whisper penis and each person in the group would say it louder and louder until we were shouting it.
    No, we never got thrown off the train but we certainly got a lot of stern looks from the grownup!

  272. I don’t which was more fun – reading your post or reading the comments. I love knitters. 🙂

  273. Oh no!!! now everyone wearing a hat looks like a penis head.
    including me…
    knit hats will never ever look the same to me.

  274. I am a nurse and I love that you typed penis. You are right no one gets bent out of shape about nose or elbow or knee. Rock on sister!!!

  275. please, please, please post a picture in which you do think you look like a penis… I just can’t imagine you looking like a penis, so I want proof. I’m also wondering, if you purposely made a hat that looked realistically like the tip of a penis, if you could get someone to wear it by pretending you had no idea it looked like a penis and making them embarrassed to say so.

  276. Funny. I just had this conversation with a bunch of ladies who (very kindly) gathered around me in a shop I went into, admiring the hat I was wearing (handspun out of hand-dyed roving). The hat has a flat top with the pinwheel and flat sides because that’s the only type of hat I’ve found that I think looks good on me and doesn’t make me look like a penis. They appreciated the reference (although some were a little shocked).

  277. I love that you’ve used ‘that word’ so many times and as I am working in a medical company’s library today I’ll chuckle every time I have to type ‘aortic abdominal aneurysm’ today

  278. Okay, now I’m confused. You are right about the hat not making you look like a penis and it’s a really cute hat, to boot! But the pattern is called Wurm which sounds like worm. And worms most definitely look like penises. So is it possible that you made a mistake and you are supposed to look like a penis when you wear the hat? Just sayin’…

  279. Thanks so much for the monster laugh today! The hat looks wonderful on you….and now I may need to make one, too!

  280. Areola. Great word, it rolls around ones mouth when said. Love the hat. I’d knit me one but I am ‘fraid I’d look like a penis. I have the curse of being able to pull off every day hats. :/

  281. Thankfully, I learned the correct word right from the start. Because it’s a penis, and that’s it. Just like nipples and vulva’s and everything else that has a proper word.
    Yes, that’s a decidedly un-penisy hat. (I would like to see you in one that DOES make you look like a penis, so I could judge for myself!)

  282. I rather like it when you refer to your hat making you look like a penis because then I get to giggle because I’m 8 years old inside and get to picture a penis walking around wearing a green hat.

  283. I really like the hat…on you…and I don’t have any problem with the word penis, or foreskin, or damn, or anything else you said. I do, however, have a problem finding a hat that doesn’t make me look like a total fool. I’m thinking that looking like a penis might not be so bad. What do you think? And can you help me find a hat pattern? Please?

  284. I’ve read your blog for years and never posted a comment.
    Now I have to because you made me laugh so hard that my whole body got a workout.
    Penis penis penis. Vagina. Breast. Damn.
    From one Canuck writer to another … although, dang it, you are so much funnier than me. 😀

  285. My spelling is so poor, I don’t realize there is an error. Everyone says the spell check will help, but I am so far out there – even the SC can help. Keep up your individual efforts and I also admire that you have a hat head. Elbow – another body part.

  286. Spellings I’m not used to make me pause. Your use of “aught” made me wonder whether there was something I didn’t know about that word so I looked it up. I think you meant “ought”. Not a Canadian spelling.
    I also thought about adding a gratuitous penis. So I did.
    (looked up “gratuitous” to make sure I was spelling and using it correctly)

  287. I understand your hat issues! I too am Canadian and know that hats are not optional. I usually end up looking like a lesbian who belongs on the show Deadliest Catch.

  288. I love hats, but having long hair in a bun means I need to wear a large beret to get coverage. It’s problematic because I work at a synagogue, and when I wear a warm hat indoors people think I’m orthodox (even though we’re not an orthodox shul).

  289. I agree totally about the Harry Potter books – much better before. I always thought it was a little insulting to assume that our kids (I’m American) can’t understand another culture and its use of language…. although now that I’ve written this, maybe I’m just naive. Anyway – great post!

  290. You’re funny! 🙂 You and your penis hat head made my week…(penis is a much more appropriate word than some of the other gross, more than likely male made up words!) Incidentally, when my mother told me my father had a penis, I looked at her, and in all seriousnes said “of course he doesn’t have peanuts mother! You’re silly)

  291. I love that I read your blog as though you were speaking directly to us. When has one held back from speaking your mind with friends?

  292. OOOOOMMMMMGGGGGG—First off…this was the funniest blog ever…but then, miss Jenni in comment# somewhere at the top…”ribbed for her pleasure” seriously, my stomach hurts from laughing..and you are absolutely right about it Jenni!

  293. I have the same problem ( the penis look) with winter hats. I thought I was the only person in Canada with this affliction. Thanks for sharing the photo and pattern info so others with this affliction can look un-penis-like too. Love your blog.

  294. I seem to be on a role lately participating in conversations about appropriate language — which for me consists of calling a penis a penis, a vagina a vagina and an elbow and elbow — no matter how they are spelled!
    And yes, they never should have touched the language in Harry Potter — British author, British spelling. (This from an American who loves seeing lots of different spellings!)

  295. I have the same trouble with hats making me look like a penis. I love the hat you knit, may need to knit one for myself. I have no trouble with you English or your dirty words.

  296. I rather like the Canadian/English “U”. visually it’s a much more please rendition of the word and probably because I steep myself in English Lit., I find myself spelling words with the U even though I’m an American. Press on sister!

