piranha: red origami crane (Default)
[personal profile] piranha
teresa's spelling test (which i indeed think is better than the one of the article she refers to in this post):

bazaar, bizarre, accede, precede, desiccated, supersede, accessory, necessary, accommodate, harass, artillery, battalion, guerrilla, iridescent, miscellaneous, millennium, vermilion, parallelism, commitment, committed, committee, counselor, calendar, stratagem, sorcerer, restaurateur, prophesy, pharaoh, eulogy, feud, fluorescent, suede, pseudopod, fuchsia, jodhpurs, frieze, receive, sacrilegious, seize, siege, weird.

yup, i see all of these mispelled frequently. the words on here with which i have trouble are "vermilion" (i want to add another 'l') and "harass" (want to add another 'r'). they're on an internal list for "stop and think about this and possibly check a dictionary" because they don't seem to stick properly in my head.

words about which i have to think for a split second but don't ever actually have to look up again are "stratagem" and "supersede".

"fuchsia", which many people get wrong, isn't hard for me because i know it's named after leonhart fuchs, and as a german speaker, that's a piece of cake. i think that aside from my pattern matcher i have an easy time with this list because i speak french and know a fair bit of latin.

maybe i have a future as a copy editor. :) that brings up a question -- how does one become a copy editor anyway?

on 2007-03-20 22:33 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] kightp.livejournal.com
Oh, yeah. "Accommodate" - I now spell it correctly, but I spent so many years having to look it up that I still look it up just to make sure. "Seize" and "weird," because they violate the "i-before-e-except=-after-c" mnemonic.

I get "fuchsia" right for the same reason you do, courtesy of my sister, the horticulturist.

"Pharaoh" is a special case for me; I first encountered it in a National Geographic article and it stuck in my child's brain as "Pohara." To this day I think Pohara has a more majestic ring than Pharaoh.

Others that ought to be on that list, from the evidence of how often I see people get them wrong: Memento. Ecstasy. Reconnaissance. Renaissance. Medieval.

One used to become a copy editor by starting off as a proof-reader. Alas, there are no more proof-readers, since everyone has spillchuck. (See also "Decline of civilization as we know it.")

on 2007-03-21 00:08 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] king-tirian.livejournal.com
Wow, I suck hard at these more than I thought I would. I wish Google backed me up on this, but back in the late twentieth century I referred to the spelling of "millennium" as the M2N problem.

You may not wish to thank me for it, but I've got a mnemonic for "harass" that has served me. I'll rot-13 encode it because it is mildly offensive and IME one can't quite seem to loose it from one's head. "urenff zrnag abguvat gb zr"

whose ass?

on 2007-03-21 02:02 (UTC)
ext_481: origami crane (Default)
Posted by [identity profile] pir-anha.livejournal.com
*laugh*. way to make me go find a rot-13 decypheringer on the web! i'll have gayboy remember it.

love the "M2N problem".

on 2007-03-21 00:29 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] tigertoy.livejournal.com
I had never, before viewing this post, ever noticed restauranteur spelled or pronounced without the n. thefreedictionary.com at least confirms my sanity to the extent of giving the spelling I'm used to as an alternate. The etymology given confirms that the n shouldn't be there, but how many Americans know that much French? We're lucky they don't spell restaurant "resterant".

I also didn't know that desiccate is supposed to be spelled thus. It looks wrong; I'm sure that my instinct to spell it 'dessicate' is driven by seeing it spelled the latter way far more often than the former. Again, the etymology confirms that it should be 'desiccate' -- but even though I took four years of Latin, it looks wrong. freedictionary.com says
'dessicate' is a "variant", aka "wrong", spelling, but it knows about it.

I struggle with supersede myself. It feels related to "precede" so it should be spelled like it, darn it.

on 2007-03-21 09:57 (UTC)
brooksmoses: (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] brooksmoses
I once put "supercede" into the official GCC documentation and got called on it, so I'll probably remember that one from now on. In my defense at the time, I pointed out that I'd looked it up in a dictionary and gotten both spellings without mention that one of them was deprecated, but I can't remember what dictionary that was. Presumably an online one; my trusty hand copy of the Concise Oxford, being a decade older than my father and also English, is of course correct here.

on 2007-03-21 01:59 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] ebourland.livejournal.com
I appreciate anyone who pauses to consider spelling. I applaud anyone who pauses to research spelling. So rare today.

The word that troubled me was "restaurateur" but, sure enough, that's the correct spelling. Learn something new every day.


on 2007-03-21 10:08 (UTC)
brooksmoses: (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] brooksmoses
I shall grumpily complain that part of the reason that few people research spelling these days is that they have stopped making dictionaries in the right size. They are either sufficiently limited in text as to be worthless -- a spelling dictionary is a lifeless dead offputting thing -- or so large as to be unweildy, even in abridged form.

Beside my desk chair, easily to hand, is a sturdy 1924 edition of the Concise Oxford Dictionary, in red cloth binding, two inches by five and a half inches by seven and a half inches. It is comfortable to hold open in the palm of the hand, in the manner of a thing made precisely for the purpose, and sits open without being held and without flipping its own pages from the stiffness of the paper. Somehow, we seem to have lost this technology.


on 2007-03-21 13:25 (UTC)
Posted by (Anonymous)
Just east of Champaign County, Illinois - and adjacent to each other - are Vermilion County, Illinois and Vermillion County, Indiana.

on 2007-03-21 15:56 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] huashan.livejournal.com
I use the spell checking features of both firefox and thunderbird. And occasionally have to go look something up on dictionary.com to make sure I'm remembering it correctly...which I often am not.

I have a whole bunch of words I constantly want to include extra rs or ls or not enough of them. And since a bunch of my favorite books were written by the english when I was a teen, I have a horrible problem with spelling things using the english spelling instead of the american. And separate...I always want too many es in that one. Whether/wether. Crazy language...

on 2007-03-22 07:00 (UTC)
brooksmoses: (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] brooksmoses
The mnemonic I heard for "separate" is that there's "a rat" in it.

I'm always getting my "ible"s and "able"s mixed up. It doesn't help that for a lot of the "ible" or "able" words the rest of the users of the language are doing this too and so the standard's shifting.

on 2007-03-21 20:02 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] nolly.livejournal.com
I have probably misspelled fuchsia as fuschia more often than I've spelled it correctly. Right now, they both look wrong because I'm thinking about it too much.

I have a bad tendency to misspell separate as seperate; I'm not sure where that came from. (also, as caught by spell check just now, tendancy for tendency.)


piranha: red origami crane (Default)
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