Thank goodness for spell check… and editors.

You would think, that as a writer, I would have an extensive vocabulary. Thankfully, I do because I’m constantly reading.  However it doesn’t mean that the words are spelled correctly. What did we do before spell check?

I remember in Mrs. Thompson’s third grade class, she told me that I need to look in the dictionary if I couldn’t figure out the spelling to a word. Really? If I didn’t know how to spell it before, why would a dictionary help???   But I eventually figured out the spelling, thanks to my BFF at the time. (Thanks Jenny!)

My friends are flabbergasted at my horrible spelling. You’re a writer, they say. How do you keep misspelling the simplest words? Because my friends, I’m normally not paying attention and I have really chubby fingers. And I am totally reliant on  a nifty thing called spell check that I use on a regular basis. And I stupidly believe that everything has spellcheck (Alas, they do not) or I’m typing too fast without paying attention.  My grammar sucks too, if you can’t tell. I use Word exclusively so I’m always relying on the little squiggly underlines to tell me when I screw up.

When my children asks how to spell a word for their book reports, I have to write it down to make  sure it looks right. Then sound it out and have them sound it out as well. Phonetically is the best way people learn how to read and spell, I tell them. And then pray that I spelled it right. Ever since the invention of texting, misspelled words are even more prevelant than they were before, and even more acceptable. That’s when I’m happy to use the autocorrect feature. It makes me feel and look smarter to my friends.

However, I hate misspellings in books. If you go to the trouble of writing a great story, also go through the trouble of properly editing it. That is when you wonder if the author was just excited to get it out there for the world to see (I was so guilty of this) or if they just didn’t have spell check… or a dictionary. That’s also why having an editor is such a great investment. You can look at a word a million times and have it still be wrong. The editor will come behind you and gently admonish you while fixing your mess. Such a great thing.  After a dozen or so rewrites, I had overlooked the simplest of errors. *facepalm*   So now  I really make sure that I use the trusty spellcheck.. and when I have one handy, a dictionary. (Thank you Mrs. Thompson!)


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