  297. Hahaha! Feeling a little bit sassy today, are we? 😀
    Also: scrotum, testicle, clitoris, nipple, and urethra. 😀

  298. I like both penises, and hats. The hat modeled, in particular. Modeling penises, though, might cause your fan base to stray away from knitters. Just a thought.

  299. No problem with the words for me. We have the Internet for Goodness sake. You can even learn NEW words. I DO love the hat and I know what you mean about the other ones. That is why I don’t wear them. I look like a Penis or skinhead.

  300. I teach human sexuality and last night’s class was all about anatomy and sexual response. As an exercise, I start the class by putting the students in groups and they have to write on the board all of the euphemisms they can think of for the male and female anatomy and for sex. It is a disarming exercise and helps make them more comfortable talking about correctly named body parts we were taught long ago to never speak of in mixed company.
    My 4 year old boy calls his penis by its correct name.
    And no – you do not look like a penis in that lovely hat.

  301. Quite a nice foreskin you have there, m’dear! giggle.
    Thanks for all the laughs today! I happen to own the Harry Potter’s in the original Brit versions, and agree with you heartily. Long may there be different spellings, and all that they imply.

  302. Completely on a different topic, can you do another recap of why doulas are wonderful! I had one for my second birth, wish I’d had one for my first, and plan on becoming a doula when we get back to the States after our next 3 years in Germany. I’m surprised at how many people don’t know about doulas and I think you should use your soap box.
    *I agree Harry Potter Brit versions are much better, luckily I lived in England for 3 years and was able to purchase them there.

  303. Steph – love the penis hat!!! Looks like it’s keeping the testicles nice and warm (aka – I guess that would equate to ears.) That aside, I love the color and the your picture is fab – I see those that you were wearing those adorable mittens as well.
    As an American,I understand the spelling thing, my thesis was published in English through a German company and my spelling was changed to a European style. I’ve just worked with enough American editors and publishers to know that we don’t always have good motives for what we do, but rather a “We know how to do it better” attitude. I’d prefer that we take more of a “live and let live” attitude with our neighbors throughout the this lovely world.
    Peace and joy….

  304. Who cares about body parts? What sends me over the edge is using “it’s” (a contraction that means “it is” or “it has”) when the correct version is “its” (indicating possession). And don’t even get me started on “its'”, a word that doesn’t even exist. Now THAT’s something to rant about.

  305. I *love* the Wurm hat! (It is SO warm!) And I do not object to having the word “penis” in a blog post (or anywhere). But can we all be honest that, although Stephanie does not look like a penis in the Wurm hat, the Wurm hat does, inevitably, remind one of a penis . . .

  306. I hope your excellent coffee is decaf 🙂 Seriously, I think you are giving way too much thought to the spelling thing. Who cares what anyone else thinks. You are a great writer with a fun blog that writes in British English. If someone doesn’t get that, it’s his/her problem.
    I look like a big dork (technically a whale penis) in hats, so I don’t usually wear one. And though your hat is lovely, and not penis-like at all on your head, I would still look like a dork in it.

  307. How funny, I’m American and I spell it “defence” and have always thought it was just spelled wrong when I saw it with an s. Then again, I spell grey with an e, harbour and labour with a u, and so on. I must be a misplaced Canadian!
    I have yet to find a knitted hat that I like on myself, although I keep trying, because I hate having my ears fall off from the bitter cold. It hurts like hell to re-attach them. I can’t say hats make me look like a penis, exactly, but they certainly do make me look like a twat. Will have to give Wurm a try, maybe there’s my salvation.

  308. My contribution to this shocking display of porn:
    When I was thirteen we had to memorize a poem that began “Under the breast of a crimson hill…” I was called on to recite. At that age, I was horribly embarrassed by having to say “breast” out loud. As soon as I got out the first three words, the sadistic teacher (male) told me to stop. “Louder!” he commanded. This was repeated. So I had to shout “Under the breast” three or four times, with all the boys smirking and giggling, before he let me go.
    Beautiful hat! I think I can figure it out from the photo. Off to my stash….

  309. Three cheers for Stephanie – Hip, hip hooray! There are two dictionaries in our house – The Oxford English Dictionary and the Canadian Oxford English Dictionary. Actually, there are more than two dictionaries but those are the two that count. Knitters know!

  310. It is curious about the hat. I too have curly hair (big poof pile really). I was discussing hats at work the other day with a fellow curly haired (is that a real word?) co-worker, about how to get a hat to fit properly, without looking like a doofus, or it always lifting up and popping off your head because of the curl (actually big poof pile). It is very hard to get that fit. I totally understand.
    PS. I am so totally concious of my spelling, grammar, and punctuation now due to your recent posts. Please accept my appologies. I do not have time to proof read or edit in any meaningful way. You are a writer and I expect you to write well. I am a nurse, I give exceptional nursing care.

  311. You should be allowed to spell like a Canadian because being Canadian is relevant to much of what you write. I say this even though I am a copyeditor for a US scientific journal and part of my job is to Americanize the style and spelling of foreign authors. I don’t feel bad about this because the word “American” is in the name of our organization and some of our publications. I do feel bad about disliking the word “penis”. (Look, I put the period on the outside of the quotation marks, very unAmerican!) I think my dislike of the word is a direct result of spam.

  312. perhaps a flaccid penis? BTW, where are those photos taken? It looks vaguely familiar to my American eyes.

  313. Would also like to see a penis-hat photo. Does that make me weird? I just kind of want to see the side-by-side comparison.

  314. Great hat, Eco Wool is one of my favorite yarns right now.
    Body part names don’t bother me, and I can be a bit of a prude. Although, for some reason I have no problem calling my son’s penis, a “penis”, but my daughter has “girl parts”. Probably because I don’t want to get into too much detail now and there are just so many different names.

