Friday, July 23, 2010

How to spell success

I feel I owe the cheerleader squad from my high school Alma mater a debt of gratitude. For it is thanks to them that there’s at least one difficult word that I know how to spell - success. And that word, along with the dance routine that accompanied it, for some reason, are indelibly etched in my mind to this day: “S-u-c-c-e-s-s, that’s the way we spell success….success, success, success, success!”

Beyond my success with this word, to this day, I still struggle mightily with spelling, not to mention punctuation; odd, perhaps, given the most recent chosen path of this wayward mammal. I’m sure anyone reading this blog possessing even a rudimentary background in copy will find errors, as the work here is essentially unfiltered. You could only imagine what these blog posts look like prior to their run through the MS word spell/grammar check. I could’ve sworn I heard my laptop mumble the word moron the other day when I keyed said function.

I do recognize my shortcomings in this area, and apologize for any errors. So please be kind, and perhaps even a little forgiving, as you read through this blog. Best bet, wear your grammar goggles as you read, and try to just enjoy it for what it is. They say admitting you have a problem is the first step, so maybe someday I’ll improve, but I doubt it. Beyond the basics, for some reason I’m just not motivated. Good thing god created spell check and copy editors.

The origin of this problem, I do not know – mild dyslexia, acute ADD – who’s to say? Is it nature or nurture? It’s anyone’s guess. Perhaps it’s a hard-wired perceptual issue, or what they once called stupidity, before the whole world went PC. I don’t blame my teachers. I know that I was taught this stuff, not only in high school but college. I vaguely remember learning it, which is to say that I vaguely remember forgetting it. For some reason it just never stuck. What could I say, the time I spent on girls and sports back in the day left little neural bandwidth for anything else. Like many folks, I wish I studied harder back in high school, focused on the more important stuff; maybe then I wouldn’t feel so overwhelmed when I sit down to watch Jeopardy and a spelling category comes up, or feel that stab of panic when a grammar related question pops up on Are You Smarted Than A Fifth Grader.

Apparently not!

How it is that I can so easily spell success, but never (and I mean never) correctly spell necessary, I don’t exactly know. Maybe it’s a simple matter of rote memorization from hearing our cheerleaders chant the word so often; maybe it had something to do with those short sexy skirts. Perhaps if Mr. Coles (my ninth-grade English teacher) had worn a cheerleader outfit when he taught, I might not be so grammatically challenged. I’m immensely grateful to the gals in green and gold of yesteryear. I can only hope that the final journey of this novel, like my favorite LHS cheer, also ends with success!

Photo of Eagles cheerleaders taken from NFL Preview

1 comment:

  1. Nobody can spell necessary, or recommend or a slew of other evil words. It's not your fault - the English language is cruel. In PHS I learned "B-E, AGG-RESS-IVE". To this day it is the only way I remember how to spell that.

    And if your male English teacher from LHS wore a skirt to help you recall your 9th grade grammar - I'd be a little concerned about the reasons it would help you remember :)