Spelling And Other Mistakes
posted May 6 2013 6:45PM
I reelize knott evrywon iz a gud speler. Ime a pritty gud speler. Wen I wuz a kyd I one a hole lotta speling beez.
OK, seriously. I do honestly understand that not everyone is good at spelling. Personally I don't expect every piece of written communication I recieve to be spelled perfectly. Forensic analysists specializing in letters and notes have said for decades that most of us have what's called "trademark misspellings," or words that we consistently spell wrong. They use these consistently misspelled words to help catch bank robbers and suss out fake suicide notes and things like that. When I was a kid I consistently spelled the word "is" as "iz" because it has a "z" sound. I also frequently added a "u" to Yourk, er, York, because it sounds like "your."
Now speaking of the word "your" I'm continually surprised by the fact that the world at large has apparently forgotten the difference between "your" and "you're." Here's what I was taught back in the first grade: Since "you're" is a contraction of "you are," all you need to do is mentally change "you're" to "you are" when you write. If it makes sense, use "you're." If not, use "your."
That said, I completely understand that in this social media driven world in which we're living, sometimes we misspell or misuse words deliberately to save time or space. I do it, you probably do it, we all do it on occasion. However, when this is done it's usually apparent by the context. I'm big on context. I think that many of the questions people ask can be avoided simply by considering context.
Here's an example: In a supermarket I once saw a pyramid stack of cans of soup. On top of the stack was a sign reading "99¢." I took this to mean that all the soups in the display were 99¢, Another shopper walked past me and asked a clerk if a can of soup on the shelf was also 99¢, This can of soup was a different brand and was not included in the display. The clerk, looking bemused, told her that no, only the soups in the display were 99¢. Looking at how it was all set up, I figured this was obvious. The other shopper didn't. She made a smarmy remark about how the store could have made it a little clearer exactly what was 99¢ and walked away. The clerk, apparently used to such treatment, went back to stocking shelves without another word. I stood there and regarded the display. I tried to think of how the store could have made it any clearer what products were included in the sale price and I couldn't. They only way they could have made it clearer would have been to put individual price tags on every single can. My point is that I saw from the context that the sale price only referred to the soups in the display.
Every day I try to be a little more observant. Every day I try to avoid asking dumb questions. I try not to burden anyone else with things I can figure out on my own. Sometimes I succeed, sometimes I fail. Also, I try to avoid redundantly repeating myself over and over and over. I also try not to say the same thing in different ways at length. Finally I try be concise in my thoughts and the way I express them by not droning on and on and on about the same thing and by avoiding the trap of saying in 100 words what could adequately summarized in 10 and while I'm at it I try to avoid run-on sentences because that's just bad form.
All kidding aside, I try to always remember that I'm as human as anyone else and everyone else is as human as I am. Making the occasional boneheaded mistake is just human nature, and so I try to remind myself of that and to have patience when the mistakes of others fall into my lap. After all, it's no fun when you mess up, realize you've messed up, come clean about it only to have someone beat you over the head with it. We've all been there and it's bad.
And, as often happens with my blog posts, I see that I've completely lost my original point, whatever it was. Cheers.