I am slightly confused by this sentence:
Она много читала, не писала в письмах ъ, называла мужа не Дмитрием, а Димитрием, а он втайне считал ее недалекой, узкой, неизящной, боялся ее и не любил бывать дома.
(if you are interested it is from the well known short story "A lady with a lapdog" / "Дама с собачкой" by Chekhov)
It is easy to translate the sentence literally to English but hard for me to find the true meaning.
- She writes without ъ - I guess this means she wrote with a kind of reformed orthography?
- She called him Dimitry instead of Dmitry
The book was published in 1899 but the reform of 1917 got rid of the ъ at the end of words. So this means that she (the protagonist's wife in the story) wrote without ъ before it was officially abolished.
What would that mean about a person if they omitted it? Is the subtext that she is uneducated? Or going over the top to be modern? Or trying to be different? Or just implying that she has some irritating habits? Or is she showing off her level of education?
Regarding calling him Dimitry, is this a way of "foreignising" someone's name, as if I was to over-pronounce "croissant" in English with an exaggerated French accent? Is Димитрий an upper, or lower class variant of Дмитрий?
(I have edited my question to try to make it clear that I am talking about language after the feedback in the comments. Imagine that you wanted to translate the book into English for someone with no knowledge of 1900s Russian culture - the English translation I have says that she "used phonetic spelling" which in my opinion does not convey the true meaning, so I am asking really what the connotations of this description are for a native Russian speaker.)