When I was a teenager – and Ann Rice’s Vampire Chronicle novels were the Twilight of the decade – I knew people who occasionally went out and tried a little bloodletting as a dark, brooding lark. None of them were particularly serious about it; while we all wished for a way to be more than what we saw around us, we knew that drinking each other’s blood wasn’t going to do it. AFAIK, it happened a few times, and then people would rather get high. Later, when I saw Buffy, Angel, and the Preacher deal with vampire cults, I figured that they were fictionalized exaggerations of things like what I knew about.
Yeah, you got it. I was wrong. It didn’t take much looking to find psychic vampires, sangrial vampires, and an entire subculture of vampires.
Oh, excuse me. “Vamp*Y*res”.
In my (limited) experience, changing the spelling is a pretty common phenomenon among occult types: magick, vampyre, daemon, faerie. There is one group who simply are being specific It can be useful – do you mean stage magic or “real” magick? But there’s a second group that takes the spelling changes way too seriously. They use the terms to refer to themselves – *they* are the ones practicing magick, or who are vampyres, and have contact with the faeries (or fey or fair folk or whatever). They’ll get quite offended when someone uses the wrong spelling (or term). And – not coincidentally – they view themselves as being outside the mainstream.
And they’re fooling themselves. They want the mainstream approval – perhaps just as much as they deny it. They just weren’t able to get it some other way.
Again – I understand the differences in most of those terms. I realize that Puck (for example) is one of the fey, and that “fairy” is a rather insulting term to a class of entity that wasn’t cute, effeminate, or diminutive until the last 150 years or so. But I don’t get *offended* when people get them mixed up. And that’s what makes it obvious that the folks who *do* get upset aren’t really as much of rebels as they think they are.
Because those outside the system do not care what the system’s opinion of them is. And even worse, the demands and offense over semantics – hell, spelling! – lowers their status, even though it’s an attempt to gain it.