Spelling Shortfalls (Personal Word Demons)

I am not the world’s best speller. Yet I teach English as one of my core subjects in sixth grade. I’m a big believer in having a building error-checker. You should be able to sense when a word is wrong, even if you can’t figure out how to spell it correctly.

Ironically I was a finalist for a spelling bee in first grade. My stage fright was so great, that I pleaded with the teacher not to let me go. She obliged and I was spared the task of standing on stage and mangling words (though I must have been pretty good at that stage).

My error detector is fairly well tuned. I can sniff out some weird words even on printed paper (no squiggly red lines needed). Yet I do have my blind spots that, for whatever reason, baffle me.

Success: I am determined to spell this word as “sucess”. I think because the second C makes and S sound, my mind tunes it out.

Traveling: I desperately want to add another L to this, making it “travelling”.

Meet and Met: Whenever I type either of these words, I pause and sound it out to make sure I’m using the correct on. A year teaching Kindergarten helped with this.

Lose: This is my all time Achilles heel. I know it and still I type it wrong. I want to spell it as “loose”. In my defense, there is no logical phonetic reason for the spellings. Lose has that weird Z sound it it, like “looz”. Am I crazy here, or does it not sound like it should have a pair of Os in it? I mean, you try spelling it phonetically. It wouldn’t be such a big deal if “loose” weren’t around.

So next time you see a tweet or a blog post from me were I am “loosing my mind”, send me a quick message and tell me that my demon word has struck again.

Tim Kane

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6 comments on “Spelling Shortfalls (Personal Word Demons)

  1. Ha! I got a D in spelling in the 7th grade and yet still managed to make the Honor Role. So, you can imagine my shame!!! I’m with you on this one bro’.

  2. Maybe if we see that you are ‘loosing your mind’ we will think you are letting your imagination ‘loose’! There are so many English words that don’t follow ‘The Rules’ so don’t beat yourself up over it. It’s hard to remember all the exceptions. As for the word ‘travelling’, to a Brit or Canadian (like me) it looks perfect! 🙂

  3. […] For some of us, spelling more an adventure than an exact science. Tim Kane writes about his own spelling shortfalls or personal word demons. […]

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