Column: How Do You Spell Katherine?

Between today and Wednesday, my genealogy column, Roots to the Past, is available in the following Atlantic Canada newspapers:

Saturday: The Citizen (Amherst)

Saturday: Times & Transcript (Moncton)

Wednesday: The Lunenburg County Progress Bulletin (Lunenburg County)

Title: How Do You Spell Katherine?

Snippet: I’m a stickler for spelling words correctly. I cringe when I find an error in my writing, whether it be in a blog post, column or a recipe I’m adding to my cook book. If I can, I correct it immediately. I know humans make errors—we’re not machines—but I strive to be accurate.

When I began researching my family tree in the late 1980s, I endeavoured to be error-free while transcribing records and other sources of information. I wanted it to be an exact copy of the original, every word spelt exactly as I saw it. To do this, I often read, then transcribed, then compared my notation with the original, line-by-line.

If a word was spelt incorrectly in the source, I copied the error and added (sic) immediately after it to indicate I knew it was an error, but this was how it was spelt in the original. The word sic is Latin and means thus.

This need to spelling things correctly transferred to the spellings of names. After all, who wants their name spelt wrong? The spelling of names is an individual thing though, and there is often more than one way to spell them. The spelling on my birth certificate is Dianna, but throughout my teen years, I wrote it Diana. I currently use the informal version: Diane. Sometimes those who record my name spell it Dianne.

. . . To read more, pick up one of the above noted newspapers.


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