lost in jane austen

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Writing Life...The Spelling Conspiracy

Now, that I use Twitter and instant messaging more, my spelling has taken a nose dive. When I tweet or IM, I actually spell things incorrectly on purpose to save space and time. Now, when I’m writing or posting to our blog, occasionally I will pause and wait for Spell Check’s red line to appear. And often, when it doesn’t appear, I look at the word in question and think, is that really how you spell that…should I Google it?
And what’s the deal with homonyms. People know what you mean. When you’re talking, no one ever stops and says, “When I just said ‘there’ I meant t-h-e-r-e, not t-h-e-i-r.” Although it’s the kind of thing I notice…when someone else uses the wrong word, in the whole scheme of things, does it really matter?

I’ve had years to learn how to spell words correctly. I really feel sorry for kids that are just learning to spell. When they grow up will there even be a correct way to spell things? Or will we finally figure out, as any third grader can tell you, learning to spell things correctly is just some big conspiracy to cut down on our play time?

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

My Grandparents are spawns of the devil... Bio to Bs

My grandparents came to visit us, when I was six. When they got ready to leave, they invited me to come with them to stay at their house for a week. My first road trip without my parents...I was practically an adult.
As we motored through the rural lands of east Texas, my grandfather pointed out different types of birds and trees. Suddenly excited, he said to my grandmother, "Lois, look at those cat tails." Naturally, my head whipped around. I couldn't see them and yelled, "Pappaw...where?" He told me they were all along the fence. I looked back, but I still didn't see them. Through the rest of the trip I kept wondering why there would be cat tails on a fence. Who would put them there and why weren't my grandparents upset about this? The way my grandfather pointed them out, he actually seemed happy about the cat tails. How could these people that I adored, be happy that there were cats walking around without tails...or worse, maybe they had been killed for their tails. And now, I was about to be spending a week alone with these depraved people. How could my parents let them take me?

Later that night, when we were having dinner at my grandparent's house, my grandmother mentioned that she wished we would have stopped and gotten some of the cat tails so that she could add them to her collection. I said in a stunned voice, "You have a collection?" My grandmother replied nonchalantly, "Yes, I can't believe you never noticed them, they're all over the house. Come on, I'll show you." Morbid curiosity getting the better of me...I got up from the table and followed my grandmother into the living room where she pointed to several dried flower arrangements. You can't imagine my relief in finding out that cattails were plants and my grandparents weren't...spawns of the devil.