I am reading James Joyce's Ulysses at the moment, and I found this line:

"Wonder did she wrote it herself."

Or a little bit earlier in the letter:

So now you know what I will do to you (...) if you do not wrote.

Why is he using "wrote"? Is that an Irish dialect? Or poetic? Or simply wrong? I would've simply used "write".

closed as off-topic by Edwin Ashworth, Drew, FumbleFingers, David, tchrist Jun 9 '17 at 2:51

  • This question does not appear to be about English language and usage within the scope defined in the help center.
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 3
    The text of Ulysses is notoriously corrupt, with thousands of errors. There's a good brief discussion on Wikipedia. – StoneyB Jun 5 '17 at 16:56
  • I have observed this sort of error (in particular with write/wrote) in a number of people from what I took to be rural backgrounds. Can't say that they were of Irish heritage, but it's not improbable. – Hot Licks Jun 5 '17 at 16:57
  • What @StoneyB said. Interestingly, I find there are just 29 written instances of Wonder did she write it herself doing in Google Books, compared to 45 for the "suspect" version Wonder did she wrote it herself doing. But the earliest "correct" version is dated 1961, whereas the earliest instance of the problematic one is 1967. – FumbleFingers Jun 5 '17 at 18:24
  • 7
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic; it is appropriate on a site dealing with the vagaries of literature rather than English usage in general. – Edwin Ashworth Jun 5 '17 at 19:31

Your second quotation is from a letter by Martha, writing to Bloom. It is a deliberate typo by the author, meant to show that the character Martha wasn't a good speller or typist. See, e.g. Newman & Thornton Joyce's Ulysses: The Larger Perspective.

Bloom is making reference to this very error when he then says "Wonder did she wrote it herself."

Some editions of Ulysses unfortunately correct one or both of these deliberate errors, thereby ruining the joke.

  • 1
    Yeah,... that makes a lot of sense, brilliant, thank you very much! Still trying to get to know James Joyce's writing, bit hard but worth it. :-) – user8115296 Jun 5 '17 at 17:05
  • 1
    Oh, it isn't? Where should I put a question like this then? I have found the perfect answer here, given by someone who knows about Joyce. – user8115296 Jun 5 '17 at 19:36
  • 2
    @user8115296 If it's a question about literature, you can try asking it on Literature ;-) – Shokhet Jun 5 '17 at 19:41
  • 1
    Oh sorry, thought Literature is "using language". – user8115296 Jun 5 '17 at 19:46
  • 1
    Not a problem, @user8115296. If you have any new questions to ask about Ulysses or any other book, feel free to ask it on Literature :). – Shokhet Jun 5 '17 at 20:03

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.