Later this week, John Green‘s beloved YA new classic, “The Fault in Our Stars,” will hit movie theaters in the form of a cinematic adaptation, appropriately titled The Fault in Our Stars. The film’s title has already caused plenty of tongue-twisting trouble (just this morning, The Today Show‘s Al Roker referred to it as “The Fault in the Stars” without missing a beat or issuing any kind of correction, bless his heart). The film’s relatively heavy subject matter — it follows a pair of teenagers, played by Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort, who meet and fall in love in a support group for kids who have cancer — means that it should come with a certain level of respect. This isn’t the kind of film that you make fun of, that’s just bad manners and bad karma, but its unwieldy title isn’t helping matters.
Even more serious? Green’s title is inspired by a line penned by Shakespeare himself, and the book’s Wikipedia page tells us that it’s “inspired by a famous line from Shakespeare‘s play Julius Caesar (act 1, scene 2). The nobleman Cassius says to Brutus, ‘The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, / But in ourselves, that we are underlings.'” You don’t want to mangle that, do you? Let us help, with ten ways you should not refer to this week’s latest tearjerker.
Sure, this looks nice in hashtag form when you’re chatting about the movie on various social media platforms, but it’s just as clunky to say out loud — either by pronouncing every letter (Tee Eff Eee O Ess) or trying to make it a single word (teffious) — so let’s stay away from hashtag talk when you’re not on the web.
2. The Fault in the Stars
Don’t be like Al Roker, whose expertise is in weather, not chatting about movies. Also, while the film’s actual title is clunky enough, those repeated “the’s” in this fake title are murder on the tongue. Just terrible to say.
3. The Faulty Stars
This sounds like the stars are on the blink, as if they are suffering from some kind of electrical failure. That doesn’t make sense in a multitude of ways. Also, this could be mistaken for some sort of all-star Fawlty Towers reunion.
4. Stars, With Faults, Possibly Ours
Actually acceptable, simply because it sounds appropriately poetic and confusing.
5. The Faults
Earthquake movie? No, really, is this an earthquake movie title yet? Because it should be.
6. The Stars
Too general and way too easy to mix up with Star Wars, Star Trek and the 1988 doc series of the same name.
7. Cancer Movie
The worst possible version.
8. Faults in the Stars
Close, but no cigar. You’re missing some key words here, especially that “our,” which adds a necessary level of involvement and ownership. Are they our stars, or the characters’ stars? Whose stars? Wait, are you crying already?
9. Divergent Reunion
Woodley and Elgort previously played siblings in this year’s Divergent. Yes, that sounds kind of awkward and weird, but no, it doesn’t really seem that way on-screen, probably because the duo didn’t spend too much time together in that first film and their relationship is so (ahem) different in this new feature. (That, of course, will likely change when the film’s sequel arrives, so let’s be happy The Fault in Our Stars is hitting screens this year.)
10. The Fault In Our Stars
You might as well get the capitalization right while you’re at it. This is difficult to pull off in person.
The Fault in Our Stars opens on June 6th.