Today is the letter "B" for the A to Z Challenge. Though it is bittersweet that I'm not participating this year, I thought that I would briefly combine it with the Insecure Writer's Support Group. Since Alex J. Cavanaugh is an integral force of both groups, it seemed only fitting.
As a writer, it is very confusing to find words that have more than one spelling. Recently, our younger son showed us a paper about amateur sports. He had written amature. Although the word didn't pass spell-check, it still popped up on the Free Online Dictionary. I finally found amateur on the Merriam Webster site, which is the gold standard. Needless to say, he agreed to change it.
Spelling is more confusing now than ever with the advent of texting. A friend of mine told me that her daughter received an email for a job interview that was written like a text message without capital letters or punctuation. Her daughter was careful to respond in a professional manner wondering if this was some sort of test. Many adults are just as bad as kids when it comes to abbreviating their messages in an effort to save time.
Years ago, I worked for a market research firm that posted notes on a bulletin board. When a survey was canceled they would write CANCELLED in bold print. Once it was my turn to post an announcement, and I struggled with the two spellings. I knew that canceled was the correct American English spelling, but if I didn't spell it their way, then I would look like an idiot. Begrudgingly, I spelled it with two L's, or is it begrudginglly?
LOL - this is my life. New Zealand spelling is often different from the American I grew up using. And technically, we now speak the Kings English, and really it is the American's who changed it. So, what's a girl to do? Favorite examples: spelled vs spelt, traveled vs travelled, favorite vs favourite, etc. I can go on for hours, and sometimes I do :)ReplyDelete
There are quite a few differences between Canadian and American spelling and spell check does get confused at times but hey, I know how the word should REALLY be spelled lol.ReplyDelete
I love abbreviations.ReplyDelete
I've never seen amature spelled that way. Interesting. I confess that I can never remember which canceled spelling is the American one. It's one of the words that gives me anxiety LOL.ReplyDelete
Yikes. I am a spelling nut. I hate when people misspell words, particularly on signs. Now that graphics are everywhere... a picture with someone typing something on it, misspellings abound. I think, "Why don't they proofread that before they shove it out into the universe????"ReplyDelete
And don't get me started on abbreviations. I fear this generation will be illiterate and only know how to communicate using the first letter of each word.
Robin - I feel the same way, though I constantly proofread what I write, and still end up making typos from time to time. Yes, abbreviations can be used for all the wrong reasons!Delete
Rhonda - When I Googled canceled vs. cancelled, traveled vs. travelled popped up. I remember one of your earlier posts about how words also had different meanings in Australia, particularly fanny pack! Good thing you caught on quickly!ReplyDelete
Delores - I thought I knew how words were supposed to be spelled, but now I find myself second guessing myself all the time. I'm glad to know you know, Delores!
Arleen - Abbreviations do come in handy, but I fear that many kids are so used to taking shortcuts that they never learn to spell properly.
Julie - You probably can't go wrong with either spelling of canceled. It's just one of my silly pet peeves. On the other hand, amateur spelled any other way just looks wrong.
You're so right about people using text-speak in what should be professional emails. That drives me insane.ReplyDelete
Being English in origin, I have constant problems with the language of North America and that of England. In Canada technically they use the English version, but being so intertwined with America, a lot of American spelling is also used. I guess my blogs are littered with both as I no longer remember which is which.ReplyDelete
Oh no, you caved and went with the British version, :). I think many of us might have done the same thing. I completely understand why you did.ReplyDelete
So was the email a test?
Text speak/ spelling or regular spelling I'm horrible either way. Thank goodness for spell check!ReplyDelete
I've become a lazy speller. I blame it on the auto correct in my word processing program. Of texting hasn't helped either.ReplyDelete
You have the spirit of the A to Z challenge participant. I can see that very well.ReplyDelete
How happy you must be not to be participating in the A-Z word torture challenge! If "begrudgingly" had two L's it would be "begrudgingally", so it's fortunate that it has only one.ReplyDelete
Spelling is so important. You're right, it's losing a lot to texting and technology - just like math and calculators, I suppose.ReplyDelete
MJ, A to Z Challenge Co-Host
Lots of Crochet Stitches
Alex - I agree that it sends mixed signals to people in professional situations. Thanks for hosting another beneficial IWSG, Alex!ReplyDelete
Jo - I wouldn't change your recipe for success one morsel!
