Jumble Words, Crap Words, and this Writer’s Woe


OK, so I’m going to let everyone in on a secret. Actually it’s only a secret to those who don’t know me personally. I’m a terrible speller. No, I mean like really terrible. I don’t even get close. I can really tax a spell-checker, push it to its limits to comprehend what word I’m even attempting to write. So how can a writer be such a horrible speller? Well, before said spell checker, I probably couldn’t have been.

Now having said that, I have worked hard at improving my spelling skills, or, at least, I’ve worked out a lot of little tricks. Mostly I’ve taken to pronouncing difficult words phonetically in my head, meaning I think them (and sometimes now say them) the way they’re spelled. Like ass-ass-in. Also, I sometimes force myself to correct misspelled words manually (not letting the spell checker make the correction), forcing myself to learn their spellings just by repetition. Still, I get a lot of words wrong.

I have particular (I think, Par-Tic-U-Lar, as I used to spell it, perticular.) difficulty with homophones, words that sound the same but are spelled differently, like aisle and istle, weather and whether. For this I have a simple solution, a three by five index card I carry in my laptop case titled, Jumble Words. It’s a list of my most commonly confused homophones. It has entries like this:

Muscle- tissue for movement

Mussel- mollusk

Sometimes a pen and paper is the best solution. Of course a bigger brain would be an even simpler solution, but as one of my teachers says, “Do what you can, with what you have, from where you are,” so I’ll be sticking with my little cheat sheet. (For the record, I typed cheet sheat. Thank you spell checker).

And the reverse side of my jumble words sheet is titled, Crap Words. These are words that are spelled so stupidly (I mean so difficult for me to spell) that even the mighty spell checker can’t decipher my version of the word. I’ll try one. Silluette. Any ideas of what I tried to write?


By the way, the spell checker guessed salute.

Hey, this could be a game, like a reverse spelling bee, Guess what RiFT is trying to spell. Maybe we’ll make it a contest one day. My nightmare is you game.

>RiFT Out>


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