It’s getting to be that time of year when children close their eyes and fantasize about an old, fat man breaking into their house while they sleep naïvely in false security in their bedrooms.
“Ho! Ho! Ho!” the man says to himself as he places consumer goods under a tree that for some reason has been moved to their living room.
Wait. Perhaps he says “Ho ho ho!” instead. Just how many exclamation points does this slavemaster of reindeer use?
Let’s turn to the authorities. Here’s what Merriam-Webster has to say:
There you have it. Three hos and one exclamation point.
Ho ho ho! Merry Christmas (etc.) to you!
Erin Servais is a professional book editor who is really hoping she won’t get coal this Christmas. Learn more about how she can help you reach your publishing goals here: Dot and Dash website.
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