  315. But what about boobs and weiners? Are they okay to say?
    I moved to Toronto about six months ago and I’m still having trouble with the spelling. I’ve read a lot of books written in the Queen’s English, but Canadian English isn’t quite the same. (For instance – Mr and Mrs, organise, and others I can’t think of at the moment.)
    I’ve learned to pronounce Lieutenant in the Canadian English way, and know my daughter is at University, but (thanks to a few years in Germany) I say “kill-o-meet-er” instead of “kill-ahm-utter.”
    Yes, this fascinates me and I could talk about it all day.
    I wish Immigration Canada would offer Canadian spelling classes along with the French and English classes. 🙂

  316. I am a Registered Nurse who also thinks that body parts and functions are just body parts and functions. You say whatever you want (well almost anything) I work in surgery and I also know that when a patient is draped for surgery one can’t tell the patients race, nationality, gender, lifestyle preference, etc. Everyone I have ever operated on is a member of the human race!

  317. HA HA HA HA!!!! Again you have brightend a dreary day!
    I am an American and have the same opinions on all counts. I would think that any logical person would.
    The hat is lovely…and I think it’s a worthy goal to not to look like a penis.

  318. I live in Vermont, another place where hats are not optional. I like your hat, and it looks warm – which is key for hats in cold places. As for body parts, I will welcome the day you won’t get crank e-mails on the subject.

  319. I know there’s a shot of you somewhere on this blog with a true penis head. I almost lost my eyeballs through my glasses at that post. You know how sometimes people exagerate (hah!) to make a point, but really and truly I’m afraid you are right about fitted hats and your particular head shape.
    Real tams with a bending ridge can be positioned to look good on anyone, but they probably aren’t warm enough for a Canadian winter.

  320. you’d think that a hat named worm would be penis-ish. and i apologize for the poor spelling of all americans. i grew up in a border town and spelled with u’s and re’s and such.

  321. Thank you Stephanie,
    I just had a breast biopsy yesterday and it was really hard (I passed out on them.) DH is outta state working (unemployeed for two years.)
    And, I am so scared that I do not have any yarn for hats if I need them. I know it is silly but it is really bugging me. Quality problem. Then, I read your post. Bless you for making me laugh (yarn or no yarn.) I did favorite the hat on Ravelry though. You made my day less worrisome.

  322. H’mmm. And only a few weeks ago a friend re-knit a hat because her DH said the cables looked like penises. (They did, but it wasn’t overt. I didn’t see the hat as it looked while worn; that might have emphasized the look…)
    As for Harry Potter, after book three I ordered from the UK; the early books changed more than spelling. Even some back story details are different!
    And grey and gray and colour and–my favo[u]rite–theatre (NOT theater).
    So there.
    p.s. I’m a Yank, born and bred.

  323. Very un-penisey on the hat.
    Your thoughts on typing words that ruffle feathers gives me hope for my ravelry name.
    Thanks for the laugh.

  324. Talking about saying penis alway reminds me of my favorite parenting story. I taught my kids the proper names for their anatomy. When my oldest was three he asked people if they had a penis so he would know if they were a boy or a girl.
    I am a poor speller in any country.
    You are sooo funny. Looking to see the new book for sale.

  325. First, a hearty thank you for making me laugh harder than I have in a long time. I share your problem with head shape and tend to avoid the penis-head look as much as possible, but after reading your post, I have put the Wurm up next in my queue (and yes, as a Canadian living in the US, I think I’m entitled to “queue”) and will wear my uncircumsized penis hat with pride.

  326. Speaking as an American-Canadian, I didn’t really have a problem with the spelling changes in Harry Potter (I can understand American publishers wanting to reinforce “correct” spelling in their children’s books), but I was annoyed by the vocabulary changes: “lift” to “elevator,” “lorry” to “truck,” and so forth. As if American children can’t handle exposure to other dialects.

  327. Wenus
    That’s a family favorite word at our house, because it sounds naughty.
    Use it in a sentence? Sure.
    I really should rub lotion on my wenus everyday.
    I’d use the plural, but I don’t know it- probably because it doesn’t rhyme with penis.

  328. In order for Wurm to look like a penis, it would be described as a circumcision done badly…oops, I that is another word not allowed. Love the Wurm, forgot I have it in the to do list. Thanks for the great blog, I lurk and read every day.

  329. My husband came over to the US when he was 12. He was made fun of because he spelled and pronounced words the way the Queen’s English spelled and pronounced them. He was actually given E’s for that. My husband is 70 yrs old and will never forget that. And by the way, penis penis PENIS!

  330. My husband (and his family) moved to the US, from Scotland, when he was 12. He was given E’s because he wrote the Queen’s English. He is now 70 yrs old and will never forget that. (by the way – penis, penis, and PENIS)

  331. I love the Wurm pattern but since you used a heavy worsted and the pattern calls for a sport weight, what size did you knit?

  332. Thank you for making me laugh while in the Hospice with my Grandmother (who taught me to knit). My Mom has been banding about the word penis as well and laughing a bit. We’re playing spelling games.

