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film criticism by maryann johanson | since 1997

frequently asked questions: “What’s with the misspelling of ‘philosopher’?”

It’s just for fun.

I’m a bit mystified as to why this would bother or confound people so much, but over the course of the 11 years since this site debuted, I’ve gotten an inordinate number of questions regarding this. (The latest, which prompted this post, came in the comments to my post explaining the latest redesign.)

Writers play with words. It’s what we do. I’m not sure I gave it a lot of thought at the time I created this site, but now it seems to me that it probably came out of a desire not to come across as too intensely serious, to be seen as having fun with the concept of “philosophy” — and, perhaps, in particular when it comes to applying philosophical ideas to something so seemingly frivolous as movies.

That’s not unusual, either. We writers follow our instincts and often don’t understand why we go in a particular direction until much later, with the benefit of hindsight, when we can look back and see how apt our choices appear to have been. Or it’s possible, on the other hand, that those apparently random choices influence the subsequent directions we take.

Whichever is the case, it just means we writers don’t always know why we do things: we just go with the flow we create.

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