Tuesday, October 14, 2008

"Of" Is Not Spelled With A "V"

I return home tomorrow, after nearly a full week on the road with BlogHer. The two events went very well, and I'm as proud of the organization I represent as I am of my own efforts for making the event run as smoothly as any I've ever done.

For whatever reason, I wasn't covered in hives throughout the event, but today my forehead itched like crazy, which is very attractive.

None of these things are the point of this post.

I just want you to know that I will be flying home tomorrow and then drooling a little at my desk and then weekending and THEN? I will be able to say that the "BLOGHER EVENTS ARE MY LIFE" portion of this year will have concluded, and I will be home and blogging with regularity and fervor. Hoo. Rah.

But since there's another day and flying and drooling in my immediate future, I thought I'd put this fun post out there to get your feedback.

* * * * * * * * *

Language is fascinating. Spelling is very, very hard.

I am not a poor speller by any means, but also it has not been my forte. When I was young and first learning to alphabetize, I was not good at it. VERY not good at it. It is the first memory I have, in fact, of crying over homework.

This came back to haunt me, laughingly, bite-me-in-the-ass-ingly at the conferences for reasons I'll perhaps get into another time.

My point, though, is that sometimes when my brain is not working so well, I can lose the ability to spell. And I KNOW that I am not alone in this.

Exhibit A:

I remember coming home from school one day when I was about 10, and my mom asking me, "HOW DO YOU SPELL 'OF'?"

I was a bit concerned.

"OF? You mean, like as in Oh-Eff of?"

"F???" My mom replied.

"Yeah...?"

"I HAD THAT! But then I started thinking too hard about it, and I could not figure out why there would be an F in the word OF. But I spelled it Oh-Vee, and that just didn't look right. Of COURSE it's Oh-Eff!"

I remember thinking that my mother was crazy, and also that even if I did grow older, I could never be THAT silly.

Yes, well, hello.

I actually found myself faltering over the word "of" a few days ago, and realized I was doomed. I mean, there are certain words and phrases that trip me up all the time, but "of" was not one of them until now.

It's just that I consider myself kind of good at this sort of thing, and yet I have issues with the following every single time:
  • I can NEVER spell gague gauge correctly on the first try.

  • Ocasion is a bitchass motherfucker. ONE of the consonants gets two and the other one does not. But WHICH IS WHICH?

  • In the same vain? In the same vein?

  • Guarentee is not right.

  • Neither is curriculum.

  • Lay? Lain? Lie? Lied? Laid? Layed? LAINED?

  • If I'm typing fast, I spell my first name wrong. Ksiryt, sometimes. Usually Krsity.
And probably there are 49 million other ones I am not thinking of right yet. But I'm sure you all have some, yeah?

46 comments:

  1. Oh gosh, I do this too. I have to fix received 90% of the time, and it took me forever to remember that tomorrow wasn't tommorrow, and that ridiculous wasn't rediculous. I'm sure there's more for me, too.

    ReplyDelete
  2. my problem words are 'forest' ...i always want to spell it with two 'r's and 'believe' i want to spell it like 'receive' with the 'e' before the 'i'.
    sheesh.
    same on the sign off.
    cheers,
    stehp

    ReplyDelete
  3. fourty... why is there NO U????

    truely??? WHY NO E??!???!

    dammit.

    ReplyDelete
  4. My son is in kindergarten. It's hard to explain why some words sound the same as letters (b/be/bee, c/see, y/why, u/you). Or why c makes the "s" sound and the "k" sound. Or the letter "h" doesn't sound anything like the sound it makes. I can't wait to get to words like "wrong" (could be rong) or "honest" (onest), with the silent letters that are thrown in there for fun.

    My words are definitely (used to spell it definately all the time), and necessary. Two c's? Two s's? Both? Neccessary? No clue.

    ReplyDelete
  5. "Definitely" gets me quite a bit, I never know if or where that "e" should go. Occaision (see?!) stumps me every single time.

    Also, being Canadian, we double-up some of our consonants, whereas in American English you don't. So words such as "jewelry, "traveling" always give me pause bc I KNOW they should have two Ls, but the spellchecker tells me it's wrong. Damn you, spellchecker -- I want my double Ls!

    ReplyDelete
  6. When I was writing my NaNoWriMo novel, I was aware that I was overusing the word apparently because I spelled it apparnetly every single time. (I have removed roughly 90% of the apparentlys since then, but they helped with the word count.)

    ReplyDelete
  7. My theory is that when typing my fingers move faster than my brain so that I always end up with juxtaposed letters or spaces in the wrong place.

    My friends' favorite when chatting with me is any word that ends with a t and the following word is it because it ALWAYS comes out like "tha tit" or "wha tit". And because we are 10 year olds trapped in 30 year old bodies the word "tit" is hysterical.

