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part of a small rebellion | by maryann johanson

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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  • ‘Filosopher’ is misspelled?

    Seriously, I always just thought it was taking a bit of artistic license in order to create a little… er… alliteration. I imagine it could just as easily have been “PhlickPhilosopher”.

  • Jan Willem

    It isn’t kewl to complain about creative misspellings.

  • JoshDM

    MAJ – in Firefox, div banner and banner-inner are floating above your page, obscuring your top.

  • MaryAnn

    I’m using Firefox and it looks fine to me… Can you grab a screencapture and email it to me?

  • JoshDM

    It’s possible my browser might have cached your CSS file.

    To avoid such things, it’s best to append a “?{randomnumber}” to the end of the url for your CSS file. Same for images that have the same image name but different data. If the URL is different, it defeats caching. Of course, only change the number if you change the data; make the number a date.

    For example:


    would work fine.

    Meanwhile, screencap is here:


  • MaryAnn

    Yeah, that screengrab does not show the full redesign: It does look like you weren’t loading the latest version of the stylesheet.

  • JoshDM

    I’m probably not the only one, then.

    Try killing your reader’s cache by doing this:



    And change the number each time you change the file.

  • I imagine it could just as easily have been “PhlickPhilosopher”.

    Or for that matter, “Flique Chique.”

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