  333. I can totally relate to the penis head look. I get it all the time. Will have to try this pattern. It looks great.

  334. I love your blog, your spelling, and your new hat … but someone is bound to think it resembles a flaccid appendage.

  335. Aren’t penis and vagina two of the oddest/funniest words ever to be uttered? But so much nicer than JUNK. Gross.

  336. I like the British versions of Harry Potter better too and I’m American. When I was a child I read some books written in the English version of English rather than the American version of English and had no problem with figuring out what was meant from the context if I wasn’t familiar with a term, so I’m not sure why the powers that be think American kids are no longer smart enough to do that. Furthermore, in the grand scheme of things it hasn’t been that long since the British spellings were perfectly acceptable for American use.
    On the other hand part of my job involves reviewing and “fixing up” things that other people write and some of the authors I work with are so convinced of the absolute perfection of their writing that changing a comma is practically a felony. Perhaps you have a touch of that, though I’m sure not an unhealthy amount.
    And the hat is very great on you.

  337. The only Harry Potter changes that seemed desirable to me were changing “jumper” to “sweater” and, maybe, “football” to soccer. But most Brits seem to believe Americans know what a Knickerbocker Glory is, to believe it IS American, and trust me, guys — it ain’t.

  338. If you could bottle your spirit and sense of humour, it would sell for a million quid a shot! (That’s a mix of American English and English English just to show that we who speak English English don’t give a hoot how anyone spells it as long as it makes us laugh and we get the knitting pattern afterwards).
    In my last job in a Solicitors’ Office, I was responsible for designing and producing the Firm’s headed paper. It wasn’t until over 5,000 letters had been sent out (I counted how many reams of notepaper we had left) that I realised I’d described the very unpopular Notary Public as the Notary Pubic. As I was going to retire the next week, I forgot to mention it to anyone before I left. Hopefully, the firm is still using the same letterhead. 😀

  339. You are hilarious. This was a great blog, among many others you have written.
    I love your knitting, I look forward to looking at you from afar at Sock Summit.
    I am one of your knit groopies.
    Yeah, spelling. The stars aline, we are conceaved, and then it is determined, good speller or not good speller. Nothing can be done after that. I have probably demonstrated which group I am a member of.

  340. I think you should type the word “uvula” and see how many people get bent out of shape over that. Probably the same people who got mad when an anonymous caller tipped them off that their son was a homo sapien and their daughter was a thespian.

  341. When I read “you can ask my friends or my mother” I thought “Great, somebody else has conversations like my daughter and I!”
    I like the new hat.
    I know this because I’m a typesetter, but if you were paying to publish the book instead of the publishing company, you could spell things any way you want, even if it’s wrong. You could also have as many ellipses as you wanted.
    And it would probably be better that way.
    But the rule is: whoever pays gets what they want, even if it’s wrong.
    The company I used to work for had a customer who used N-dashes instead of hyphens and M-dashes, and I was never able to explain tactfully that it was actually wrong. It also made the page layout program not break there like it would have correctly done after the hyphens that should have been there.

  342. UVULA: there’s a body part the mention of which would definitely get you a few outraged emails from people who don’t know what it is, but suspect that it might be up to no good.
    Your hat is not unlike the Wacky Hat I designed years ago and made available on the old KnitList, back when we were all knitting with dinosaur teeth. I designed mine for each ridge to use up some oddments of yarn, but that sort of hat looks every bit as good either in a solid or self-striping yarn. It’s still one of my favorite styles. I look like a penis when I wear a watchcap, too. So I wear slouchy hats and berets.

  343. I am a proud American, but I wish the publisher would print your books using your proper grammar and spelling. I think it reads smarter.

  344. I can’t wait to read your new book but, I will pass the time trying on all of my hats to make sure I do not have a penishead!

  345. I don’t think where a book is published should dictate spelling. If the writer isn’t American, but from an English speaking country, it should be spelled the way it’s spelled in the author’s country. Most of us know that some words are spelled differently in other English speaking countries. We are quite able to deal with it. Geesh. Publishers need to give us some credit. (I am American, in case you hadn’t determined that.)
    And there is nothing wrong with using the word ‘penis’. Though I can’t picture you looking like one.

  346. Well, if I had NOT just read the word “penis” seven times, I wouldn’t think that hat vaguely resembles a flaccid, uncircumcised male organ of copulation, but seeing as how I DID just read the word “penis” seven times…

  347. As I may have mentioned, I’m an editor (though I don’t edit anything interesting or funny, so I envy yours), which allows me to get at least some use out of the pesky habit words have had since I was, oh, maybe seven, of leaping off the page and mugging me if they don’t look right. Clang clang clang will go my editor alarm, telling me I’m being mugged again. It’s been years since I’ve read even one page of a newspaper in peace and quiet. (Copy editors are apparently “nonessential” staff.) Luckily I’ve been reading British books since I was seven (A Bear Called Paddington), so it translates, and you can write about Americanising all you want. Nor does it care about body parts as long as you spell them correctly. Otherwise, clang clang clang it will go.
    And there doesn’t seem to be aught I can do about it.

  348. P.S. You should watch “Who Wants To Be a Millionaire?” with my dad sometime. No matter what the question, his answer is penis.

  349. I don’t think you look like a penis at all in that hat, which is odd, because its name seems to be wurm! I actually enjoy reading things in Canadian spellings (I’m an American). Before I stop noticing it, it seems very exotic and makes me remember that Canadians are not quite like Americans. Which is interesting, I think.

  350. This is probably the very first time I have read through all of the many comments on your blog, and I can’t stop laughing! This blog is better than a happy pill!

  351. I would never have thought you looked like a penis until you said it…and then seeing the picture, you totally look like a penis….the hat makes you penis-y….It’s cute but totally uncircumsized…

  352. If more of us Americans read more non-American writing (or just plain read more), we’d understand what the color/colour, defense/defence business is all about. Meanwhile, I’d love for my 2.5-year-old to call me his mum. Sigh. (But oh he does love to talk about his penis!)

