Confession Friday (On Saturday): I Suck at Spelling

January 25, 2014 Confession Friday 25

*I tried Grammarly’s check plagiarism online free of charge because I have no desire to be sued for copyright infringement. Ain’t nobody got time for that. * (FTC Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Grammarly, which means Katie got paid, y’all.)

How are all you Bookworms this fine Saturday?

I have a confession to make. I am a really crappy speller. I rely on spell-check more than I’d care to admit. In the third grade, I was the very first one out of the classroom spelling bee because I spelled “higher” instead of “hire.” I thought I should get credit anyway because higher is trickier spelling-wise, but no dice.


My biggest problem is multi-syllabic words. I love me some big words, but the vowels tend to throw me for a loop. English, am I right? In the middle of a word, a, e, i, o, u can often sound interchangeable. I’m a big proponent of sounding things out, but again, ENGLISH. It doesn’t always work.

I took Spanish in high school and college. I can manage simple declarative sentences that don’t require verb conjugation, but I’m not what anybody would consider fluent. You know what I AM though? An awesome speller… In Spanish. Spanish rocks because the vowels always make the same sounds. If you can pronounce it, you can spell it. I also like Spanish because the translation for penguin gets a sweet punctuation mark: “pingüino.” Everybody loves an umlaut.

Alright Bookworms, I KNOW some of you are probably spelling bee champions. ‘Fess up, kids. It’s time!

*Side Note: Grammarly paid me for the initial listing on this post, but not this part. I got a free 30 day trial of the service and it’s actually pretty sweet. It picked up a ton of grammar errors (though most were intentional) and gave me the option on how rigorously I wanted to check my text. They offered a variety of standards ranging from academic to casual. Granted, I don’t really care how bad my grammar is because this is a blog and I KNOW that I’m FLOUTING all the rules, but still. If I were back in college, I’d love this thing. I used to get nailed on using the passive voice ALL THE TIME.*

25 Responses to “Confession Friday (On Saturday): I Suck at Spelling”

  1. Charleen

    Similarly, I’m an awesome speller in Italian (two years in college). I’ve also noticed that if I come across a word I’m not familiar with, I tend to sound it out Italian-style more naturally than… well, English has more exceptions than rules so I don’t know that you can sound anything out English-style really. That’s why so many of us avid readers find out YEARS later that we’ve been pronouncing a word wrong because we only ever saw it in print (which I know we’ve discussed before).

  2. Justjen

    My family jokes that it is all because of my devotion to the Speak’n’Spell toy I had as a youngun’, but I blame my stellar spelling /grammar snob ways on my lifelong reading addiction. I try to keep it inside because nobody appreciates being corrected, but I have a large ‘mental red pen’ for the myriad of mistakes I encounter daily (from scheduling notes and medical records at work, online news stories, restaurant menus. . . Ack!)

  3. Christy (A Good Stopping Point)

    I was third place in my state spelling bee (it was the state of Maine – not to knock my home state, but I probably wouldn’t have done as well in say, Maryland or California.) I was eliminated because I misspelled “vertigo” (I used a ‘d’ instead of a ‘t’). I quite simply didn’t know the word – if only I had watched more Hitchcock movies as a pre-teen!

  4. Claire @ Bitches With Books

    I like Grammarly but I’m so frustrated by the cost of their program. As an academic student i’d love to purchase a year’s subscription but who the hell has the money for that when I’m a broke MSc student living off of 50 cent noodles.

    • Words For Worms

      Ah life’s great ironies. You can only afford to use great services when you no longer need them. It would be really nice if Grammarly had a student pricing option, though.

  5. Charleen Entrop

    Correct English was always spoken in our home, so when I took grammar in college I wondered why I needed all the rules and didn’t bother studying. Consequently, a “D” appeared on my transcript. It’s ironic that I spent my entire career as copy editor for newspapers, magazines and scientific papers. I never trust spell check because the word might be spelled right right, but it doesn’t belong in a sentence. Also, I am not the world’s greatest speller. I use the dictionary (archaic as that may seem). Every time I find a typo or grammar error in a book I want to get out my editing pen and return the book. Alas, it was probably edited and spell checked by a computer. When I post this, an error is bound to appear. Read on!

  6. Jennifer St. James

    I beat out the misnamed Cutie Lee (she was not an attractive girl, but very, very smart) to get into the spelling bee—I could spell psychedelic because I was highly into the Beatles in high school. Unfortunately, the first word they threw at me in the actual spelling bee was “austere”, and I started “O-S-T”—BUZZER. I was mortified.

  7. Cindy

    I confess that I am a spelling bee nerd. In junior high, I was #23 in a Houston area spelling bee.

  8. Erin G

    I was in the state spelling bee as a kid–I got out on the word “procellous” (which I just googled to make sure I spelled correctly.) My spelling seems to be going downhill the older I get, especially with simple words with double letters (obsession? obssession?) but thanks to technology it’s not usually a problem.

  9. April @ The Steadfast Reader

    I, like Andi used to be pretty decent speller on paper. However, since I bought a Macbook (four years ago) and those magical tiny red squiggly lines appear underneath everything I misspell, I don’t even try anymore. Technology making me stupider.

    Also, I could spell the shit out of some crazy German words in high school, and everyone does love an umlaut. 🙂

  10. Psychobabble

    Dude, yo tambien.
    I can spell in Spanish but not in English. And FORGET French, where everything is pronounced the same, but spelled with different, silent letters.
    I’m pretty sure the only test I ever cheated on was a spelling test because it posed so much anxiety for me. And that was about…1990, so thank goodness for spell check.

  11. Megan M.

    How did I miss Confession Friday???

    I’m an above average speller. I almost never have typos in anything I write, and I can “feel” when I make a mistake and I have to correct it right away. Can’t wait until the end and then re-read it. Also I’m a big fan of Googling things to make sure I’ve spelled them right. Why can’t more people do that??

    I would usually make it to the final three or four in a spelling bee and then miss a word I just didn’t know (I never studied.)

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