Spell Cheque

I like to think I’m a semi-intelligent person and a good speller but I find that lately I’m checking the spelling of words more and more.  This never used to happen.  In elementary school, I participated in the Spelling Bees and I always made a good showing.

I took a chunk out of my childhood free-time learning to spell ‘supercalifragilisticexpialidocious’.  (Quick, close your eyes and try to spell it)   To date, this is the first time I’ve had any reason to write this lengthy word, and yes I did double-check the spelling.  Can you believe my spell check didn’t include this word?  The point is I’ve always loved words.

Words have a power all their own

I’m a reader like most writers.  I have lots of contact with the written word.   It’s not that I’ve lost my ability to spell, it’s that I’ve lost confidence in my ability to spell.  Spell check is available  when I’m writing a blog post but I need it when I’m making comments. Since I’ve started blogging, I’ve consulted the dictionary more times than I did in the last ten years.

And although this is mainly a confidence problem, it stems from a few isolated incidents.

The first confidence shaker has to do with double letters. It seems I want longer words.  I want two l’s in hilarious.  I want two s’s in occasion.  And the funny thing about this word is that I spell it ‘occassion’ and then I realize it looks wrong so I change it to  ‘ocassion’. (Spell check is going to love this post)

I’m a little embarrassed to share this incident, but last week, I asked my daughter how to spell ‘resent’, as in, ‘I resent the fact that you have a young brain.’  I knew ‘resent’ seemed correct but didn’t that word mean to send something a second time?  Sometimes words look strange in their proper context and this was one of those times.

Even with my shortcomings, I’m still a spelling snob.  If I read anything I haven’t written and words are misspelled I’m critical.  I’m especially critical if it’s something the person is getting paid to write, like a newspaper article or a book.  I’ve noticed this more and more in my readings.  I think we’ve lowered our standards in the editing department.

I hope the longer I blog, the more confident I will get in my spelling ability.  I hope I get past the double letter dilemma.   If not, I’m going to change my location to some tiny island in the Pacific and tell everyone that’s how we spell ‘occassion’ on the island of Kewsmith.

40 comments

  1. When newspapers entered the computer world to write their stories, it seems the writing, and the spelling has gone haywire. This is what happened when they eliminated proof readers, and relied on spell checkers, and sometimes that can be a joke too.

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  2. Hi Kewsmith, thanks for stopping by my blog and for the “like.” I am also a spelling snob and, like you, am looking at words I’ve never questioned before that don’t look right any more. Ack.

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  3. Loved this post. I’m too am a spelling snob. I hate it when people who are being paid to write can’t spell (same as you). And, yes, I too have been using the dictionary like crazy in the past few years. What’s with that? I thought it was ONLY me. Misery really does love company. At least I’m not alone. I really thought I was losing it. Sometimes it seems I have to look up every second word. So time consuming.

    I really get frustrated when I can’t find the word in the dictionary. I know you understand this one too. I’ll look in all three that I have, plus online. Can’t understand WHY it’s not in the dictionary. Oh . . .that’s NOT how you spell it. No wonder I couldn’t find. it.

    GREAT post. So universal. Thanks.

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  4. LOL, I remember vividly, a co-worker and me trying to remember how to spell ‘sketch’. We tried to look it up in the dictionary for 10 minutes to no avail. Finally, (Thank God) another co-worked wandered in and rattled off the spelling with ease. That silent ‘k’ stands for killer, I think. It seems so silly now, and obvious, then (after the fact), but that incidence has always made me chuckle, looking back. So thanks for jogging the memory with this article. LOL. These days I’ve become fond of the double click actions on the keyboard to help muddle my way though misspelled words. Dictionaries are great . . . as long as you know how to spell the word. 🙂

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  5. It’s funny how you do actually forget to spell some words. My 2nd graders spelling list (is actually hard!) Well, there is an occasional word where my husband and I are that’s “ee” or “ea?” Gosh, I can’t recall…some homophones throw us…I can’t remember… thank goodness I’m working so closely with our son. It gets me thinking again!

