As writers we are often faced with grammatical dilemmas. We have to deal with many questions, such as do we say further or father. Or which is correct blond or blonde? Understanding these inconsistencies in our language presents a major learning curve. The blond vs. blonde, however, has caused me many a sleepless night.
At first I thought it was simply a matter of gender. When using blond as an adjective, we write, “The girl has blonde hair” or “The boy has blond hair.” Reading many a story tells me that the blond vs. blonde question goes much deeper than gender. In fact I’ve read about many a female protagonist who was described with “blond” hair. Nine times out of ten I’ve seen it written without the “e.”
That took me on a Google search. What is the difference between blond and blonde. Google did nothing but add to the confusion. One writer said it’s a matter of word choice. If you use the noun form, you add the e. For example, “The blonde had a long and sinewy stare.” But, when you used the adjective form, regardless of gender, you write, blond.
Okay, that seems simple enough. But what do you do when a blond male walks in the room? Do you still refer to him as the blonde or the blond? I scratch my head in frustration nearly changing all my characters to brunette.
What’s a writer to do? Any ideas on this? I’d love to hear how you handle the blond vs. blonde issue.
PS To add to the confusion, WordPress spell check does not even recognize blonde! According to WordPress there is just one spelling for that yellow haired creature: blond. Omigod! Help!
Peggy Kreshel says
I’ve often wondered about this Joan, and I’ve been thinking that writers should stick with brunettes and red-heads. As someone who studies advertising history, I went looking on the Internet for Shirley Polykoff’s famous advertising campaign for Clairol to discover how she spelled it… You may recall, “if I’ve only one life let me live it as a blonde (or was it blond?).
Well, the headline that provides the answer is: Is it true blondes have more fun? You might also want to check this out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CPaofg8i0i0
When considering the hair-color of your protagonist (or villainess) writers might also want to consider this from a 2010 article in the UK Daily Mail:
Blondes may have more fun – but it comes at a price. Men don’t trust them.
A study found that while fair-haired women are considered to be the most adventurous in bed, brunettes are seen as more reliable in a relationship … and more sexy.
In a poll of 1,500 men, more than 60 per cent thought dark-haired girls were the most trustworthy and loyal, compared with just 14 per cent of blondes.
The result is men feel brunettes make the best wives.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1250520/Blondes-really-fun-Men-claim-brunettes-make-best-wives-fair-haired-women-better-bed.html#ixzz1hPS2PsJ6
Joan Curtis says
Wow, Peggy, what great information. Of course what they said about blonde vs. blond at the time of the Clairol ads will mean nothing to today’s editors.
I do believe it’s related to noun vs. adjective. But, then we run into the problem of blond males.
I suppose my next vixen will have to be a blonde instead of a brunette according to the research you found. The media give us many brunette vixen and few blondes. For example Erica Cain (I think it’s Cain–whatever) in All My Children. As well as Joan Collins vs. Linda Evans in Dallas. The blondes are usually portrayed as sweet, not too bright while the brunettes are mean and cunning. So, that leads to the question if men indeed prefer brunette wives, is the media creating our notions or vice versa? I’m more confused than ever.
Meantime, I can’t change my characters from blondes to brunettes. It would be like changing the color of my cat’s fur. Nope. Their hair color has become part of who they are. But next time, maybe. We’ll see. Meantime, I’d love to hear other comments on this very important question, blond vs. blonde.