© 2011 Timmy Tamisiea. All rights reserved. No joke here.  Truth is funnier than fiction.

47/356 – Spel Chek

It has been brought to my attention that I am an awful speller.  My fellow graduate student, Andy, has brought this to my attention while reading my blog.  My fellow co-worker, Angelica, has brought this to my attention while reading my blog.  This malfunction in my brain has been brought to my attention throughout my life.  I am very aware of my dismal spelling track record.  I’d like to think that I’m a decent writer in the creative vein, but I know, all too well, that I just suck at spelling.  Grammar runs a close second in the “things that hold me back as a writer” department.

Running a close 3rd is the fact that my computer screen looks like a lego block . . . And I always wear my space helmet to write.

The biggest problem with bad spelling is that, for me, it always rears it’s grotesque head when I’m presenting my writing to the masses.  It never happens when I’m writing something just for myself.  Bill Fellows, one of my oldest friends, would bring this abnormality to my attention way back when we were in grade school – back at good old catholic K-8 Mary Our Queen.  Our mascot was a mustang.  So, in 7th grade I decided to draw a cartoon version of the mascot and present it at the 7th and 8th grade basketball games.  His name was Murray the Mustang.  I made a large banner all set for the team to run through and I misspelled something on it.  I really can not remember what was misspelled.  It was something simple, but Bill never let me forget that.  Good thing we were friends, cause I could take the ribbing from him.  Any other smart kid and I would have ben pissed.  See, Bill was the smartest kid in school.  He eventually went to business school at M.I.T. – so , yeah, the guy was quick to notice my mistakes but never quick enough to let me get away with them.

Looks fine to me. Off to shool to read boks and do aritmatik!

Bad spelling has plagued me ever since.  For instance, miraculously, I was placed in the honors English program in high school.  I know, right?  Me.  Dizzy the spelling wonder.  Maybe it was more about my reading comprehension than my dismal spelling.  All I know is that my freshman English teacher was Fr. Anderson and he had no problem not just pointing it out, but making me feel like a complete failure.  I have no problem writing this – he was an uber asshole.  Smug.  Condescending.  Uptight.  I think he just need to get laid . . . oops, too late for that FATHER anderson.  Guess your only option to fill that void of inferiority is to teach high school students.

This guy could never give anyone the benefit of the doubt none the less actually congratulate them on a job well done.  He actually had the audacity to tell a fellow classmate, Brad Kwiatek, that he and his family had been pronouncing their last name incorrectly.  Brad pronounced it quweye-tech.  Anderson insisted it was quee-ah-tech.  I remember how insulting the whole public confrontation was.  I’d known Brad since 2nd grade.  We all pronounced it quweye-tech.  His family, probably for generations, pronounced it quweye-tech.  Who was this man to refute that.  Stick to English literature, Fr. Anderson, not name etemologies.  I should have told him his last name wasn’t pronounced An-dur-son, it was pronounced A-Dick-Hole.  The first “a” is silent.

And this is what his family tree looked like.  Inflatable poo.

In any case, it’s clear – I really hated this teacher.  So much, in fact , that I would refute his notes with other English teachers.  Most of the time, those other teachers agreed with me . . . After reading “A Tale of Two Cities” we were broken into groups and had to write a newspaper that would have been publish during the French Revolution; complete with articles, weather – all relating to the time.  I wrote and drew the cartoon.  I was very, very proud.  It was about a member of bourgeoisie name Nick and his hilarious misadventures.  I didn’t see anything wrong with it and, I guess, my group didn’t see my blatant spelling errors either.

Fr. Anderson did.  The name of the strip was “Nick Noble.”  I spelled it “Nick Nobel.”  Instead of just letting it go or bringing it to my attention in the notes, he brought it up in class.  And I fought it tooth and nail.  “Did you mean Noble, as in his class stature, or nobel, as in the prize?”  I insisted nobel.  He knew I was lying and I knew I was lying, but there was no way in hell I was letting him get another one over me.  Especially on a comic strip.  Screw that.  It was an awkward stare down, but I’m stubborn and I stuck with my story.  I think he still took off points.  If any other teacher had pointed out the “possible” error, I would have admitted it.  But never to that prick.

Spelling, schmelling. At least this priest KILLS VAMPIRES!

