Wednesday Wordage – Cacography


Say – Kak-og-raphy

I myself am a great exponent of one of the sides of cacography, the bad handwriting side that is, I like to believe that my spelling is pretty good. That being said all cacography means is bad handwriting and/or spelling.

And what a whimsically amusing word it is as ‘Kak’ is a somewhat offensive way to say something is bad. Maybe it just tickles me as a word nerd, but I find it highly amusing.

First known use: 1580

Some synonyms include: Scribble, Scrawl and Graffito.

The writing was a model of cacography  and I think that unless you learn patience and penmanship you had best forget your manners and use the machine, as I am doing now.

Mavis Gallant, A Fairly Good Time , 1970.

They have taken advantage of cacography  in a novel way.… They also registered more than 90 of the most probable misspellings of popular Web addresses afforded by the QWERTY keyboard…

Thomas W. Holcomb Jr., “Nerds Inc. Turns Typos Into On-Line Advertising,” New York Times , June 2, 1997.

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