PRONUNCIATION: (het-uh-ROG-ruh-fee)

MEANING: noun:
1. A spelling different from the one in current use.
2. Use of the same letter(s) to convey different sounds, for example, gh in rough and ghost.

ETYMOLOGY: From Greek hetero- (different) + -graphy (writing). Earliest documented use: 1783.

NOTES: The idea of heterography is a recent phenomenon, relatively speaking. Earlier, when English was mainly a spoken language, it was a free-for-all, spelling-wise. Any spelling was fine as long as you could make yourself understood. Each writer spelled words in their own way, trying to spell them phonetically. Shakespeare spelled his own name in various ways (Shaxspear, Shakespear, and so on) ...

With the advent of printing in the 15th century, spelling began to become standardized. By the 19th century, most words had a single “official” spelling, as a consensus, not by the diktat of a committee.

Today if you write “definately” and someone points out that you’ve misspelled the word, just tell them you’re a practitioner of heterography.

HESTEROGRAPHY - a handwritten manuscript of The Scarlet Letter
....."handwritten manuscript" - now there's a redundant phrase for you!

HEXEROGRAPHY - 1. pictures of witches; 2. man's dry reproduction process

HERTEROGRAPHY - the collected writings of Eisenhower's Secretary of State