  353. Love the post! Funny how the mind works – I was looking at the hat pictures, saw the figure in the background and suddenly thought, oh my GOD what happened to that poor person’s FACE – …oh she blurred it. Hahaha.

  354. Couple things…first, after reading your post out loud, my husband wants to know if it’s with or without a condom? Second thing…just to add to the penis discussion, my 3 year old told me he loves all the way to his penis. Creepy and cute, eh? Thanks for the laugh. Love the new hat, by the way.

  355. I had to laugh about American/rest of world English. For my job, i’m supposed to use US English as my standard, and in this current quagmire of a project, the client decided halfway through that it needed to be UK English.
    Um, okay, so i went ahead and channelled my inner Brit and changed everything to UK English. Then another client directive arrived: no, we want US English. Although when they made the edits on that draft (track changes is a rant for another day), they “corrected” my English. Yep, took my US English and changed some of it back to UK English. Made a few snarky comments about my English, too. Grrrrr.
    I’m glad you and your editor agree on most things, though. That’s a help. Even if each of you thinks the other spells funny.

  356. I think the obvious solution is for you to knit a cowboy hat for yourself. If I recall correctly, you look darling in that type of hat, not even remotely penis-y.

  357. Snort – that was funny. Of course, I could come up with a few more, but won’t for email’s sake.
    And how appropriate – aught, as opposed to ought. 🙂

  358. This made me giggle, like 12. Not only the e-mails but the google hits you’re going to get.
    I lived just the other side of lake Ontario from Canada and wore a hat only twice in 43 years, wet hair and all. Now that I’m in Tucson, let the temp get below 50F(notice my American temp on your Canadian blog?) and I grab my angora pink hat. Don’t really care if I look like a penis. Never thought about it til now. hmmm

  359. Let it go Steph and forgive us our weird spelling customs. We’ll take your work and appreciate it however it is spelled. It must be agony to review edits.

  360. Thanks for cheering me up. It’s been a long day of database cleanup and I needed some body part talk.
    PS: hat looks good.

  361. Nothing like waking up to a smile…and a good cup of coffee….your hat is LOVELY…and quite un-penisy. Funny what we Americans will get our knickers in a twist about!!!!!
    P.S. My daughter calls me “mum”….makes me feel all warm and loved!

  362. I totally understand what you are saying about the spelling. I do live in the USA but for some reason tend to spell British way. I was marked wrong in spelling a lot. Once I was able to use the movies to prove I was right. Judgement at Nurmenburg was on and of course I “misspelled” judgement. I took the newspaper in and got my grade revised with the warning not to spell things the “English” way.

  363. I LOVE it. Now you can tell all those “non penis loving” people to “put THAT in your hat and suck on it!!”
    *does the Wayne’s world “we are not worthy bow” *

  364. Thank you! Now I know why I don’t like my beautiful, warm handknit angora hat that always sticks up on top….that “p” thing.

  365. Ok, I am American but of Northern Irish descent first generation. I spent most of my first decade of schooling being told I could spell for *!@?. I think they should spell it the way you wrote it. When British authors of fiction are published here, I see many of their books spelled with the British English version of our language….Maybe it is your publisher. May I express my deepest apologies for my adopted country.
    PS Love the hat! Hate it when people get so uptight about body parts. It is just language, not even pictures ….I get that too because I am nurse. I forget sometimes that others just don’t get it. I often discuss things over dinner or breakfast that make people I love cringe.

  366. Writing from Wisconsin. I don’t think hats are optional HERE either… But whooo! So many here go hatless. I don’t care what I look like when I’m WARM… Most important? Warm! Fix your hair later… After all.. it’s only HAIR. Gorgeous knitting is more important than HAIR, too! Warm first, knitting second… Looks…? Hmmm… LAST! LOL!

  367. Oh. I just remembered. We made a fish quilt for our church picnic years back. All the appliqued fish were different shapes. You guessed it. One of the shapes was DEFINITELY shaped like a penis. I had forgotten that. Ha. Nobody noticed, but all 4 of us ladies could not shake it once I had POINTED it out. We giggled. A LOT! See? It’s all good!

  368. When I was in 3rd or 4th grade, I would use the English spelling in my papers. Mainly that conisted of putting the U back where belongs. I would be marked down because “You’re in America, not England.” This was said in a disciplinary tone of voice; It always made me sort of wistful.

  369. Too funny! I’m still laughing over sascha’s comment about the hat kind of resembling foreskin…

  370. Dear Stephanie,
    Re the penis thing, you must understand how important this is! It had never crossed my mind that a hat (or someone in a knitted hat) could look penis-ish. You splendid post is not helpful in this regard. You didn’t show a photo of a penis-ish hat or penis-ish looking person in a hat. I’m filled with fear that maybe MY knitted hats have the same effect, but I just don’t know it. Please, please, please be more helpful and let us know what hats cause this dread condition! Thank you so much, I await your aid.
    Love (and I mean it), Suzanne

  371. Nipple, nipple, breast, penis.
    I always find your body part posts so funny and love your blog.

  372. RE: spelling. I am American. When I was a kid I used to spell ‘color’ ‘colour’ and ‘mold’ ‘mould’ and got corrected all the time. It bugged me — I knew I was right, but couldn’t explain how I knew. I made myself comply with what was expected. Later, I caught myself writing ‘catalogue’ and ‘cheque’ and that felt right. It was only in my young adulthood I found out about American vs. English spelling. I felt so vindicated. 🙂 I still don’t know why I was spelling that way (and still have to stop and think so that I don’t.) I must have read un-edited books or some such thing as a child.

