The various jargon dictionaries on the Web tell us that the proper spelling for this useful term is "kluge" (from the German klug, which means "clever"). However, it's been popularized in this variant spelling.

The dictionaries also maintain that klooj is the proper pronunciation. The increasingly common pronunciation variant, rhyming with "judge," is accordingly an artifact of the popular variant spelling.

Though "kluge" offers a more phonetic spelling, "kludge" is the more widely familiar way of spelling the word, and the one I've chosen to go with -- even though I pronounce it klooj.

A tad inconsistent, perhaps. But what the hell -- it seems to work.

I'm open to arguments on the subject, of course.

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