Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Proper Spelling

Just because you know all of the rules doesn’t mean they work all of the time. Take the rule "I before E except after C and in certain words like neighbor and weigh." What about "either and neither"? What about the hundreds of other exceptions to the rules? What about my title word "proper"? Why isn't it "propper"?

My spelling has always been atrocious (I held my breath as I spelled that last word hoping I would get it right). My son was one of those people who did great in spelling bee competitions. He can memorize and bring up any word in his mind and spout it out when needed. Then he went and got married and left me to spell check, which does not work on my blogsite. I have to write everything on Word and paste it over to my blog – not a bad thing, but a hassle. My brain works differently from Bo’s. I cannot see the word in my head. I am a visual person. I have to write it out and look at it for a while, mull it over, and try it again. Knowing spelling rules is probably good, but sometimes useless. Then things get complicated with homophones (I spelled that correctly – even looked it up in the dictionary to make sure I was using the right word) or words that sound pretty close to the same. If you have a Texas accent like mine, lots of words cannot be spelled the way they sound. I wish it were all simplified. Keep it Simple Stupid is my rule, and it works well – most of the time. Why use "sit, sat, set" when "set" could work all of the time? "Lie, lay, lain" just totally confuses my brain. "Accept and except" make me crazy. "Advise and advice" are just too close to call.

I keep a dictionary and a thesaurus close at all times, but even then spelling is tricky. In the fourth grade, I asked my teacher how to spell "lodge". I had spelled it "loge". My teacher told me to look it up. Try looking up "lodge" if you don’t have the first three letters correct. It made me crazy.

The other day, I was writing a comment on Becky’s blog when I had one of those spelling brain farts. I wanted to say her cake looked "delicious", but I had no spell check. I spelled the word several times, but was unsure of myself. Finally, I wrote, "yummy". It worked great. When I first started teaching, a student asked me, "Meese, how do you spell corridor?" I replied, "Hall – H-a-l-l." He did not like that, so I told him to look it up.

The apple does not fall far from the tree. Jesse is even worse than I am on spelling (it was that home skullin thang). She said she was leaving a thank you note for someone, but got into an argument with Lindsay on how to spell "greatful" or "grateful". They opted for "thankful" instead.

If you catch my mis-spells or typos, please forgive me. I could start in on punctuation rules. Personally, I think getting your meaning across is the important thing. If it is too confusing, it probably needs help. With the way my brain works, my writing could be confusing. Sometimes the thought in my brain just does not make it down my arm and out my fingers very well. Then when I proofread, my brain compensates making the words seem perfectly logical. Oh well, bear (or bare) with one another in love and kindness, patience (patients?) and mercy.

6 comments:

Laurie said...

I'll prey for your spelling prahblem laidee ;)

On a completely different topic... Remember when you were looking for that photo of the soldier smelling a letter from home? Well we received in the mail a 2007 calendar from the USO, and the picture for February is that photo. Credits on it say: Photo by Cheryl Diaz Meyer, Dallas Morning News/CORBIS SYGMA.

Bag Blog said...

Thanks for the info on the soldier picture. I should give credit where credit is due, and it is an incredible photo.

Anonymous said...

Lou Lou,
You really know how to hurt a guy. I'm one of those guys that can speak the language fairly well, but don't ask me to spell it. Of course, I'm sure you can tell that by some of my postings. Shelley is my spell-check. And you can forget about the rules of grammer.

"Hooked on Phonics" has a whole new meaning in the south!

Anonymous said...

Boy-Howdy, do I ever hear you on the spelling thang, Lou. "Dictionary.com" is a permanent feature on my Firefox toolbar and I use it all the time, especially when commenting.

I write in Word and cut 'n' paste to the blog, as well. Word will generally, but not always, catch my typos. And one should be VERY careful in accepting changes recommended by spell-check! I should write a post on the fallibility of spell-check... coz I've seen some real doozies of spell-check induced errors in business e-mails. None come to mind right now, but if I thought about it long enough...

Bec said...

Lou, this was so entertaining and funny! I can relate to it during those moments when I edit stories from kids. They spell in such interesting ways that sometimes I can't remember how the original word is spelled. I think your reliance on synonyms is ingenious! Sometimes it's an improvement over the old world anyway.
Buck mentioned Firefox. We'd heard about it for several months. It was one of those things that bloggers would mention and we'd say, "Yeah, yeah, Firefox." Well when our Internet Explorer updated into something unusable, we decided to try it and darn if it doesn't do spellcheck for you right in the comment sections!
Buck - your idea of printing out stuff with spellcheck and no common sense or context would be hilarious!

Becky said...

I've always been a good speller, but my dad wasn't. Half the fun of reading his letters was trying to figure out what word he was actually trying to write. I kind of hated it when he finally got a word processor.

I don't know why you couldn't spell check in blogger. I do it all the time, just on the regular posts. I can't spell check the comments.