Christmasy misspellings

It’s that time of year again. Red and green decorations line the streets and shop windows. Store clerks wrestle with the eternal question of whether to wish you “Happy Holidays” or “Merry Christmas.” And here in Minnesota, it looks like a real-life snow globe.

Today I’m writing about some common Christmasy misspellings, so you can write your holiday cards and family newsletters with peace of mind (and peace on earth).

  • Christmastime is one word.
  • Ho! Ho! Ho! has exclamation points after each one.
  • Santa Claus has no E at the end.
  • Noël, the French word for Christmas, has an diaeresis over the E, if you want to be especially traditional. Though, “Noel” is also an accepted spelling.
  • Xmas does not have a hyphen after the X.

And if you want to add some international flair to your season’s greetings, here is how to say “Merry Christmas” in other languages:

  • Danish: Glædelig Jul
  • French: Joyeux Noël
  • German: Fröhliche Weihnachten
  • Italian: Buon Natale
  • Spanish: Feliz Navidad
  • Swedish: God Jul

6 thoughts on “Christmasy misspellings

  1. Actually that’s a diaeresis, not an umlaut, over the “e” in “Noël”. A diaeresis indicates that there are two vowel sounds–“o” and “e”–creating a two-syllable word (instead of a diphthong, which would sound like “nohle”). An umlaut would change the sound of the vowel, as if there were an “e” after it. But the symbols are exactly the same in modern typography, even if they mean two different things.

    Do people really write “Santa Clause”? And is it the fault of that movie from some years back?

    Thanks for your posts, Erin. As my husband says, we’re saving the world one comma at a time.

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