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Spellcheck – Boogieman In Lavender

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If I Ran the World…

Well, first I’d get rid of war and poverty and injustice and crime and hatred and all those awful “Children of the Corn” sequel movies that even Stephen King wants nothing to do with.

Then I’d get down to the really important stuff.

There are words I just can’t spell worth a crap! I’m a writer, I’m supposed to be able to do this.

I do use spellcheck but it’s so damn frustrating that after decades there are words I continue to spell the same way, and that way is WRONG!

For openers, let’s check the record on Facebook. I “waste time on Facebook,,” according to my author bio (see below) and I am consistent in my misspellings.

More than once I will say I “recommend” something, and I inevitably throw in a second “c” and forget the extra “m.”

I use the word “apparently” a lot. Spell it wrong, too! I keep remembering Bil Keane’s series in his “Family Circus” comic strip he titled “It’s Apparent You’re a Parent.” Doesn’t help my spelling.

One of the first words I really kept screwing-up on back on my first computer was “ceiling.” That “i before e” thingie didn’t help. It appeared several times in one of my first attempts at a novel, a Thorne Smith-inspired bit that remains unfinished. And yes, the cieling (damn!) plays a pivotal role.

I’ve had a ton of “surgery” but I couldn’t spell it right on the first try to save my behind! What you just read was not my first try!

A dear lady I know is always talking online about the antics of the local “squirrels,” which again I always have to look up or check with the computer. (The squiggly red line is your friend!) Even more since I reply to those posts and the cute squirrel posts put up by a lot of other people and the correct spelling of that word skitters about, like a, well you get the idea.

I have a bunch of “nieces” but even today I had to check the spelling of the word “niece” as I consistently get it wrong. (“Let’s see, I know this is right…oh, damn!”)

I have found many reasons to be “grateful” in my life, but not for a word whose correct spelling always looks wrong to me. (I keep thinking it should be “gratefull” or “greatfull.” Maybe in Medieval England it was and then an alchemist got a hold of it.)

“Until” is another one that always looks to me like it’s spelled wrong. Maybe the computer spellcheck is wrong. I always feel better adding an extra “l.”

So, what about you my fellow readers and writers? What words still give you trouble after all these years and all those English classes? Let me know, will you? I may post the results in another column.

Until then, I am apparently grateful for you all.

As squirrely as that sounds.

Jeff Baker’s fiction and non-fiction have appeared in the online ‘zine “RoMMantic Reads” and the Amazing Stories site. He blogs about reading and writing sci-fi, fantasy and horror around the thirteenth of each month in this same space. He was happily married to the late Darryl Thompson for many years and they both used spellcheck a lot. Jeff regularly posts fiction on his blog and wastes time on Facebook (See? Told ya!) at

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3 thoughts on “Spellcheck – Boogieman In Lavender”

  1. I feel your pain. If I had a nickel for every time a spellcheck tried to replace the word ‘cauldron’ with ‘cawdron’ (oh, now it’s not doing it!), I’d make up for my poor sales. (wry grin)


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