That Brouhaha Did Not Happen In A Brewery

If you want to describe a commotion or a fuss, the French-derived word ‘brouhaha’ is a valid choice. However, spelling it ‘brew-ha-ha’ is incorrect.

Picture: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

I was reminded of the potential of this error by Lifehacker favourite TV Tonight, which noted its incorrect use in a Herald Sun story earlier this year. The word is ‘brouhaha’, not ‘brew-ha-ha’; no hyphens and no beer involved.

I’m not objecting to sites and events which consciously choose the ‘brew-ha-ha’ spelling for a joke, such as this Australian coffee shop or this US beer festival. But you can’t use that version when you mean an actual uproar. Accuracy matters.

Lifehacker’s Mind Your Language column offers bossy advice on improving your writing.

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