[A Note on the ‘tha’]

As of the writing of this note, no visitor to Skunkworks has seemed moved to remark thatthe-ear-and-eye there seems to be a spelling error in the blog’s catch line. I would assure any who have discerned that ‘the’ is spelled ‘tha’ that this is in fact no error.

‘Tha’ is a coinage of mine, intended to conflate the senses of the definite and indefinite articles, more focussed than the indefinite, implying, perhaps, the singularity of the modified noun, less self-assured than the definite, open to or even suggesting a plurality.

Those who find this orthographic gesture a shade precious I would refer to Derrida’s (in)famous paper “Differance” (in both Speech and Phenomena and Margins of Philosophy) or, pleading poetic license, to the typorthography of e. e. cummings or bill bisset (let alone James Joyce in his Finnegans Wake…), or, even moreso, the wordplay at work in the poetry of Chaucer or Spenser and others of their time before spelling became uniform through the advent of the printing press and more general education, and who knew the etymology of ‘poet’ rimed with the older English synonym ‘makar’….

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