Tuesday, June 16, 2009

How do you spell...

As a writer, I pride myself on good grammar, an extensive vocabulary, an eye for editing, etc. However there are a couple words that for the life of me I can never remember how to spell.

The one that always tricks me: maintenance. Whew - I honestly spelled that right the first time I wrote it. But that is one of the words that I always have to think about. I often mangle it so badly that Microsoft Word doesn't even offer any suggestions!

So that reminded me of when I was a child and I'd ask my mom how to spell things.

This is how our conversation went EVERY time: why I continued to try who knows - maybe I hoped I'd catch her on a weak day and she'd give it up. No such luck.

Me: "Mom, how do you spell ______."
Her response (always): "Look it up."
Me (irritated and sassy... even as a wee little lass): "I CAN'T look it up if I don't KNOW how to spell it!"
Mom: "Sound it out."
Me (burst in to tears): "WHY WON'T YOU JUST TELL ME!?!?!"

I guess her method worked... as writing, spelling, etc. is now part of my job (and I'd like to think I'm pretty good at it... other than the occasional "maintenance.")

Point for Mom. I'll probably do the same thing with my kids one day.

So what about you? Any things your mom/dad would tell you as a child that you now realize you'll probably pass it on to your children?

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