Aiding the Spelling-Challenged —

Lots of people don’t spell at all. Never did. But now that there’s Spell Check on computers it’s more than ever before a dying art. I was a pretty good speller, probably due to visual memory strong on letters — But there were always a couple of words that lay in ambush for me; I simply couldn’t remember how many letters and which ones went to make them up. This is what I tell myself so I can remember those particular elusive ones:

How many “g’s” in aggressive?

Not content with a single “g”, aggressive shoulders its way in, asserting itself and its power, with an additional “g”.

AGGRESSIVE

– How many “r’s” and “s’s” in embarrassment?

Oh, the shame and humiliation! Is that a blush I feel? It’s all just too much; and so there’s an extra dose to match the excess self-consciousness, double the “r”, double the “s,” to match the too-muchness!

EMBARRASSMENT

Do you have any spelling tricks to share? 

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39 Responses to Aiding the Spelling-Challenged —

  1. disappointment – can never remember if it takes two or one p. So it takes two people to create a disappointment, hence two!

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  2. Rebekah says:

    Like you, I’ve had it pretty easy, thanks to a good visual memory … at least in my own language.

    A funny thing they used as a reminder of how to spell [the Swedish word] for perch, the fish, came to mind now, but I realize it would be so complicated to explain the funny part so I’ll just let it be. Bass in Swedish is abborre. However, back home there’s a small lake, named after the fish — it’s a popular place for ice fishing. They’ve put up a big wooden sign there with the name of the lake and managed to misspell it! *grin* Aborrtjärn! Wrong! Abborrtjärn, it should be.

    I used to hesitate when I wrote the word ‘parallel’ … where to put the double-L. I don’t know … I just forced myself to remember.

    My browser [Google Chrome] has a built in spell-check. Each time I type the word ‘blog’, I get it underscored in red.

    I really liked this post.

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  3. John Weeren says:

    I have the same with “necessary”… 🙂

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  4. 2e0mca says:

    Interesting post. One I remember ironically is a word from your previous post – Necessary. 1Collar and 2 Socks! And remember you Throw the ball Through the window – which helps to differentiate the choice of which spelling for those words 🙂

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    • Touch2Touch says:

      I’m glad I grew up with English, Martin, and didn’t have to learn its spelling as an adult.
      Makes no sense!!!!!
      But now your necessary collar and socks will help John Weeren!

      Like

  5. tms says:

    When I learned English, “bicycle” was not easy. Our teacher told us to put in the “i” and the “y” in alphabetical order. That stuck, although I should by now know that “bi” is two and a cycle is a cycle.
    As for my native language, I was a good speller until the governments of Austria, Switzerland and Germany decided they had to “reform” the German orthography in order to make it “easier”. In fact, they messed it up, ignoring etymology.
    Everybody spells like they think is right – which is mostly wrong. And I am no exception in many cases. To further improve things, the Swiss do not feel they have to follow the spelling rules they agreed to. Happy medieval conditions!

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    • Touch2Touch says:

      The bicycle suggestion is a clever one.
      As for the overall spelling scene –it isn’t just medieval times, so far as English is concerned. Still in Shakespeare’s time spelling was free-form and everyone suited himself or herself. In fact Shakespeare’s own name is spelled several different ways in documents of the time — including by himself!!!!!
      What Twitter is doing to the language makes my hair stand on end —

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  6. Pauline says:

    I tell my little second graders to pronounce the word friend as fry-end. That way that won’t mix up the e and i as they consistently do. (They have not yet mastered the i before e concept which will trip them up later as they try to spell neighbor and weigh!). I remember being taught the same skill with lieutenant (lie-u-ten-ant) so perhaps rather than a visual, I am an auditory learner. Who knew?

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    • Touch2Touch says:

      Interesting approach, Pauline. I never had a second-grade teacher like you!
      The I before E, except after C, or when sounded like A as in neighbor or weigh —
      Yeah, it works more or less, but not really for little ones. Too much to remember.
      Breaking down lieutenant is also v. interesting — I can spell it but I always have to stop and think and visualize, and your method is surefire.
      If you be auditory, then make the most of it!!!!

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    • Pseu says:

      A friend ends in ‘end’ – a friend will stay with you right to the end. 🙂

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    • Pseu says:

      —-apparently there are more words which disobey the “i before e except after c” rule than there are those which obey it! (QI is a British TV programme which comes up with such facts!)

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  7. fb says:

    Pauline, the British military have solved the lieutenant issue deftly–with Leftenant. Pun intended But they really use this spelling in lieu of ours. I must stop this.

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    • Touch2Touch says:

      Do they really spell it that way too????
      Like Pall Mall, that they pronounce Pell Mell, but nonetheless keep spelling it like the cigarettes.
      Speaking of spelling — lieu is a pretty updo word!!!
      😉

      Like

  8. john tugano says:

    hahaha that was nice..Some people tend to rely on the spellchecker readily available in the internet..Doing something manual is good..Like that of your spelling tricks..=)

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  9. Pseu says:

    Necessary – a shirt has one collar (c) and 2 sleeves (s)

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  10. Pauline says:

    Betty Eats Cake And Uses Six Eggs = BECAUSE

    lol

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  11. Christine Grote says:

    I rely heavily on a dictionary, of course if I don’t have the first clue how a word is spelled, it can take a long time.

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    • Touch2Touch says:

      Because of that problem — I remember once seeing a dictionary for people who can’t spell!
      Can’t imagine how it was structured 🙂
      But they tried to address the problem.

      Like

  12. I was lucky to always be a auditory learner. It made losing my visual memory a tad easier for reading and writing. Here is a fun grade school clapping rhyme for spelling and reading: “When two vowels go a’walking, the first one does the talking.”

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  13. Stef says:

    I always got stuck between “principle” and “principal” – which was which? Then someone told me that “The principal is your pal.” And I remembered ever since. 🙂

    Like

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