But, Len, it says right there in the header that this is ‘The off-beat personal finance blog for responsible people.’
That it is — but not today.
Today I want to address a topic that touches everybody: spelling.
Several years ago, I addressed parents that have trouble spelling their kids’ names. Today, I want to get introspective.
The reason I bring this up is because the other day my friend, Geoff, mentioned that he has trouble spelling my last name. Really?
Just how hard is it to spell “Penzo” anyway? I could understand if my name was Len Mxyzptlk — but my last name is made up of five friendly letters that faithfully follow phonetic law.
Then again, maybe I shouldn’t be so hard on Goeff because he said he has trouble with other words too. For example, Jeff said that he’s constantly misspelling negotiation and entrepreneur. And that genuinely-honest admission from Jeoff instantly resonated with me. In fact, it inspired me to come clean regarding my personal spelling demons.
Hopefully, by coming clean, I’ll inspire you to share some words that confound you too.
My biggest spelling demons are occasionally and personnel. I usually gravitate toward spelling them as “occaisionally” and “personell.”
I have trouble with gauge too. And I still don’t know if the color that occupies the space between black and white is spelled “gray” or “grey,” — although my spell-checker prefers the former.
Some words I question even though I know how to spell them. For instance: indefatigable. Think about it: If we spell fatigue with the letter “u,” how come indefatigable isn’t spelled “indefatiguable”?
For their part, Answers.com lists 100 words that are hard to spell. However, I don’t agree with all of them — they actually claim owe is a real bugger for most people. It is? How else would you spell it?
They also left out what I believe to be the most commonly misspelled word of them all: lose. Go to any comment board and you’ll see that most people spell it as “loose.”
For the most part though, Answers.com does a pretty good job calling out tricky-to-spell words like: rhythm, embarrass, separate, occurrence, supersede, syzygy, and floccinaucinihilipilification.
By the way, I just added floccinaucinihilipilification to my spell-checker.
One word I definitely have trouble spelling is diarrhea. I bet you do too.
On a related note, the Honeybee has trouble spelling Pepto Bismol. I know this because the only two times since we’ve been married that she put it on the weekly shopping list she wrote “Pepto Bismo.”
And while that’s certainly not a fair reflection on the quality of her education, it does suggest that my family has a very high tolerance for bad Mexican food.
After all, two bottles of Pepto Bismol over a 20 year period ain’t too shabby.
Photo Credit: englisbabus.com