Monday, July 04, 2011

O thou that tellest good tidings of Zine

'Zine' or 'zeen'? I've recently seen both spellings of the word used to signify 'a magazine, especially one about an alternative subculture' or 'a low-tech magazine... reproduced on the computer, often with a very personal style' (thanks, Macquarie), and my feelings on the matter have gone from utter ignorance to complete ambiguity. Sounds like the perfect subject for a blog post, then - so long as I mention the fact that I have a new zine out, the latest edition of Badger's Dozen, and you can get a copy off me for not very much.

As you of course know, the term 'zine', short for 'fanzine' dates back to 1965, and that's all that Etymology Online, I mean, you, have to say on the matter. Then again, apparently the alternative spelling 'zeen' has been around since the '90s, and is preferred by some parties because it more closely reflects the way the word is pronounced. Then again, what's that got to do with it? Some of my favourite words have nothing to do with the way they're pronounced. By the way, you can get my bright and shiny new zine off me at pay-pal - I'm at timhtrain at, and $3 can get a copy of the zine mailed to your door. Ahem.

In the end, does it really matter which way it's spelled? Hell, yes. And possibly, no. As you are probably aware, I'm fascinated with the grammar and syntactical rules associated with words that don't exist except in books, or may never even have existed in books, words that are made up on the spot - and, of course, words that have been around for a few decades but never really been known by a large amount of people, and so consequently have never been formalised and listed in dictionaries until fairly recently. Is 'Bilbo Baggins' really the correct way of spelling that name in English? And what do Hobbits have to do with my little zine about badgers anyway, which has lots of nice poetry and lovely pictures and a new Nottlesby article and you can get off me for, etc etc, providing your address. Good point. Me neither.

So, lastly, and also in conclusion, 'zine', or 'zeen'? Good question. How about option c) - 'feuilleton'?

PS Buy my zine!

1 comment:

TimT said...

On the third hand, 'zine' and 'zeen' are better words for puns. 'Been there, zine that'. Also the title. But my zines are only available for a limited time only and can be also purchased in the Sticky Institute, Degraves St Subway, Melbourne, and hopefully will be found at Polyester Comics, Brunswick St, Fitzroy, shortly. Goodness me, it's like I have a very strange case of Tourettes.

Email: timhtrain - at -

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