I Can’t Spell – It’s A Dilemma – I Need More Practise.
Spelling mistakes. Typos. We all make them. They spoil our novels, children’s books and articles. We need to get rid of them. Something has to be done.
For me there are a handful of words I always struggle with these days. They seem to crop up regularly in everything I write. It has become so bad that I run a mile when I see them coming…..so yesterday I decided it was time I did something about it. I’d like to share my solution. It’s simple, but painful.
First let’s look at a couple of the words that trouble me. I’m sure you have your own ‘little monsters’. Oh, and one other thing….if you’re reading this in the USA my guess is you abide by a completely different set of rules. But bear with me for now. I’ll be brief.
My problem words are, in no particular order… dilemma (dilemna), practise (practice), complimentary (complementary), and license (licence). There are a stack more, but these horrible little creatures will do for now.
The solution was simple. Shame myself into looking up the correct spelling on Google and then write the correct version down in a little book.
Ah, but not some ordinary little book I can whip out whenever I’m in trouble. Nope. I’m talking about a ghastly little book, one that’s so incredibly bad that I will be ashamed to reveal it in public.
And I found one. Perfect. It cost next to nothing and was overpriced at that. I am now the less than proud owner of this incredibly tasteless item of imported rubbish. It is pink. A nasty pink at that, and features a bewildered looking Manga Bunny Rabbit on the front cover called Timmy Tiny Tot. Trust me, it’s awful.
In this dreadful book I have written my little monsters with an explanation alongside each one…..and a big tick mark next to the correct version.
Dilemma…. I seem to remember at school we were taught to spell it ‘dilemna’. I have no idea why. I never did like Miss Fenton.
Practise and Practice. I hate this word. Google says that with an ‘S’ it’s a verb, and with a ‘C’ it’s a noun. So I need to practise on my piano and I go to see my dentist at his practice. Okay, fair enough.
A Complimentary gift is a free gift….a Complementary glass of wine is not free but complements the meal…..this explanation makes sense to me anyway.
License and Licence… the landlord of a pub is licensed to sell beer and spirits, and if you’re pulled up by the law here in the UK you need to show your driving licence. I think I get that.
These will do for now. In the coming months I will no doubt fill this ghastly little book with similar items. But, will I remember the correct spelling of these words? Definitely.
In fact now that I’ve confronted the aforementioned examples they seem very harmless. I can’t think why I ever worried about them in the first place?