Isis - I do cave in on occasion! She did get the job interview, so I hope she passed!
Jen - Sometimes you have to be careful with spell-check, because they take words out of context. For example, there, their or they're are often misconstrued. Don't be so hard on yourself, Jen. Everyone's bound to make mistakes running through the alphabet!
Lee - Auto correct also has its pros and cons! You could make yourself crazy checking and re-checking everything!
Munir - I miss the camaraderie, but I had a hard time keeping up with everyone last year. Thanks Munir!
Gorilla - I really enjoyed my first two years in the challenge, but it took me a long time to recover from last year! It's still fun checking in on the other participants though. Yes, it is fortunate that begrudgingly has only one L. Begrudgingally sounds like something you'd have before a colonoscopy!
MJ - I'm sure that if we had used calculators in school when I was a kid, I still would've done horrible in anything but basic math. Thanks for dropping in when you're so busy with your A to Z co-hosting duties, MJ!
Spelling can be quite tricky sometimes. And yes, texting has made it even more confusing.ReplyDelete
So true about the texting - I am getting worn down by arguing with autocorrect. My 3 teenagers joke about my texting complete sentences. sigh..ReplyDelete
Hi Julie - the English v the American English .. I must check where the Merriam Webster began and how etc .. I was always brought up with the Oxford English dictionary ... I do blanch when I see words spelt one way that wouldn't pass muster over here .. quite a few with double LLs or single Ls! Color and Colour .. yugh!ReplyDelete
But the way people write letters is awful ... then txting just worries me.. cheers Hilary
Daisy - Texting is fine for short notes, but it is so easily abused. In addition to encouraging abbreviated or phonetic spelling, it can't take the place of hearing your child's voice.ReplyDelete
Mary - I often text complete sentences too. One of the best compliments my son ever gave me was when he said that I was getting faster at texting!
Hilary - We just have to do the best we can before we drive ourselves completely crazy! You have your own unique style Hilary, and I wouldn't change a thing!
When it was time to get ready to graduate from college I had to take an English test. It went fine except for the spelling part. I really like having a word processor that knows how to spell. Sometimes it makes mistakes but I have learned how to look things up and I now know that control has no e at the end.ReplyDelete
I don't think it matters how many ls you use, so long as you emphasize the "grudge" part of the word "begrudginglllly." I don't know what "grudge" means but it sounds like a begrudging word.ReplyDelete
Be well, Jullie. =)
Yvonne - It is reassuring to know that we still have some control over our spelling! Now that you mention it, control does sound like it could have an e at the end.ReplyDelete
Robyn - I know that poor spelling is one of your pet peeves too, though you would never carry a grudge!
My hubby always asks me how to spell words, but I find that I'm not quite as good as I used to be and have to check spellings more frequently. I would spell "cancelled" but this may be an English thing.ReplyDelete
I'm wondering now if I should spell the American way instead of using English words such as colour, neighbours, favourite etc. I have a lot of red lines under most words on the Internet!
Fanny - You don't need to change a thing. Since you live in England, and were educated there, you should adhere to the English spelling. When it comes to texting, apparently anything goes!Delete
Spelling can be a tough call, especially with the tendencies of people to hyper-stylize.
I stick to the Canadian Press Stylebook and Caps and Spelling Guide, not to be formal, but just to decomplicate my life. There must be an American equivalent. MLA? APA? I don't rely on others' usage because so many incorrect things become popularly used and start to appear correct.
Hi human, Julie,ReplyDelete
Ah yes, I noticed some human had typed the word "weather", like this, "wedder". It was the worse spell of weather I've ever seen.
If I really want to see a whole bunch of red lines under my words, I spell in incorrect English as in American, English! :) Such a colorful neighborhood I live in! Arf! and yikes! :)
Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet superstar! :)
Loved your pun Penny.ReplyDelete
Ashley - It's so true how incorrect words can become popular, and they sometimes appear correct. I'm glad that you've found a good way to combat this!ReplyDelete
Gary - Yes, we've certainly had a bad spell of "wedder" this year! Always a pleasure to see you Penny! Much appaws!
