Cacography is deliberate comic misspelling, a type of humour similar to malapropism.[1][2]

The term in the sense of "poor spelling, accentuation, and punctuation" is a semantic antonym to orthography,[3] and in the sense of "poor handwriting" it is an etymological antonym to the word calligraphy: cacography is from Greek κακός (kakos "bad") and γραφή (graphe "writing").

A common usage of cacography is to caricature illiterate speakers.[4]

See also


  1. "On the Real Side: Laughing, Lying, and Signifying: the Underground Tradition of African-American Humor that Transformed American Culture, from Slavery to Richard Pryor", by Mel Watkins, 1994, ISBN 0-671-68982-7, pp. 60, 62
  2. "A History of American Literature Since 1870" by Fred Lewis Pattee, 1917, p.34, digitized by Google Books
  3. "A Practical Grammar of French Rhetoric, by Gabriel Surenne", 1846, 150, digitized by Google Books
  4. "The literary content of the New York Spirit of the times, 1831-1856", by Richard Boyd Hauck", 1965, p. 184
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