Weirds I cant spiel and other cruel jokes

A fellow blogger recounted reading a badly proofread manuscript wherein the author was talking about billboards and looked up to see 20-foot tall feces. By the time she realized the author meant faces, the image of the 20-foot feces was firmly embedded in her brain. It signalled the end of any production relationship between her and that book. I pointed out we now share the same image. It is firmly stuck in my mind, so thanks for sharing. That’s why I’ve passed it along. Something this good needs to be shared, don’t you think?


There are so many categories of text errors.

There are the incomplete words when I don’t type the final couple of letters, tradition for traditional, ever instead of everywant instead of wanted. Nope, spell checker won’t find these.

How about brain glitches, the ones that happen when your conscious mind intends one word, but your fingers type a different one. I sometimes look at them and wonder, “Where did that come from?” It’s particularly embarrassing if the word is a homonym — too for two, you’re for your, one for won. It makes you look ignorant. I know perfectly well what it ought to be. But I had a glitch, a little power flicker of my cranial function. Oops.

Then, there is my nemesis: or for of and vice versa. It’s my mega typo. It happens so often it’s scary. I almost never catch it. It slips past my proofreading. I find it months later when I’m reading old posts. The spell checker won’t find it because the words are correctly spelled but are the wrong words. That’s the problem with spell checkers. They only check spelling. They can’t (yet  … but I live in hope) figure out what you meant to say.

Some of this stuff only happens to touch typists. Fast typists. The fingers speed on ahead of brain functions.

Time to add those cut and paste errors. You know, when you delete text, but leave a little snippet or two behind? And, of, the, but, then or whatever, little words hanging around like tiny grenades. Guaranteed to make you look like a moron.

Among the darkest of my dark secrets are the words I can’t spell, my assassin words. These guys are out to get me. No matter how many times I use them, I don’t get them right.

Desperate? Desparate?

Visable? Visible?

Dependent? Dependant?

Assistent? Assistant? 

Drought? Draught?

If I can spell chrysanthemum, how come I misspell truely (I mean truly sorry) 90% of the time? Truly looks like its missing its “e.” It does. Really. At least these are actually misspelled so the spellchecker will catch them.

And so, dear readers, my imperfections lay exposed to your cold glare. I mean to get it right. I try. I just … don’t.


Categories: Blogging, Computers, Humor, Software, Technology, Words, Writing

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

16 replies

  1. I wonder if someone up in the ranks who didn’t know how to spell is how we went from olde to old, from grey to gray…


  2. Loose – lose, separate, calendar, forty – I always rethink -fourty? Most common typo – its instead of it’s.


    • There are so many little traps in the English language. Pitfalls, deadfalls, pratfalls and endless irregular verbs. It’s amazing any of us get through a post alive!

      On Tue, Jul 16, 2013 at 12:54 PM, SERENDIPITY


  3. Knowledge and judgement are tricky for me, and not just in spelling 🙂
    My children are continually using “stood” for “stayed” (as in, I stood up all night) and “catched” instead of “caught” when they speak. I understand the difficulty especially with the latter. Seriously if it’s “watch and watched” why isn’t it “catch and catched”? And why are the vowel sounds in watch and catch different anyway?
    And the more I write “catch” the weirder it looks 😀 My goodness, now “watch” doesn’t look right, either…


    • English is a very difficult language because we have rules, but they apply but rarely. And people think that if one is an editor or writer that we automatically have all the words perfectly in our heads. But we still make mistakes and it’s so frustrating! As for the kids, well. They have a lifetime of irregular verbs to look forward to!


  4. For me, it’s calendar and lavender. I always have to look them up.


    • Oh year, them too.

      It’s classes of words, usually the endings: ant v. ent, able v. ible, ar v. or v. er not to mention a few thousand irregular verbs, adverbs (nasty things, adverbs) … and the most slippery devils of the language — PRONOUNS! And possessives. And the spelling of almost everything. Everything is irregular or at least has exceptions, even the good old “i before e …” I’m amazed I get through a single sentence without blowing off a foot.


  5. “Or” and “Of” – I mistype those so many times as well! And “truly” – I add that “e” Every. Single. Time. I’m not kidding.
    Then there’s US and UK English – every time I get a new piece of software I have to fiddle about to change the dictionary to “British English” – otherwise I just get little red underlines everywhere!
    When I was at primary school (aged about 10 – I think you would call it elementary school?) I constantly misspelled “necessary”. The teacher made me write it out in the back of my exercise book I don’t know how many times. It really worked! I haven’t spelt it incorrectly a single time in over 3 decades since!
    I’m lucky in that if I misspell a word, I can almost always tell just by looking at it – even if I don’t know how it should be spelt, I know it’s wrong.


    • Truly looks better with that “e.” It looks wrong when it’s right, but right when it’s wrong.

      The or and of just fall out of my fingers even though my brain is saying the right word. I often think Tonto has the right idea. Just ditch all those pronouns and go with nouns and adjective. Dump the adverbs too. Who needs’em?

      I lived abroad long enough that some words come out British and though our dictionaries are supposed to allow both forms, they don’t really. Dumb dictionaries!


  6. Really enjoyed the post. Regarding the topic of feces, you may enjoy this post:


  7. I spent my life, as you did, basically reading, writing, and spelling correctly for money. Yet there are two words I can never spell without first writing them incorrectly: sherrif (a.k.a. sheriff) and terrific (a.k.a. teriffic). Why? Because I think the week we covered those words in school I was out sick with chicken pox. Since that week, I have spent probably the better past of sixty years dreading the day when I would be compelled to write that Ed So-and-so was a terrific sherrif. Or maybe a teriffic sheriff.


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