I Confess

I imagine most of the readers of this blog are aware I’m a writer. I’ve known from when my age was in single digits that I had a facility for words. I read so much that though I’d be hard pressed to explain a rule of grammar, 97% of the time, I get it right. Spelling? I am awesome at spelling. Wordsmithing? Pretty darn good. And yet, I must confess there are certain things that continually trip me up.

Like two of my siblings, I have a bit of dyslexia, though my case is mild and theirs is not. Mostly it’s a problem with numbers regardless of my state. Letters tend to be a problem when I am tired. I’ve often wondered if it’s no accident that I have this dyslexic condition, ambidexterity, and a left-right confusion. Although I am most often right handed, I do a lot of things left handed. If I’m particularly tired, I’ll often start writing left-handed without realizing it. You can tell the difference, by the way, but my left-handed writing is legible.

Here’s the things I have trouble with (only some are dyslexic in origin):

  • the letters d b p and q
  • chose and choose – and many of the words that have single vs. double o constructions
  • Occasion. (Had to look that up. I NEVER get the double consonants right)
  • Further vs. Farther
  • The whole lie, lay, layed, lied thing.
  • breath vs. breathe

What about you? Got anything to confess?



7 Responses to “I Confess”

  1. Tamara says:

    I don’t have dyslexia, but I get “occasion” wrong every time I write it. I have to try two s’s and one c, and then two s’s and two c’s, and finally two c’s and one s. Every. Single. Time!

    I don’t have issues with lie/lay issue most of the time, unless you ask me about past participles… If I ever have to choose I just think of “As I lay me down to rest.” Obviously, “lay” is the one with a direct object. It doesn’t bother me that other people get confused, unless they can’t make up their minds. You know that song that goes, “If I lay here, If I just lay here, will you lie with me and just forget the world?” I have to turn off the radio if it ever comes on. Just pick one!

  2. Anna says:

    I need to pick up a grammar book. My punctuation skills are sadly lacking; therefore, I creatively use it. (Did I use it correctly?)

    I consider myself a proficient speller. Although one word will trip me up once in a while: their, or is it thier? Which one looks correct? Let’s try applying the mneumonic rule of “I before E, except after C.” Riiiiiight. [correct answer: their]

    Silent Letters
    gnaw – I know the g is silent but every time I read that word I hear /g-nah/. Yes, I know it sounds like /nah/ but my long-term memory has it stored differently. Gnaw is an frequently used word in romance books; it seems heroines like to g-naw on their ‘plump’ lower lips. :o/

    One Double Consonant Word
    tomorrow – I frequently begin spelling it with double-m until I get to the double r and realize this word only has one set of double consonants. Lord forbid I think on it too long. (Is it double-m or double-r?)

  3. I’m fine with choose and chose, but loose, loosen, lose? Argh!

    And since I’m constantly switching between American English and British English, I’m now forever forgetting which spelling is which (-ise and -ize!!!), and which phrase is American and which is British.

    Finally, I have to admit that I haven’t got the foggiest clue when to use “he will do something or other” and “he is going to do something or other”. (There also seems to be a difference between AE and BE in regard to that fullstop: does it belong inside the quotation marks or outside?)

  4. I have just realised (realized??) that I don’t know how to spell equipment (one p or double p?). Duh.

  5. Ann MG says:

    Now that I have Merriam-Webster a click away, I worry less about my spelling confusion and revel in the richness and breadth of sources English has borrowed from–I can’t spell because I don’t know Latin AND Greek AND German!

    But I get a kick out of mnemonic devices and rules if they can be made, and there is one about which consonant is double that works for some that cause me trouble: it’s the one that comes first in the alphabet that’s doubled and the later one is single.

    (you with the “tomorrow,” just gloss over this part)

  6. “Occasion” doesn’t give me any trouble, but I always have to stop and check “vacuum” and “sheriff.”

    And Tamara, I’m going to have to go back and double-check the lyrics to that “Chasing Cars” song, because I’ve always been impressed precisely because they got the lay/lie thing right!

    Here’s what I hear:

    “If I just lay here…” (past-tense form of conditional; think “If I had a hammer”)

    “…Would you lie with me…” (“would” being the auxiliary verb in the second conditional, which takes the present/future-tense form of “lie” instead of the past-tense “lay.”)

    If that word I’ve been hearing as “would” is actually “will,” then yes, it’s wrong. Okay, I am seriously going to go google it now.

  7. It’s so nice to know I have company in my deficiencies!