    I also misspell my name. A lot. So glad I'm not the only one there.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Familiar and similar trip me up all the time - which one of them gets the extra "i'??? I frequently mess up "convenient" and "convenience". And when I was working in my last job I had to use American English - do you know how hard it is to not put u's in words and to spell things "er" rather than "re"? Then there's the "s" or "z" thing. Being Canadian in an American English world isn't easy, I tell ya!

    ReplyDelete
  9. eqipoment...

    don't ask me why but every time I type it, that "o" just shows up.

    ReplyDelete
  10. reccommend
    recommend
    reccomend

    seriously, what the fuck.

    also - affect, effect?

    basically, english is the most inconsistent spelling language in the world. you tell me how in god's name colonel is pronounced the same as kernel. or how tough has a "gh" in it.

    also, who are the people out there with the name "nathanial." in all my years of people asking "is your name spelled "iel" or "ial," i have never actually met a "nathanial," alhtough i've met plenty of fellow "nathaniels"

    ReplyDelete
  11. I have to spell "liability" all day at work, and I rarely get it right. It comes out "laibility" or "lilability." And I'm a really good speller, but I can never seem to get "acommodate" or "exaggerate" right. I think that words should be limited to just one consonant in a row. It's so unnecessary to have two.

    Also, I can't type my last name to save my life. Reason #853 why I should just pack it and take my husband's last name.

    ReplyDelete
  12. inconvienent. wait, I mean inconvenient. I always, always get it wrong. So, I always spell check. But one day I was going to fast and clicked the wrong correction. Ended up apologizing to a client for 'any incontinence' the delayed shipment had caused. Sigh. Also, initative. Or rather, initiative. Apparently I have an issue with i's.

    ReplyDelete
  13. You were starting to freak me out Kristy. Gauge and occasion are my least favorite two words to spell. I get vain/vein and guarantee though. Corduroy used to get me (but really, how often does the need arrive to type corduroy?) but I think I've conquered that now. The whole lain/laid/lay/lie bullshit? I could live to be a million and it would never make sense to me.
    And if someone could please explain to me why epitome and epiphany and Persephone are spelled and pronounced the way THEY are, I would be one happy speller.

    My pet peeve that I see almost daily is people mixing up choose & chose, loose & lose. "I don't want to loose you baby!"

    ReplyDelete
  14. I can never get the caps lock and the "s" down at the same time unless I stare at the keyboard and watch myself do it.

    And you know, if your typos are bugging you, just make some LOLcats and you'll feel better.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Separate/separation/separating until someone mentioned that the R separates two As. Makes total sense and I haven't forgotten since.

    Definitely is another big one - same thing, though - two Is.

    And I misspell my name all the time.

    So glad your hives weren't chronic!

    ReplyDelete
  16. I used to be a very good speller, I thought. But not anymore. However, I can still tell by looking that a word is spelled wrong. Luckily, because when I'm typing fast, I replace the 'y' in Cynt with a 'u'. And that's not what I want to call myself.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I'm an excellent speller and always have been, and I actually AVOID writing the word "eighth" because it never, ever looks right even when it is, and I never get it right the first time. I mean "ghth"? REALLY? Bleah. And my birthday is July 8, too (see how I pulled that off? Aw yeah)

    ReplyDelete
  18. "Of" has always messed with me. How can one small word cause me so much thought?

    And when I type my name quickly it comes out "Broke" instead of "Brooke." Most of the time it is pretty accurate, and always amusing!

    ReplyDelete
  19. curriculum is correct!

    I get stuck on accommodation. That one gets me every damn time.

    I'm also Canadian. I have to reset every damn application to default to Canadian spelling (or UK if Canadian isn't available) or else everything I type looks wrong. It's a chequing account damn it!

    I have problems with apparently, disappear, and I never have been able to spell guarantee. Never have, never will.

    Until I was in my mid 20s (sad, I know) I would spell maybe as maby. What the hell?

    You know your spelling is really horrid when spell check can't even guess at what the hell you're trying to type.

    ReplyDelete
  20. How about my name is Christine, and in every single Christmas card I write, it never fails that I write

    "Merry Christine!"

    oy.

    ReplyDelete
  21. How about rhthym, rythym, rythm, rhythm (truly just kept typing until the spellchecker here didn't pop up red... 4 tries, not bad!)

    ReplyDelete
  22. Your and you're. I know the difference, and still screw it up every time.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Laid means placed. Not to be confused with lied. I sometimes get confused over when to use hung versus hanged.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I spelled cello wrong in a phone message I left for a conductor who was living at our house at the time. Oh the grief. Also, I could not spell separated until the Offspring song came out, where they pronounce it very phonetically. If they had sung "sep-er-ated" I would have been linguistically screwed for life.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Many of the above apply to me...But I have one special especially stupid one: My middle name is Alainne. I didn't know how to spell it until maybe high school and at 31, still have to spell it out in my head when I write it. Why did my parents have to be so creative??

