Language Watch: ‘The Pursuit of Happyness’ (Film)
When watching the new Bond film (Casino Royale) last night, I had to sit through a number of trailers, as you do. One of them caught my eye:
Disregarding the fact that the film looks like an incredibly boring, ‘American dream’ kind of film with Will Smith pursuing happiness for himself and his young son (by working hard, thus leaving his poor Black neighbourhood behind and eventually ‘making it’ through hard work and enabled by the US of A and the freedom and choice it provides, blah blah blah, propaganda blah blah blah), I could not believe my eyes when at the end of this very dull trailer, the film title was revealed:
The Pursuit of Happyness
Is it me or is this spelling of ‘happyness’ totally bloody wrong? Did I just use a question mark where there shouldn’t be one? I just couldn’t believe it. So, here are two questions for today:
- Is the spelling of ‘happyness’ right or wrong? It isn’t recognised by dictionary.com
- Why would they spell it incorrectly, if it is indeed incorrect? Are they so thick that no one in the chain of producing a Hollywood film actually fucking notices? Or is it an intentional spelling error? If yes, WHY WHY WHY?
Please enlighten me.
Boycott this film.
PS: We should at some point create some template letters/emails to send to governments, media companies, and anyone else in a position of public responsibility that uses language incorrectly. As I’ve argued before, I do strongly believe they have a responsibility to use it correctly.