I wouldn't want to mispell it. That would be just rude.
UPDATE! - And while we're working on this problem, let's try a couple of other ones as well.
1) 'Arsehole' or 'Asshole'? It depends what website you log on to. Being an Australian, I favour the Macquarie Dictionary spelling ('Arsehole').
Dictionary.com (an American website) also has one entry under 'Arsehole':
What do you think, readers? Both spellings have certain advantages.
If the word 'fucktard' is not listed in any dictionary, then do fucktards exist? Or are they just the figment of our collective imaginations?
UPDATE ON THE UPDATE! - A conversation I had a while ago about the dichotomy between "Ass" and "Arse":
how do you distinguish between an ass (donkey) and an arse (backside)?
Pedantically yours, TimT
I read somewhere that the difference between "arse" and "ass" is the difference between Rugby and American Football.
But I find "ass" to be a bit more vulgar and thus more american. "Arse" to American ears sounds a little formal. It seems the impact would be lost if I shouted "Kiss my Arse!" to somebody over here. And if you threatened to kick somebody's arse, you'd probably be laughed out of the bar.
I think that's a good point. In general, 'ass' probably suits the American accent better; Australians prefer to extend their vowels. But I also like the 'formality', so-called, of the Australian 'arse': the 'r' rounds the word off; metaphorically shaping the word in the same way as an arse gives shape to the body.
A final point: going back a few hundred years, we find the spelling 'Ers' by Chaucer:
But with his mouth, he kiste hir naked ers
And out his ers he putteth pryvely
Over the buttok, to the haunche-bon;
Hmmm. 'Arse', 'Ass', or 'Ers'. Your thoughts?