Words I cannot spell without the spell checker:Caribbeansergeant medievalsatellitebureaucaffeine (ironically)occasion jeopardy jealousy Actually, I can spell them correctly NOW, because the spell checker has trained me. But every time I type them, I have to consciously remind myself: two p’s, s not t, put an i in there somewhere... and so on. Or I just take random stabs at it until the little red line goes away.Because some words I don’t even get close enough for the spell checker to take a stab at. Like...silhouettecamouflage guarantee I am not lying--one day I had to type “shadow” then pull up the thesaurus (ha! Got that one on the first try!) and look for ‘silhouette’ among the synonyms. Do you even have to take spelling tests in school any more? (You wouldn’t know it from some of the posts on the Internet... Including mine sometimes.)  Well, spelling tests were the bane of my existence. So when I told my guidance counsellor (there’s another word) that I wanted to write books, she said, quote, “Oh, your spelling is much too bad to be a writer. And your grades in English aren’t that great, either. You need to stick with the sciences.” (Just as an aside--when I had English teachers I loved, I had fantastic grades. It’s always easier to read books you don’t want to read if you get to discuss them with a teacher who’s opinion you value.) Anyway. She was the grown up, and I figured I could write books no matter what I had a degree in. College is really about learning to learn, getting a firm foundation for the knowledge your going to spend the rest of your life stacking on top of it. My advice to young want-to-be-writers is get a degree in something you will like doing, because it’s can be a long road to selling a book.So THAT part wasn’t bad guidance. The REAL whammy was someone telling me I was unqualified for what I loved to do. Even though I had one of those new-fangled computer things (which my counsellor had apparently never heard of, because they didn’t have spell-check on stone tablets), the lesson--”You are only good enough to do this as a hobby.”--stuck. Fast forward ten years, when I’d been writing as a “hobby” and talking about writing a book but not following through. And I looked at my writing, and I looked at the books that were on the shelves, and I said, “You idiot. The only difference between them and you is THEY have managed to finish a book. You’ll never know if you suck at this until you DO it.” So I did it. And it worked out pretty well.  I guess I don’t suck at it. Of course, spell check and a good proofreader help. Now, it could just as easily have turned out that I wasn’t a great writer, and that no one but my mother would see my genius. There are people who love to sing but sound like a dying cat when they do. My point is not “Ignore everyone who tells you not to follow your dream.”  It’s: "Don’t let anything stop you from trying."Fact: I’m a bad speller. So I learned to use spell check.Fact: I needed to support myself while I learned to write more better. So I got a degree in something I was good at. Fact: People asked me, “When are you going to get a real job?”  So I stopped talking about writing and submitting a book and actually, you know, wrote and submitted one. I made it my real job by working at it, not necessarily by succeeding at it. (Though that helps shut people up.) Then there’s this: If you sing like a dying cat, you may never be on American Idol (except maybe the audition show).  But don’t let anything ever stop you from singing in the shower. Question: What are YOU bad at?  Do you love to do it anyway? Have you gotten better, or do you just do it for the love of doing it?[image error]
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Published on June 12, 2012 08:42 • 302 views
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message 1: by rivka (new)

rivka Spelling tests are the bane of my 6th-grader's life. She takes after my dad, who in pre-spellcheck days once misspelled "Israel" three different ways on a single page.

message 2: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer Jasper Ahhhh.... Spelling. I love that my father will still call me from across the house (or now days, from across the country) to ask me how to spell things, then tell me I'm wrong and proceed to look it up in the dictionary sitting on the desk in front of him (usually to find that I was, in fact, correct). I will however admit... I sometimes have to write 'hard words' (or pretend to write them in my head) to make sure they look right!

And yes... I am horrible at singing... I only do it in the care... alone... or after several drinks with friends... but then we harmonize our horribleness, and no one really cares at that point anyway.

message 3: by Rosemary (new)

Rosemary Clement-Moore rivka wrote: "Spelling tests are the bane of my 6th-grader's life. She takes after my dad, who in pre-spellcheck days once misspelled "Israel" three different ways on a single page."

Okay... That is sad but I'm also lmao because it's something I would do.

message 4: by Rosemary (new)

Rosemary Clement-Moore Jennifer wrote: "No one really cares at that point anyway."

Which is how it should be among friends. Especially friends after a few drinks. ;)

message 5: by Rea (new)

Rea K some words i spell right and then think they're spelled wrong.... then I proceed to try and spell them different ways.

message 6: by Rosemary (new)

Rosemary Clement-Moore Zombie wrote: "some words i spell right and then think they're spelled wrong.... then I proceed to try and spell them different ways."

I also do that thing where you write a word so many times that it starts to look wrong even when it's right...

message 7: by rivka (new)

rivka I think everyone does that. It's a weird switch in your brain that gets flipped with repetition.

message 8: by Andy (new)

Andy I know I do it, too. "That can't POSSibly be right." (and when you try to use CAPs for emphasis, the spell checker doesn't like that, either.)

I used to be pretty decent at spelling until a (much delayed) honors English class, where the prof insisted on a weekly spelling test, "because so many GOOD students were poor spellers." The only thing that accomplished was to make me doubt my spelling. (sigh)

message 9: by Carol (new)

Carol My problem is that I spell better when I spell quickly. My kids are constantly saying 'slow down Mum', but if I do, I can't get it right. Go figure!

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