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April 19, 2007

Principal vs. Principle; Theatre vs. Theater

So, today was cool. I spoke for four hours at Rolling Hills Prep about writing, casting, and living a freelance lifestyle. It was awesome. The local media covered it.

More on that in a moment. First, the bigger issue. Principal vs. Principle and Theatre vs. Theater.

For once and for all...

When you're talking about your role in a project or the onset of filming your project, you mean "principal," as that's the only option that can *be* an adjective, and that's what you're listing on a resumé in the billing column: the type of role (principal, supporting, featured; recurring, guest-star, co-star); or in your blurb about starting the main part of your work.

In case you don't believe me, here's my backup:

principal is an adjective that means "main or primary"; principle is a noun that means "beliefs or morals."
And more:
A principle is a basic or fundamental idea. The word principle is always used as a noun.
As an adjective, it indicates that the noun it modifies is the most important thing in its class.

As for the theatre/theater debate, there's more grey area here. And part of what makes the English language so damn cool is that it is constantly evolving (and bastardizing itself at rates much faster than mutations in other languages, historically).

Meanwhile, here's my basic guideline, backed up:

Theatre: refers in general to the art of live performance. Also, the building in which live performance takes place. Theater: refers to the building in which movies are displayed.
And more:
To go to the theater means to go to a movie while to go to the theatre means to attend a live performance.

Okay, why is this on my mind?

Well, helping the world WRITE BETTER is always a hot topic for me. *snork* (I just *know* one Miss Elizabeth Chambers is loving this rant already.)

But in spending four hours talking about a writer's life, I realized a few things:

Damn. It's just so simple. Do what you do. Do it well. Do it on principle or do it as a principal; do it in a theatre or on a screen at a theater. People will learn that's your YOU and they'll show up to pay for it again and again.


Posted by bonnie at April 19, 2007 6:38 PM

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Theatre vs. Theater. >>>

OH MAN. I was just thinking of this subject today and debated it in my mind while I was walking somewhere. (I have a lot of interior debates going as well as my inner monologue - keeps things interesting. Wow, longest parenthetical statement ever.) I came to the exact same conclusion, but now I'm just glad to see it's backed up with sources.

Yay, Mrs. Jones, you've made mah internets that much better. :)

Posted by: Jennie at April 19, 2007 7:31 PM

ROFL..... sorry! Mental note to self: Time to brush up on basic English skills.
Enroll in a basic English 101 class as soon as I get some extra money,if I'm going to make a living as a writer. Words of wisdom!

Posted by: Mary Carlisle at April 20, 2007 10:39 AM

The principal of your school is your pal.

At least in theory.

Posted by: Hal at April 20, 2007 11:51 PM

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