Griffon, griffin, gryphon...even if you get muddled up and plump for a gryphin, who's going to be certain enough that it's wrong to complain?
The great thing is that any of the official spellings can be used to describe a magnificent winged creature with the head of an eagle and the body of a lion.
(That's Alice's gryphon, drawn by Sir John Tenniel)
Please note that a griffon doesn't have fingers, which might account for it not being bothered about spelling. This is lucky, because you really wouldn't want to bother a griffin. Or a gryphon, either.
Some griffins, sadly, are fussier. The griffins who are newcomers to the Orient insist on just the one spelling.
Some griffons are fussy, too: both the Belgian dogs:
(The Hess Family's photo of Brussels Griffon Rembrant, owned by Nancy Brooks)
and the Old World vultures:
(photo by Lip Kee of a Rueppel's Griffon Vulture)
insist on an i and the o.
I suppose you can't blame them.
But it is a pity, all the same.
Word to spell today: gryphon, griffin, griffon. The word meaning half-eagle-half-lion creature comes from the French grifon, from the Latin grȳphus, from the Greek grupos, which means hooked. No one knows where the newcomer to the Orient word comes from, but the dog and the vulture are named after the eagle-lion beast.