punkwalrus (punkwalrus) wrote,

More thoughts on spelling

That entry on soiree (and it did occur to me it was an excuse for a party, but am not a fan of formal parties, and besides, my house is a real mess) reminded me of this weird way I have of spelling things. I had a "reading teacher" named Ms. Reed (really) in elementary school. Twice a week during 3rd and 4th grade, I'd go to her class for an hour or so, and she'd try and work on my dyslexia and motor control problems. Ms. Reed was pretty awesome. She had all kinds of tricks I still use to this day, and I am pretty sure this is one of them.

"There are two ways to pronounce a word," she said. "The right way, and the way it's spelled."

For example, "people," in my head is "pee-ope-pul" when I spell it. With "soiree," I am trying to remember it as "soy-er-ee," although that's not going to help as much because I might have issues with spelling it "soriee," which is close enough in "shape" as "soiree." Yes, long, long ago I learned that reading is done by shape, even though it's been a "recent Internet discovery." Basically, when we read, we don't spell it out, we start to recognize the essential pattern and shape, especially if it's a word you read a lot. It's funny, it become almost like a pictograph language this way. For those who don't know what I am talking about, here's an example. I bet you can read this at a casual glance:

"Dycelsixs liek Punike ofetn ejnoy lnkinig to Wekipdiia artllces"

It's because even though the letters are scrambled, the "shape" stayed the same. Had I done this:

"Slydexsic keil Nukpie nefto joeny ginnilk ot Iawipkide lesartic."

You would have had a much harder time, unless you were a Martian, and then you would have been really insulted about what I compared your mother to. Even though both examples scramble the letters, the "shape" stays the same in the first example.

The trouble with me is that I often misspell when I type, and thank God for spell checkers, but a lot gets under my radar. Words like "soiree," which seem like a nonsensical arrangement of letters, will constantly get misspelled. I have that trouble with "medieval" and "Kieran," for example.

Ah well...
Tags: spelling, writing
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