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