Friday, January 15, 2010

Float Like a Butterfly. Whiff Like a Bee.

This only remotely has to do with writing, but I've had Spelling Bee on the brain for the past two days. Bear with me.

First, let me lay it all out on the table. I was once a spelling bee contestant. I've been a bee judge, pronunciation diva and coordinator. I've taught English and have been studying the writing craft for a decade. My channel surfing has landed me on the National Spelling Bee, setting a new personal record for number of minutes ESPN stays on the tube on my watch. I am bee girl. Bee woman. Hear me roar. But there are still words I misspell every time I attempt them.

Please tell me you have them, too. Mental hiccups where you might as well be all buck-toothed and four-eyed back in fifth grade (oh wait, that was me...sorry) for all life has trained you to spell these nemesis words. I'm convinced there is a vortex in my brain that spontaneously collapsed the day I learned to spell them-no doubt the same September day red-haired Matt threw tomatoes at me all the way home from school.

Auto correct has become my crutch now, making the abominations even worse when they must originate in cold thought, usually in email when I'm in a hurry and it blasts out to two hundred people. I can hear the tsks. "She calls herself a writer. Pshaw!" I confess them now and plead for mercy next time you read a blog comment or email and I've desecrated them:

Judgment: j-u-d-g-e-m-e-n-t. Judgment.
Definitely: d-e-f-i-n-a-t-e-l-y. Definitely.
Prison: p-r-i-s-i-o-n. Prison.

There. Confessions feel good, don't they? And I didn't even sniff my fingers in a creepy way when I spelled them. While we're in Bee mood, and in honor of the poor girl who had to spell t-u-t-o-r in front of a room of fifth grade boys today, I offer up this spelling bee gem. Don't ever let it be said I am too highbrow.

What words do you consistently misspell?


the walking man said...

Getting better at judgment and definitely never had a problem with prison but mark and bob I usually have a little red line under.

Katie Reus said...

I'm with you on judgment! I always add an 'e'. And I usually add a misplaced 'd' in privilege (the title of your Monday post) :)

Todd Wheeler said...

Flourescent. Erm. Fluorescent

And of course, the infamous hors d'oeuvre debacle.

Jen FitzGerald said...

I always misspell becasue when I type, although I can spell it perfectly fine when hand writing. There are probably many other words I dyslexicate when I type, but becasue is the most prevalent. (Just a note: the first time I typed it incorrectly on purpose, the second I planned to spell it correctly, however...!)

Great post, L.A. And I just can't imagine you four-eyed and buck-toothed.


Charles Gramlich said...

Judgement and Definitely give me problems too. And others but I can't remember how to spell those at the moment.

L.A. Mitchell said...

@walkingman-what? An extra "o" in Bob?, too! I had to use the spell check in blogger for the earlier post ;)

@Todd-I would admit to having to look that one up. And French words don't count. Not really.

@Jen-Oh, Jen, you'd be surprised. That was the year I got glasses AND braces--for FIVE YEARS. Let's just say if I'd have lived back in the 1800s, I would have been the unfortunate scullery maid who ran into walls and never landed a husband.

@Charles-glad to hear I'm not the only one. Whew!

Barbara Martin said...

For some of us, Judgement really does have that "E" in it, which means it's not incorrect.

the walking man said...

ha haha ha haah

Rick said...

Know, I never mispel anthying. Why do you aks?

Robin said...

I can never remember how to spell chauffeur - oh, I spelled it right! (Probably because I actually used it in my ms yesterday and didn't get it right the first time.)

The bane (did I spell/use that word right?) of my existence is "your." Total mental hiccup and I'm always writing your when it should be you're and you're when it should be your.