    - LS

    ReplyDelete
  26. I can never spell the word wierd. Also, when I learned how to spell together I learned it as To-Get-Her. When I spell it I still say to get her. There was also a song that I learned how to spell the town I was living in at the time. When I am spelling it I still sing it in my head. I am an okay speller, but I have a class that is once a week and it is 2hrs 45min. Sometimes we are taking notes the entire time and usually during the last part of the class I cannot spell things correctly even though I am looking at what I am supposed to be writing on the projector screen.

    ReplyDelete
  27. I have a few words that I always mistype, which is why Word's Autocorrect feature is my best friend. Like you, I have a problem with "gauge," which I always type "guage." But my favorite is a word I have to type frequently at work: "metadata," which I never fail to type as "meatdata."

    ReplyDelete
  28. So, it's "religious", but then it's "sacrilegious"? I think knot!

    ReplyDelete
  29. I cannot spell immediantely. Not even here. No matter what.

    ReplyDelete
  30. I mispell my name constantly. I also transpose most of my words. Problems with brain moving faster than fingers. teh, jsut, receieved. Many, many more. It's sad really.

    ReplyDelete
  31. I always misspell "definitely" and I use it all the time.

    I went on a field trip today with my daugher's kindergarten class to a pumpkin patch. Her teacher, who is a wonderful teacher, had packets of information prepared for all the parents. She had a spelling problem though. I'm reading through the packet and I discover I have to make sure to leave enough time for the hay ride and "the rubber dick game." Hmmmm. I think she meant "duck." A rubber dick game is definitely something different.. . .

    ReplyDelete
  32. At Farmer's Market, they have taken to spelling brocolli (broccoli??) "BROCLI" of which I wholeheartedly approve. I mean, brocli. Who needs more than that? It is perfectly clear.

    ReplyDelete
  33. I cannot type responsibility correctly the first time ever. I get lost after ibi every time.

    Commit, commited, committing, commitment FUCK.

    I excel at affect vs. effect in usage but I can't explain it. Likewise ensure vs. insure.

    Can we talk about verbal usage? STOP. SAYING. "BASICALLY". PEOPLE. Just stop.

    ReplyDelete
  34. vaccumm...vaccuum...vacuumm?

    'nuff said.

    ReplyDelete
  35. But you got "curriculum" right... unless I'm hallucinating...

    ReplyDelete
  36. I'm with anonymous (another word I can NEVER get right, people need to stop saying 'basically' oh, and 'actually', as filler words. It's so very irritating.

    I just thought of another word I have issues with. Remember. I don't know why, but I am forever screwing that one up.

    ReplyDelete
  37. "Of" actually used to be spelled with a "v" in some Middle English dialects, if I recall correctly. I blame Noah Webster.

    ReplyDelete
  38. the 1st 2 that come to mind are definitely and ocassion (or is it occasion?)

    ARGH!

    ReplyDelete
  39. curriculum is right

    ReplyDelete
  40. I ALWAYS get "recieved" wrong, and I have problems with occasion, not because of the doubled consonant, but because I want to write ("occaision").

    In the last few years I've also been mixing up homonyms, such as "their"/"there", "who's"/"whose", etc. This is worrying, because I never used to, which suggests that I'm losing it...

    ReplyDelete
  41. Yes, occasion is indeed a bitchass motherfucker and by the way, excellent use of profanity.

    The phrase is "in the same vein," as in traveling the same path. (I think, don't quote me or anything. Like you would..."And Jennie says...")

    Receive and recipe are my biggest hurdles, though I never know when to use whom.

    ReplyDelete
  42. There is no ass in occasion. That's how I remember that one. Although come to think of it, there usually is an ass at every occasion. Happy weekend! - Vicki

    ReplyDelete
  43. As an English major graduate-people assume that I "must be a great speller!" (along with Scrabble player..but that's another story) alas-I am not. I remember a second grade spelling test on which I misspelled "three" because on that day "thre" was the correct spelling. To this day such words as: probably (probaly), pencil (pencial)and Sincerely (Sincerly)mess me up. All I can say is thank god for spell check (even this comment boxes now have that nifty feature!). And don't worry I've been known to type fast as well and write: Ab,er instead of Amber.

    ReplyDelete
  44. My comment never made it up here... at least I don't see it, but I want to make sure I get it up here how I remember the difference between Lie/Lied and Lay/Laid

    People lie. People will lie to you all the time. They lie to your face, they lie behind your back, they lie on the floor! However, inanimate objects can't talk; therefore, they don't lie... they lay.


    p.s. I cannot for the life of me spell concious, concients, or neaseous..... see?

    ReplyDelete
  45. "Exercise" always gets me. I often throw a Z in there just for kicks, while still keeping all the other letters in various formations.

    ReplyDelete