    (embarrassing!) I think that has (2) r’s 🙂

    Sandi
    http://www.ahhsome.wordpress.com
    Lake Forest, CA

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    • That reminds me of when my kids were doing Math in elementary school. I would show them how to do a problem and I would get the correct answer and they would inform me I did it wrong. They solving steps had changed since I was a youngster. It was both frustrating and depressing!

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  6. Sounds like your brain is just reorganizing and making room for more important stuff….do you think it could have decided to outsource “spelling”? Maybe brain has decided to do some interior decorating inside words to “fancy” things up? (just to show you who’s boss?)
    Good luck with the battle! Funny post

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    • Oh goodness, I need my words. Why can’t my brain outsource my trivial worries from the last thirty years which seem to pop up in my brain for no apparent reason? I was thinking yesterday about the time I left the neck and gizzards in the turkey. This happened thirty years ago. I might be okay without that memory jumbled in my faltering brain. Since there is no spell check function for useless worries, I’m not sure where my brain would outsource this information. Funny comment.

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    • Well Mr. Harper Faulkner, that’s the best blogging name I’ve heard in a while. Oh course the pressure to produce quality posts must be extreme but I just read your blog and I see you can pull it off. Thanks for reading my post.

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    • I didn’t know so many people were having a problem with spelling-especially young people. I guess we are ‘spell check’ spoiled. Thanks you for stopping by. I love your twin pictures.

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  7. I don’t have confidence in Spell-check. Years ago, I worked in the sports industry. My boss wrote an analysis of the Los Angeles Angels baseball team and the Anaheim Ducks hockey team. Both were owned by Disney. Throughout the analysis, the terms were referred to as “The Angles and The Dicks.” Spell-check okayed the whole thing.

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  8. It was funny to find this post, because just today I was thinking I’ve been doubting my spelling capabilities recently. Maybe it’s because I’m blogging, or worse (but more likely), maybe it’s because I’m aging. Either way, thank goodness for spell check and online dictionaries!

    Thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting!

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    • With me, I really think it’s age because I’ve taken classes on and off for the last twenties years. I don’t remember spending this much time looking up words when I wrote class papers. Thanks for stopping by my blog!

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  9. I know how you feel. The longer I teach elementary school, the less confident I become with my spelling. Yet I am always pointing out spelling errors to my husband, particularly as we pass them on enormous billboards. When I recently won my Adult Spelling Bee, I almost lost because of a double-letter conundrum!

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  10. I really wish I couldn’t identify with this problem you are having.

    I too *was* an exceptional speller up until about 5 years ago. Now? I’m second guessing myself and adding in things, losing other things, and completely blanking it on some words. I also lose meanings, and connective words. It’s like there is a colander in my brain keeping these things from working properly.

    I like momshieb’s reply, it makes me feel better that spell check is killing us slowly.

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  11. Oh, how wonderfull to find that I am not allone in doublling my consonantts!
    I have gotten so bad that I work around words like “occasion”, “disappointed” and “embarrassing”!
    On the other hand, I have been reading a lot of primary source documents from early America and I’ve learned that spelling was always free form and changeable in those days. Even Abigail Adams spelled words by ear! So perhaps accuracy is simply a modern affectation, and we can let it go??

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  12. I have visited dictionary.com at least 15 times this morning – do you know how embarrassing it is to look up ‘condescending’ over and over (three times I went back to recheck) – it’s as if the word was making fun of me. Now that I think about it, it has more to do with my lack of short term memory than my ability to spell.

    Maybe we can all agree that misspelled words in comments are excused (the younger generation doesn’t even include all of the letters in their words).

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  13. I’m with you…every time I have to spell disappointed I have to double check..is it two s’s or two p’s or one of each???? With today’s lousy service I find I need to write that word more and more often.

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