Friday, April 24, 2015

spelling--ruminations and an apology

The English language is filled with spelling traps (I often wonder about other languages, but I KNOW this one for sure) that we spend most of our lives navigating like mine fields.  It doesn't help that we now have elf-sized keyboards to turn even decent spellers into typo kings.

Some words are spelled the way they sound, and some are spelled very very strangely: brougham, trough, Worcestershire,  sough,  Wednesday...

The root of the problem is genetic: we are born with the spelling gene either intact, or with it just wandering around out there making cute typos and errors that the good spellers pounce on, endlessly.  I am cursed (some would say) with the Good Spelling Gene.  It's not pretty, trust me.

Sometimes I think we exist just to annoy the rest of the world,  and our penance is to always come in first in those horrible Spelling Bees (do they even have those now?) and sometimes make it all the way to the semi finals and the final finals, only to be defeated by some snip called Marcy who rips out the proper spelling for "discotheque" and you, who have never seen it in print, spell it as 'discoteque" and the audience "awwww" resonates in your ears for the next hour...

Our life long curse is to see words spelled (spelt) badly and wildly, and are unable or unwilling to correct what we see.  Ugly, I tell ya. Ugly.  With the advent of Tablets, teeny keyboards,  people who think they can touch type but can't,  people who touch type and shouldn't, and a new wave of phonitic speling (as someone said, "you can figure it out, right?") and Spell-Check that threatens to undermine even the Spelling Bee proponents, and I do begin to wonder, why bother.  I can figure it out, right?

(but I don't want to...)


  1. Aaarrrghgh lost a big post created on a little keyboard. But the gist:yes. What you said

  2. oh poor you. I know it was insightful and funny and spot on, and we are both sorry it went away. And i understand totally, having lost quite a few myself...

  3. The one I hate is, "who cares?"

  4. Ron, i am so sorry, but your comment came in on my computer under the 'spam;' designation, so I sent it along anyway but now the Blog sees you as the Evil Toad, I guess. this was your comment (only fair to post it here)

    "Yep. What I hate to hear most: You know what I meant. "


    now ill go have a word with Outlook...