  373. Ribbed for her pleasure? Instead of a penis hat you made a condom hat!
    Condom is another word that will send stuffed shirts over the edge.

  374. “Hat looks GREAT on you. We are anatomically correct @ our house, since I think it makes the adults look stupid (another bad word) to teach children funny names for body parts, which then have to be un-learned later, usually @ school. Hope you don’t get too many scolding emails!
    Posted by: Leta at February 10, 2011 4:38 PM”
    It doesn’t just make people look stupid it can be damaging. If a child only knows “funny” names for body parts and tries to disclose abuse to someone outside the family then it may not be picked up because the word isn’t recognised.

  375. I sometimes tell people that I speak two languages, and both are English!! I’ve seen strange looks on people’s faces when I mention Regina, SK. Greetings from the Canuck in Colorado.

  376. “I prefer to see a variety of spellings. I want a Canadian to sound different than an American and I want their writing to reflect their uniqueness.
    I had my sister buy me the first three Harry Potter books in England so I could read crumpet rather than English muffin and ready colour instead of color.
    Posted by: Cindy H. at February 10, 2011 6:28 PM ”
    A crumpet and an English muffin are not even the same thing anyway!

  377. As an American physician who has written for a British journal I especially love the un-Americanised spellings of medical terms like oesophagus and oedema.
    Unfortunately – or fortunately – a penis is still a penis, not a poenis. (As far as I know.)
    Thanks for the humour!!
    PS my American spell-check is complaining about all these “misspellings” 😉

  378. ps…
    I saw a “ribbed for her pleasure” knitting t-shirt on a young man in Denver. He turned a lot of heads!
    I hope you get a big CHEQUE for your next book.

  379. Love the post about Canadian/British spelling.
    A related comment about the letter z, zed if you’re Canadian, zee if you’re not. My surname has two and I completely stumped the young woman on the phone who was taking my name, she had no idea what a zed was. No idea what so ever.

  380. Nope, doesn’t look like a penis, wang, shlong, one-eyed-trouser-snake, or cock is any way shape or form.
    Love the differences in spelling as I love most cultural differences. The diversity is part of what makes our world so beautiful and interesting.
    Good luck on this most recent book!

  381. So, I really liked your mits and went to order my silk hankies from BMFA, and don’t you know they are off the website due to large order demands and they are just trying to fill the current HUGE order demand. They will come back. I was told to be patient. I blame you. Your mitts are so nice I want to make my own. Obviously so does every other knitter on the planet. You are becoming like Oprah. And yes, I will wait patiently and purchase my hankies when they become available.

  382. What’s not to love about a hat that makes you look like a penis? Could be worse. You could have a jacket that makes you look like a vagina. Or a taco.

  383. LOL! It does too look like a penis… albeit a shriveled up from the cold penis. And hats in Canada are prophylactic… as in chill preventive in this case. We could have intercourse about this all day. After all you are a master debater!

  384. I don’t know – I think the hat makes you look fresh and even younger than you normally do. Truly. How’s that?

  385. Harry Potter was definitely better before it was translated. It’s a fine translation, but some of the original meaning (particularly with respect to jumpers) was lost. With all due respect who think the changes, especially those relating to knitting, were necessary.

  386. But Harlot, don’t we have any publishers here in Canada? I thought we did — I am sure I worked for one once. I’ll put you in touch.

  387. I made a mistake in my cables two weeks ago… only to have the husband point out said cables had that unmistakably Freudian look. So I ripped back and tried again. Again, penises. Finally, I e-mailed the designer, who was nice enough to explain to me how to un-penis my hat.
    It was still too big for my tiny head, but now, my co-worker has a hat that is not reminiscent of penises.

  388. Read this post while drinking a very delicious cup Sunday morning coffee that almost spurted out my nose when I started to laugh!

  389. Hysterical. Thank you so much for making me laugh. Tears are actually leaking from my eyeballs. 🙂
    Love the hat! It doesn’t make you look like a penis at all.

  390. Hilarious post! But now I want to see some pictures of you in the hats that make you look like a penis. I’m just sayin’ you can’t just throw something like that out there and not give us a good visual 🙂
    Thanks Steph for another great blog post. I am very much looking forward to your next book! I own all the others 🙂

  391. LOL
    Now,.. I would think if you were really trying to pad your inbox with extra e-mail, you would have at least thrown in a vulva, nipple and testicle 😉
    Very lovely unpenis-like hat.

  392. O.k. Doesn’t look like a penis. Maybe a bit like a slightly wilted asparagus head or a lopsided artichoke. In black in white there might be a slight deflated Michelin Man quality to it (that was not a reference to any specifially male body parts) if you tilt your head a certain way. The viewer that is. Does it keep you warm? Can you stuff all your hair into it when needed? Will it come down to cover your ears and forehead? What more do you need? Think Spring! (That would be asparagus.)
    On reflection, this is a fairly vegetarian comment. How about dying your old hat orange and call it a carrot hat? Maybe a mushroom hat? an apple head? The possibities are endless!

  393. This is another really great post.
    I would feel funny, a bit insulted if someone was correcting my spelling in that way also. I’m pretty well read so when I come across different spellings I only think of it as charming. — You donot look like a penis and don’t ever say that again. Let us say that the hat looks more like the tip of a penis. —
    Why would someone get upset if you type the words penis, vagina or the rest ? They are afterall body parts not slang or curse words !!! Silly.

  394. I like the hat, too. It only looks a teensy bit like a scrotum, if you’re thinking about it. But then, if you’re looking for it, a great number of things resemble a penis. The vice principal at my son’s school, for example.
    Seriously, your own mother told you that your hat looks like a penis?

