Thursday, September 10, 2009

Playwrite (for Playwright)

Playwrite is an easy error to make, since the craft of a playwright does involve writing. However, the term actually includes the word wright, “a worker skilled in the manufacture…usually used in combination: shipwright, wheelwright” (

One of my own playwrighting teachers explained it as meaning “someone who crafts a play.” He spoke of structuring a play like a house—the twists of the plot like hallways, the layering of scenes like bricks, with the theme as the foundation.

Playwriting and playwrighting, however, are both acceptable, though I find playwriting to be more prevalent. This means that to catch errors in the catalogue, we must search for the exact term “playwrite” rather than truncating the word at “playwrit*”. “Playwrite*” will also work, and will catch any instances of “playwrites”.

Pictured above is the Greek tragedian Euripides, one of my favourite playwrights.

(image from Britannica Online)
Leanne Olson

No comments: