Atheist professor Richard Dawkins posted a YouTube video where he mocks the way evangelist author Ray Comfort wrote the word “thought” as “thort.”
The best-selling author has written more than 70 books and is currently promoting his documentary, “180 Movie,” that has a pro-life stance and speaks against abortion. Dawkins received a DVD copy of the film signed by Comfort. The author wrote in an attached note that he wanted to hear the professor’s “thorts” on the film.
Dawkins made a 50-second YouTube video holding the DVD cover to the camera and mocking the author for his misspelling, but Comfort retaliated by claiming that he is aware of his spelling and that it was intentional, according to the Ray Comfort BlogSpot.
"Whether the learned professor likes it or not, the English language is evolving and some of us old fossils need to evolve with it. Texting is changing the way we spell. I'm delighted that I was able to catch the wave of social media, a wave it seems Mr. Dawkins missed," said Comfort.
The difference of opinion between the two prominent figures is nothing new. They have clashed in the past, with Dawkins calling Comfort an “idiot” live on CNN. Their latest argument may be over a single word, but also raises questions about the way social media standards, such as abbreviated spelling, are taking roots in everyday English language usage.
Comfort declared himself unconcerned with Dawkins’ mockery, and even claimed that he was glad that the professor made the video, since it promotes his “180 Movie” to the millions of atheists worldwide who follow Dawkins.
The author views the video as free advertising, and that it has the chance to change minds and reach an audience that otherwise is unlikely to take interest in a pro-life documentary.