The absolute worst moment was when I sent out the invitations to my high school graduation party.  I was very excited.  Four years at the ol’ catholic high school, Creighton Prep, and I was on to four years at the ol’ catholic college, Marquette University.  Four years of knowledge wrapped up into one 3 hour party.  Weeeeee! . . . fart.  My invitations had a major error.  They read, “You are coordinately invited to the high school graduation party of Timmy Tamisiea.”   That’s right.  I pretty much told people that they were invited via longitude and latitude.  Get out your compasses, everyone, it’s going to be an orienteering celebration.  “X” marks the spot for burgers, cake and the knowledge that four years of high school really paid off . . . moron.

My party’s at 404, moron! 445 is Brad Kwee-AH-Techs graduation party!

My teacher, Mr. Laird, was the first to point it out.  He made fun of me incessantly.  Good thing I really loved him as a teacher and a mentor.  He was an outstanding teacher – one of the best.  So I know he was only ribbing me.  However, I was embarrassed all the same.  I sent this out to friends, family and teachers.  TEACHERS!   Good thing I was so good at self-abasing humor that I was able to take those jabs and run with them.  Then Mr. Laird came to the party with a present.  It was a t-shirt that said, “Bad Spellers of the World, UNTIE!”

No joke here. Truth is funnier than fiction.

So, I’m very aware of this life long affliction of bad spelling.  I only have a few excuses for this malady.  First off, I write all my blog entries on my MacBook Pro with OS Lion.  OS Lion has included a new feature – auto correct.  Not just spell check.  NO, AUTO CORRECT – meaning, it tells me what IT thinks I want to say, and replaces my word with ITS suggestion.  Cool, right?  NO!  At least with spellcheck, like on Microsoft Word, you get those squiggly red lines underneath misspelled words.  A visual indicator to check that one word for spelling mistakes.  That’s always useful.  However, when my Mac just replaces it for me, I never know if there’s a problem in the first place.  So, I get awful grammar to boot.  I could turn that function off and I may, but it’s one reason for the awful spelling.

Yeah, right. Blame Auto Correct. Your mom’s just weird.

Second, and this is going to be a surprise for not only you readers, but to my wife as well.  I mean, marriage should be filled with surprises and new revelations, right? This is not something I hide, it’s just something I don’t think of often.  When I was in second grade, I was taken to the Boys Town Institute Hospital to check for any learning disabilities.  My teacher, Mrs. Klein, was worried I was falling behind.  That’s what she told my parents.  The real story is she hated my creativity that would take over when I should have been paying attention.  (A whole other blog post.)  After a dozen or so tests, I was diagnosed with MILD A.D.D. and  MILD dyslexia.   Mild, meaning, it wasn’t severe enough to warrant medication or guidance.  All that was required was a little extra effort and concentration on my part.  I’m a victim of a mis-wired brain . . . nah, I just had to try harder than everyone else.  I was smart, but had some muck I had to dig through first.

Ritalin? Nah, X baby! X! This kid’s ready to RAVE!

Today, however, I can also blame my lack of editorial gumption.  I just hate going over what I write over and over and over.  With my schedule, it’s not always an option to read something 5 times.  That’s why I have Megan.  She’s one of the best editors I could ask for.  Unfortunately, she too is too busy to sit with my daily blog and fix my mistakes.  God, I can’t wait to have a professional job where I get an actual editor and I can focus on the content.  Till then, I can only ask that 1) you be patient and understanding with my awful spelling.  And 2) you all be my editors.  I will promise to do better.  But, things slip by.  If you see a mistake, don’t worry about hurting my feelings – Bill Fellows taught me that lesson.  Send in a comment under the post you are reading.  I approve all comments, otherwise my blog would be filled with awful spam within by people who are worse writers than me:

Certainly believe that that you said. Your preferred cause appeared to be at the internet the easiest aspect to consider associated with. I explain to you, I certainly get annoyed even as people think about issues that they simply dont comprehend about. You were able to strike the toe nail upon the very best as well as described the whole thing without necessity side-effect , people might take a signal. Will likely be once again to obtain more. Thanks

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So, if you post a comment pointing out my horrible grammar and/or spelling, I can fix my errors and not approve the comment for public viewing.

And thanks to Andy, Angelica and anyone who’s ever pointed out my errors.  Honestly.  I need those updates.

One Comment

  1. Posted 11 Mar ’12 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    Hello good post you have got here

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  • By 115/365 – ImprovE and Love on 26 Jan ’12 at 3:59 pm

    […] Word spell check error that happens all the time – and anyway, who am I to point out spelling mistakes.  And anyway, we’re improving […]

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