  395. I love the hat! And the new specs! Also, I want to point out that a penis isn’t uncircumcised, it’s intact. That’s how boys are born, with their foreskins.

  396. If it makes you feel any better, I’m reading the Harry Potter books out loud to my offspring and using the British pronunciations. My accents are kind of awful (though she says my Hagrid is pretty good), I want to use the language that the characters would use as much as I can.
    ::shifty eyes::
    When having my hair cut last time, I said something about “drawing butterfly penises all day long” (because that’s what I do) and the other ladies in the shop looked scandalized. My hairdresser thought it was hilarious, which is related to why she remains my hairdresser.
    Technically, it’s called an “aedeagus,” but “penis” gets the idea across quicker.

  397. Great hat and definitely not penisy or penisish.
    I live in two countries, one of which uses all those profligate U’s and one which does not. When I write, I spell whichever damned way comes to the fore of my brain first, sort of like the race of male and female sperm from the penis to the ova. Both ways are “right” eh?
    Of course, you could solve the problem by inventing your own language with its own spelling. That way there will no one who can complain. Of course that’s because there will be no one who can read what you’ve written. Kinda goes with the territory.

  398. I hate when I look like a penis, so there you go, nice work finding a flattering hat.
    I am a stickler for spelling, am an American, and couldn’t agree more: when in Rome, ahem, and no digs if a work is published in a country that spells things differently.
    Hmmm, a realizing that I probably have to search for unchanged Harry Potter books.

  399. Really who looks like a penis is the guy at the top of the stairs in the first photo of you with the fabulous hat on. That hat is going in my queue. Don’t need it here, but I’ll find someone to give it to. Congratulation on being chosen best blog!

  400. Being far too annoying for the “regular” teachers and schools… I was placed in Montessori school where they (even in America) teach English spellings. I think they make far more sense. Bravo for you and here is my official American opinion that they should leave your spelling alone. If I wanted to read “amerkin” I would watch the subtitles on Larry the Cable Guy but he is not nearly so funny and doesn’t knit. (as far as I know). Proudly forward… and off to the theatre with your favourite colour sock yarn in tow 🙂

  401. 1. Thanks for the laugh this morning!
    2. Nice hat! I can’t wear a hat without a brim, such as normal stocking hats. For me, a hat must have volume or a brim.
    3. I’m an American, and for years (pre-internets even), I’ve found myself using the English/Canadian spellings for many words. Nope – never lived in Canada or England, so I have no clue where I picked that up. I must have read something that left an impression when I was little.
    4. the inbox of your email is going to be really full after this post and the comments

  402. Ha ha ha.
    Have you ever played the Penis Game? It’s where you are in public with friends, and one of you says penis, then the next person has to say it louder, and so on. You try to see how loud you can say (yell) it without getting too embarrassed.
    My friend and I also play a game where we list all the different words and slang there are for vagina or penis in public in front of our other friend who gets all embarrassed hearing all the words.
    Thanks for not being squeemish.

  403. Imagine what it was like growing up in Wisconsin with a second grade teacher who used Canadian/British spelling. I’ve been ruined for life. I still have trouble spelling “theatre,” and “humour.” And, I still haven’t found anyone who knows where the bubbler is. And it’s been almost 40 years…

  404. 1) If Obama is standing by the border and “talking about defence”…I think you misunderstood him, dear. He was talking about “de fence”…you know…the one with the guard tower on it.
    2) You misspelled a word. It isn’t “aught”. That’s the word for zero…and in “Back in aught nine, I was in the Army” It’s “ought”. As in ”
    I ought to slap Hilarie right now”.
    3) Your hat doesn’t look at all like a penis. But you do look like a mollusk is eating your head….

  405. Just to validate your points, I’m an American editor and when my company does documents for non-American English-speaking nations, we do, in fact, change spellings to British spelling. 🙂
    Also, as to spellings being “mistakes” I hope your editor explained that there is an easy spell-check feature in Word to change from UK to US spelling throughout. They will appear a tracked but that doesn’t mean they are “mistakes.”
    And though I understand your love of the nuanced conversation via post-its, frankly, as a professional editor working on more than one document at a time, that got to be tedious and painful (trying to cram comments on a post-it really IS an art, I agree). Tracked changes has made the editor’s job quicker and more efficient. Not to mention, carpal tunnnel surgeries have decreased, I’m certain. 🙂

  406. I love that hat!! And decided I have to make it, especially considering that I have a ton of Cascade Eco sitting in a basket. But can you tell me what needle size you used? Eco is a bulkier wool than what the pattern calls for right? So, I assumed you used a larger needle.
    I also realize there’s somewhere around 600 comments to your post so I will not be hurt if I don’t get a response, but I thought it wouldn’t hurt to try LOL!
    Kathryn from Michigan (where hats are equally necessary =)

  407. Maybe your next book should be titled
    “in Defence of the Damn Penis Hat””
    The original language Harry Potter books are SO much better. Remember, Americans are the ones that had “shirty” removed.
    You stand up for your U’s.

  408. I think that the spellings should be kept “your” way. I’m an American, and because I “read you” in your own “language” on a regular basis, the way you spell has become part of your voice. When I “read you” with the American spellings, it sounds less like you in my head. I don’t know what your actual voice sounds like, but when I put a voice to your writing in my own mind, I like to see the Canadian spelling and it affects the way it sounds to me. I like being reminded that we come from different perspectives.
    It’s like e.e. cummings. His poems sound different and special because they lack proper grammer and capitalization, etc. Imagine if they “edited” him. Not the same at all.
    I don’t think this is an issue of nationality at all. I think it’s an issue of voice. And I, for one, wish that they would definitely make sure that everything in your book was spelled the Canadian way. I can get the American spelling of stuff in a book written by an American.

