go sok!

I've sort of buried the hatchet. There's at least one reasonable prescriptivist out there, and she blogs here: Red Pen, Inc. I feel like I've got an evil twin. It's a cute, snarkily written blogspot website with a home-made, annotated banner. But she consistently uses capitalization. (I have too, for the last few posts. More on that later.) We exchanged a nice series of emails regarding this post, but it's this one, about the Red Sox, that I want to take issue with.

Leave aside for the moment that she's a Yankees fan, though that explains some of her added grammar-nazi ire. Leave aside the fact that Scott has found that blogging about the Red Sox drastically increases your hit count, though that partly explains this post and completely explains this parenthetical (Big Pappi David Ortiz, Manny Ramirez, Jason Varitek, 2007 World Series Champs).

For now, let's just consider how angry she is about this error:
Curt Schilling will remain a Red Sox.
She's really angry. Notice, I don't disagree that it's an error. If it were Derek Cheater, he would be remaining a Damn Yankee, not a Damn Yankees. But the correction that she suggests is, "Curt Schilling will remain a Red Sock," which strikes me as preposterous.

Now, the 'Sox' spelling is presumably a phonetic adaptation of the common noun 'socks.' 'X,' god knows why, makes the same sound as 'ks,' or, it's often spelled, 'cks.' But I don't think we should assume that we can subtract sounds the same way we subtract letters to go from plural to singular. Clearly, when the Sox instituted their invented spelling, they should have determined and publicized the preferred singular. They're not perfect, after all.

But I think we should embrace the haphazard, happy-go-lucky, Manny-being-Manny ethos of the Sox. Let's make Johnathan Papelbon a 'Red Sok.' Let's admit to our phonetic natures and do away with the stodgy, old English 'c.' I've only found one web site that uses this, but it looks fairly high-level, and it doesn't mention the use at all, it just does it, as though it had done it before. All the other first-page hits seem to use 'Red Sok' as the plural. Get out your Red Pen... even I don't understand that one.