Jo - I agree that Penny is the Princess of puns!
lol! fun post, but I can't believe the job interview email. Yikes!ReplyDelete
Ava - It's possible that he was on his phone, and mistakenly responded like a text to one of his buddies. Hopefully, it will all work out in the end. Thanks Ava!Delete
I am a terrible, terrible speller. Combine that with some pretty atrocious (albeit fast) typing, and I get some awful boo-boos.ReplyDelete
Hi Julie, Texting has put a huge dent, not only in spelling, but in sentence structure. And I really have to struggle with some of the abbreviations:)ReplyDelete
Surely this is a site well worth seeing.ReplyDelete
Liza - It sounds like you're being too hard on yourself, as I didn't find one spelling mistake in your comment! Thanks for following me Liza!ReplyDelete
Sandra - Fortunately, you can Google different abbreviations to find out what they mean. Though some are easier to figure out than others, this tool comes in very handy. Thanks for following me, Sandra!
Thank you Jerry!
Good on the girl for replying in a professional manner.ReplyDelete
I am so grateful that my native tongue is English. What a screwy, balls-up mess it is. Can you imagine a Spanish kid having to master all English's quirks. Better they should learn Klingon!ReplyDelete
Nas - I agree that she handled the situation well.ReplyDelete
Ken - Did I ever tell you that my parents spoke navy talk when they didn't want my brother, and me to understand what they were saying? Of course my brother caught on right away, but they could've been speaking Klingon to me.
Oh yes, we know this pain all too well. I mean, we now live in an age where half the time I see a teen respond to gratitude they type "Your welcome." They also don't understand when you ask "What about my welcome?" Sigh.ReplyDelete
Hi. I joined as a follower to your blog via the referral through Robin's Daily Dose. I would've been right there with you, scratching my head, wondering if I should spell it with one L or two. And then I would've spelled it with two, but it would've bugged me all night long.ReplyDelete
Just thought I would mention, though, that my husband has never been good at spelling, but somehow, through texting, it has improved. I'm not sure why, but I'm glad. But I admit, most of the messages I get are very abbreviated and sometimes hard to figure out. I'm often responding to one of our daughters with, What does that mean? And if they irritate me a whole lot, I will edit their message in return it to them. :-)ReplyDelete
Eye kan knot beleeve ewe. Eye'm shure ewe kan spel.ReplyDelete
A Beer For The Shower - I would rather have them misspell "you're welcome" than say "no problem." Actually, they're both equally irritating!ReplyDelete
Debi - It was so nice of Robin to feature me on her blog. It's great to meet you Debi, and thanks so much for following me! I love how you edit your daughters' messages and return them! Ah sweet revenge! I'm glad that your husband's spelling has miraculously improved!
JJ - I duz da bezt thit i kan, wedder u beleeves mee ur nut, capiche?! This is fun, but exhausting!
It's the "i before e" thing that gets me every time. Toss a migraine with all the grammar stuff, I am lost.ReplyDelete
It is so good to visit your site again.
Susan - That is enough to make your head spin, especially with words that slid through the cracks like "weird!" It's great to see you too! Thanks Susan!Delete
Spelling has become a complex issue for many of us. I tend to spell things out when texting which takes too much time. In writing, I use American spelling for my adult fiction since that's where the biggest market is and British spelling for my YA fiction, based on Jamaica using British English.
J.L. Campbell writes at The Character Depot and the Jamaican Kid Lit Blog.
Julie, just stopped by to say hey.ReplyDelete
I was going to do the challenge this year, but I've been so distracted lately.ReplyDelete
JL - It must be very confusing going from American spelling to British spelling. I applaud you for doing so well at both. Now I feel badly for complaining in the first place.ReplyDelete
Hi Sandra! I'll pop over soon!
Valerie - This has been a tough year for you. Hope your wild sense of humor is continuing to get you through it!
Banned complain !! Complaining only causes life and mind become more severe. Enjoy the rhythm of the problems faced. No matter ga life, not a problem not learn, so enjoy it :)ReplyDelete
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