Who’s Correcting Whom…?

> Hi there,
>
> I am a fellow INFJ and felt compelled to write you after looking over your website. I started on the “introversion” page and noticed you misspelled “extravert” repeatedly. It is Extrovert as shown below: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/extrovert
>
> I love your site and appreciate all the hard work that went into putting it together. I will use it as a resource going forward.
>
> Please forgive my pointing out this error. I don’t mean to be mean. I was once an editor and those skills die hard.
>
> Best regards,
> Fellow INFJ

Fellow INFJ,

I *love* that you are correcting my spelling. An INFJ after my own heart. However, I beg to differ with you.

C.G. Jung, who coined this term “extravert” along with “introvert,” preferred this spelling. To cite the Harvard-educated Jungian analyst, Dr. John Beebe:

‘First of all, remember that you have extraverted, not extroverted thinking, despite the efforts of spell-checkers and dictionaries to conform Jung’s notion of extraversion to parallel introversion, ignoring the Latin root of the word. I prefer Jung’s spelling, because the “extra” reminds me of “Extra, extra, read all about it,” the egregious tendency of extraverted thinking to spread its own point of view as widely as possible.”‘

Lenore Thomson, author of Personality Type: An Owner’s Manual, observes that “it’s downright necessary to maintain Jung’s spelling of the word in so far as it serves to distinguish it as a psychological term rather than a set of behavioral traits — like being assertive, talkative, friendly, etc.”

Another typologist, Peter Geyer, claims that Jung was fond of the spelling “extravert” because he believed that with extraverts you get a little something “extra.”

So while spellcheckers and dictionaries say otherwise, I will stick with Jung’s version — and ironically am in the habit of “correcting” people’s spelling to match THIS version instead.

Wouldn’t it be great if everyone were on the same page with each other?

Leave a Reply