itms writes meta

Eleven Reasons "Cass" is Not Wrong (And Neither is "Cas")

I posted a slightly different and shorter version of this last night as a reply to another post, but the “Cas is the only correct way to spell Castiel’s nickname and you are ridiculously wrong if you spell it Cass” argument is so wrong and yet so pervasive in fandom that I wanted to address it again independently.

1. The SPN writers spelled it Cass first, before fandom took up the spelling Cas. If you want to use “length of use” as an argument for correctness, then Cas is the wrong spelling. (Note that I do not believe Cas is incorrect, nor do I believe Cass is incorrect. They are both acceptable.)

2. Not spelling it “Cas” has nothing whatsoever to do with being out of touch with fandom. They certainly know that an apparent majority of fandom spell it “Cas.” But why should they have to change their spelling because fans chose to spell it differently? Why are they wrong and fans right? Why can’t we recognize that both Cas and Cass have their place and neither is stupid, misspelled, or a bad decision?

3. Claiming that the SPN writers are wrong for spelling Castiel’s nickname “Cass” is like telling parents they don’t know how to spell their own child’s name. It’s ridiculous and offensive.

4. It’s a transliteration of a Hebrew name. There is no One Correct Spelling in English (ie the Latin alphabet.) Any spelling is “right” as long as it invites the correct pronunciation. (That’s my problem with the writers’ chosen spelling of Gadreel. The name is consistently mispronounced on the show due to their decision there.) There are a number of standards in place for transliteration, but they are by no means followed consistently.

5. No, there isn’t any “unanimous” fandom rejection of the Cass spelling. I’ve seen plenty of people—who probably saw it spelled on closed captioning or in official publications before they saw the fandom spelling—spell it Cass. They frequently get shamed and ridiculed. I’ve seen people told they aren’t real fans, or they don’t know anything about the show or Castiel, simply because they spell his nickname Cass. 

6. I don’t believe that “Cas” is the “universally accepted” fandom spelling because everyone on their own figured it should be spelled that way. I’d guess it’s primarily due to that being the first spelling most people encounter–which would therefore seem to be the right one–and those relative few who spelled it Cass being pressured to change their spelling. The majority use of Cas in the fandom is not proof of its correctness.

7. Personally, I spell it Cas only because I was introduced to SPN through Tumblr and that’s how I saw it first. If I’d found SPN on TV, I’d no doubt be spelling it Cass, because that’s how I would have seen it on closed captioning. And, to be honest, one of the reasons I avoid “Cass” (I’ve even changed the spelling in quotes from books and such) is because people who spell it Cass get shit from other fans. Again: There are people who use Cas not because they think that’s the way it should be spelled but because they are afraid of being attacked by other fans if they use Cass. Think about that.

8. Nicknames add, subtract, and change letters all the time. Often—as with transliteration—for correct pronunciation, but also according to personal and aesthetic preferences. Yosef becomes Yossi, Jesika becomes Jess, Kathryn becomes Kate, Michael becomes Mike, and so on. “There’s only one S in Castiel” is not a good argument for how many should be in his nickname. Or, rather, it’s a good argument for the Cas spelling; it’s no argument for that being the only correct spelling.

9. The main argument I’ve seen for the “Cas” spelling is that Castiel’s name has only one S, therefore his nickname should also only have one. (I addressed that above.) The argument I’ve seen for the “Cass” spelling is that the double S is more appropriate for the pronunciation of his nickname; a single S would more likely be pronounced Caz. Both are legitimate arguments for their respective spellings, but neither delegitimizes the other spelling.

10. Claiming writers are spelling the name of a character they created “wrong” is just so incredibly offensive I don’t even know what more to say about it. I know that was also point two but it bears repeating. The argument that they are misspelling Castiel’s nickname because they didn’t have the foresight to choose the same spelling as fandom (or to change their spelling to suit the fandom) is pure arrogance. 

11. Both spellings are correct in their own way. Spell it Cas. Spell it Cass. There are legitimate arguments to support both. (Yes, I’d be equally opposed to anyone claiming “Cass” is the only correct spelling just because it’s the official one.) Let others spell it whichever way they want. Nobody is wrong here, except for those who claim theirs is the One True Spelling.