When I came across one version of this word recently, I did a double-take. It simply didn’t look right to me, and as an editor, I like to be thorough. I can’t let typos slip through my grasp—even if Microsoft Word allows them. (It happens more than you might think.)
So I did my research and learned “imposter” was not the impostor I thought it was. It’s entirely acceptable. Both the “impostor” and “imposter” spellings are considered correct, and “imposter” even has an edge in Australia and New Zealand.
But where’s the grammar hullaballo? Where is the passion that drives Oxford vs. serial comma wars? Where is the backlash over the fact that a single word can have two spellings? Editors can have their persnickety moments, but apparently the “impostor” vs. “imposter” debate simply isn’t something that ruffles feathers.
Coming from the French imposteur, both “impostor” and “imposter” have been around for centuries, and everyone’s apparently cool with that. Bomb diggity. Fantabulous. I suppose in an era where there’s so much aggression in the world, we should be okay with this. Different beliefs can be valid, after all. Varying points of view can contribute new ideas to the conversation.
I was just convinced “imposter” was the impostor. Apparently, though, I had a new think coming.
This is Writing Tip #200 after all (insert confetti throw here). It’s good that I’m learning a lot along the way too.
Happy writing, everyone!
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