Thursday, August 19, 2010

fail the bees

So you may have noticed two spelling errors in the last two posts - if not, congratulations, we are much more cosmically linked than I knew before.

Anyway, they were very subtly pointed out to me, which I am cool with - I can take some constructive criticism, but there was a part of me that, after reading the e-mail was like,"Meh? What do I care?" which is pretty pathetic, because I should care about things like proper word spelling, but the fact of the matter is, unless you're going to pay me to care by hiring me to write for you or If I think you might give me a job, I will spellcheck a cover letter from time to time, (this got me though the time I put "roll" instead of "role." Ugh! I will never live that down).

So WHY? pray-tell does a writer think she can be so loosey-goosey with the spelling of words, particularly in her native language?

Because no one ever really told me that I had to worry about it.


In second grade - Mrs. Bierley told us that we were allowed to spell words how they sounded (or phonetically - as the grown-ups say it). And so I did. And that meant that words that are spelled much differently (ie - "bowls") than they sounded in my head, came out dead wrong, ("boules" for example). And while she always corrected my spelling, I never once was told that what I was doing was wrong.

Enter third grade where I had a teacher who, looking back on it, should not have been employed by the Frederick County public school system and is all that is wrong with tenure and teachers unions and all that. She was a hot mess. She had at least three kids under the age of three and so was only in the classroom half of the day (because that's an excuse to not do your job). The rest of the day we were shuttled around like boxcar children from one random room to the next.

Needless to say, our education was not at the top of any one's priority list.

In 3rd grade not much happens, which meant it was a pretty good year to get abandoned like a ginger at the prom but the one critical thing that happens, is you start in with the spelling tests. Because apparently before third grade everyone is way to ADHD to get in on some rote memorization.

Anyway - in third grade I started flunking spelling tests, not a lot, because 98% of the English language is common sense, and I'm not a total moron, but I was sliding by with 13 out of 20's most weeks, and because no one cared at all as long I wasn't burning the building down - I didn't really catch any flack for not knowing how to spell these words like tomorrow and surprise (both of which still take a few tries most days) so I never learned to care about spelling.

Which is pretty pathetic, I know...but it got to a point where my complete lack of spelling skills became a cute quirk in my personality. It was right up there with self deprecating humor and weirdly small feet. So now I make a concerted effort but really - thanks to a whole bunch of people not caring about me during that tender age of 8 - I could honestly care less when things are wrong.

And according to 7 year old Rachel, as long as it looks right when I sound it out- its right.

1 comment:

CheeseWiz said...

Thank You! Thats all I have to say.

She's pint-sized and amazing.