Misspellers of the World: UNTIE!

When I started the first grade here in the U.S. I had only been in this country for six months.

We were still trying to get used to life in America and spoke only Spanish at home. (That rule carried on for as long as I can remember.) 

My English at that point was only what I had gleaned from watching Captain Kangaroo ("El Capitán Kanguro") in the mornings. His sidekick, Mister Greenjeans (MEES-TERR GREEEN-YEENS) was particularly fun to attempt to pronounce, but that's not important right now. =D

Martica in miami009
Newly arrived Cuban refugee, Martica

But I persevered and worked hard on learning not just English pronunciation, but spelling also. I'm a living example that immersion works, but that's not important right now, either.

To teach myself to spell words, I often resorted to using mnemonic devices. (You know, like using Roy G. Biv to remember the order of the colors in a rainbow - red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet - that's still completely genius, isn't it?)

The upshot was that I really mastered spelling. It was crucial for me to learn to speak English in order to fit in to my new country and so I studied hard and learned not just to read, but to understand and to spell.

Fast forward to today. I homeschool my kids. And can you guess what my one pet peeve is in our academic world?

That's right. Spelling.

I don't care if they fumble grammar, but please, please, please! take that extra moment to look up a word and learn to spell it. (I'm on the verge of a rant here, but I'll refrain...)

I was delighted when reader Melek sent me the following:
The 25 Most Commonly Misspelled Words

I jumped in and immediately took the quiz. To my great disappointment, my score was 24 correct out of 27.  I should have gotten them all right! (*said the perfectionist!*)

Okay, so the truth is that there are still words that I totally space on when I am trying to remember how to spell them. I don't know if it's a problem of infrequency of use or that I just never learned them correctly in the first place.

There are two words in particular that I always seem to get wrong:

1) Vacuum
2) Exercise

I always want to add extra c's to both and make them more complicated than they really are.

Hmmm... I think my Freudian-slip is showing!  ;-)

If you like, go take the quiz and let me know how you did by leaving your score in the comment section.

Either that, or just tell me why you hate spelling (or vacuuming...or exercise...).  =D