  409. Thank you for the post and for a good laugh! I am reading this on my lunchbreak and my coworkers are wondering what I’m up to. I don’t think they’ll find it as funny as I did because they are not knitters. Poor them. I like the hat, too.

  410. Dunno…maybe “before”…hat just doesn’t seem to suit you as well somehow.
    Agree with you on the spelling. Actually, not a problem in the US..most of us do not spell well at all…I am more into your content than your spelling…don’t care how you spell stuff so long as you contnue to write it and publish it so I can purchase it and then enjoy–it’s the spirit of the thing actually.

  411. I totally understand your feelings about wanting to make sure that people know that the differences in spellings are just that, differences, rather than a total lack of spelling ability! I just had the American English vs. [standard] English spelling conversation on another blog I follow (written by a Brit). I posted about things I do while I am traveling. I got teased by a couple of the British and Canadian readers for not being able to spell travelling properly! I actually posted again listing several other words that are different (including woollen, which I learned from you a few posts ago) in Am English. I had to make sure everyone knew that I am not, in fact, a spelling idiot… just a speaker of American English.

  412. I work at a historical mansion, the man who built it obviously was a man besotted with bosoms, there are at least a dozen pieces of furniture and a few fireplaces that are embellished with gravity defying breasts. On a tour a 10 year old boy piped up “Look! they have nipples too!” I heard in my head “nipple nipple breast” and started to giggle, chortle and finally covered up with a cough. I grinned all the way through the rest of the tour

  413. So, after reading this post I told my husband I had some interesting/funny posts to share with him during afternoon tea. We laughed our way through this post, but then I said, “Wait. There’s more…..” DH replies, “MORE?”
    We then read the post about the needles. When he saw the picture of the dpns DH said, “Obviously you don’t have enough double points……” SCORE!!!

  414. The word “scapula” is highly offensive-
    people are so offended about everything- it just makes me want to shout every naughty thing I have ever heard,written or done!

  415. I prefer the English spelling of words as well and frequently spell that way, especially the word behaviour which just doesn’t look right without the “u”, though maybe that’s my Canadian roots.
    I prefer the term “phallus” when discussing or describing said body part though am not offended by “penis” or the various and sundry nicknames that it has.
    Thoroughly enjoyed your post!

  416. I love the socks! There is a pair in my needles right now.Next pair will be toe up!I fear the heel. It was hard to get insync tobegin my first sock, and now I am afraid I will not be able to do a good heal starting at the toe. But I am going to give it a try! Thank you for your writing skills,English has so many spellings…..but even more colloquilisms.Penis is a penis no matter what you call it.Male appendage just doesn’t give as good a picture.

  417. Personally, I get a little incensed that publishers seem to think it would be too difficult for me to understand Canadian English or English English. I’m choosing to read a book. I think most of us would be able to figure it out. If you can’t you’re probably watching too much television.

  418. I am sitting here, it’s 11:41 pm and I have to work at 7 and I am laughing my ass off at this post, and at the woman who said her son’s principal (or Principle?) looks like a Penis. Really? Please describe.
    This is the funniest damn thing I have ever read. Penis penis penis penis penis. And I’m a postpartum nurse and a lactation consultant. Let’s say nipple, breast, vagina, uterus, and ovaries to boot. Kathleen, trying not to keep people in the house awake with my snickering and having to wipe my nose from laughing

  419. Nope, you don’t look like a penis. Though if someone were to knit that lovely hat in a particular blue, I’d be tempted to think they looked a little like the Tenniel illo of the Caterpillar from Alice.
    @JaneJ – at least Bubblers and binders are Wisconsin regionalisms, not your British grade-school teacher’s influence.
    @Janice – Uncircumsized Hats, one would imagine.
    Thanks for the laughs, Steph! Splendid on how long-ingrained prudery, no matter where we are in Getting Over Ourselves, makes the words still and always just so funny. (sez I, typing after getting up from falling off my chair laughing so hard!)

  420. I’m a nurse, so I’ve seen many a penis, and your hat is very un-penisy. You are cute as can be and always make my day!

  421. For Elizabeth L and anyone who cannot picture a penis hat because it would be like a knitted condom, google “willie warmer”. Instead of a hat that makes you look like a penis, it is a hat *for* your penis 😉

  422. If you’re talk about Americanized English, you should spell it the American way… right? 😉
    On a related note, I studied at a university in Australia for a semester. I was surprised when the professors didn’t ask that I use Australian spellings (they allowed me to use American spellings).

  423. I had a thought in the middle of the night–why don’t you run your final ms through the spell checker set to US English before you send it to the publisher? That way, you could Americanize the spelling yourself and you’d feel more in control.

  424. re: penis. I work in a nursing school. When one particular teacher goes over the MULTIPLE CHOICE questions with her students at the end of the exans, instead of saying “For number 1, the answer is A and for number 2 the answer is C” she says “1 – anus” “2 – Breast” “3 – clitoris” (for A, B or C) and so on because she wants students to get used to those words instead of giggling every time they hear them. so penis penis penis penis penis

  425. Thanks for making me laugh. I really needed it today. Maybe you could mail my boss one of those aforementioned hats….
    I so totally agree on the Harry Potter books and I am American.

  426. A corollary to the penis hat is the “nipple head” phenomena wherein one dons a hat that makes the head resemble a nipple, either like mother’s or like the NUK baby bottle nipple so popular in the States. Distinctive looks all.

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