SPECTRE or Spectre?


I’m pretty sure there was a discussion on that back on the old forum, however I can’t remember if it was ever concluded. It bothers me from the day the title of Bond 24 was announced, which spelling is correct: SPECTRE or Spectre? I’ve always thought that it refers to Fleming’s SPECTRE, therefore the title should be capitalized. But almost everywhere (IMDb, Wikipedia, reviews) it’s written as a noun, so obviously I was wrong. Moreover, when Madeleine Swann reveals the name of the organisation, it is subtitled “Spectre” (Blu-ray English subtitles; Polish subtitles says “SPECTRE”, by the way). Am I to understand the name of the organisation is no longer an acronym, and the movie title is “Spectre”, not “SPECTRE”, right? Forgive me if the question is silly, I’m trying to determine proper spelling once and for all.


My guess is modern sensibilities deemed the elongated version of the original acronym too “corny” in the 21st Century ( “Special Executive…” ) so probably it’s Spectre and not SPECTRE.

I don’t think I ever saw any promotional material that used all caps, which is fine by me. This new outfit isn’t the classic SPECTRE, any more than Waltz is classic Blofeld or Craig is classic Bond.

I’m trying to remember a time when any real-world organizations used acronyms outside of the military. Even in the days of Esso or Texaco, they opted out of all caps, maybe to go for a “friendlier” label. These days even UNICEF is Unicef about half the time.

Those all-caps spy acronyms like SPECTRE and UNCLE and SHIELD seem to have been a strictly 60s thing.


“What does that tell you?”
“Somebody really wanted our initials to spell SHIELD”


I initially argued back in the day, and would prefer, that it be SPECTRE, but given that Blofeld in the film really isn’t Blofeld, it might as well just be Spectre. Nothing in the film deserves comparisons to the SPECTRE of the early Connery films.


I have a different problem: since I refer to Bond films in caps - and books and/or other films in upper/lower case - I now have trouble to discern between SPECTRE the film and Spectre the organisation (which I‘d normally write in caps as it’s an acronym). But since there is seldom any doubt what is meant I guess it’s a luxury problem at best…


In the classic films, the acronym is said immediately after Bond learns of the organization and its name from Dr No. Whereas, in Spectre, Madeleine tells Bond and Q it’s name and then we never hear it referred to by that name again. I don’t think it’s an acronym anymore than Quantum is.


You mean you write FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE, or do you mean you assign acronyms to the films, like FRWL? Because if you’re just abbreviating, folks here seem to have settled on SP, which is good enough for me. It could’ve just been “S” except for Skyfall, another one-word title that gets a two-letter “acronym”, SF.

I find it also helps if you just don’t discuss the film often. Not only does it save on the “what do I call it” anxieties, it also keeps you from having to remember the film itself.


I use SPECTRE these days.


Seems like the best way to handle Spectre.


Well if Barbara and Michael don’t know, I doubt any of us will ever figure it out.