Wednesday, November 27, 2013

for the love of Mike, it's Words on Wednesday

I'm working on a list of words that look like they're spelled wrong. Feel free to add to it in the comments.

tendinitis (base word is tendon)
maintenance (base word is maintain)
restaurateur (base word is restaurant)
fiery (base word is fire)
memento (which we've talked about before)
pronunciation (based on pronounce)

And then there's supersede with an 's', but precede, recede, accede, and exceed with a 'c.' Dang it.

"Sacrilegious" always gets me because it seems like it should be based on religious, but of course it's based on sacrilege, which oddly, I don't misspell.

And even though I know the i-before-e rule, I still always get weird and niece wrong. "Weird" is the exception, obviously, but the word is weird-- It should be an exception. Not sure why I can't remember that. "Niece" fits the rule, but I always have to think it out in my head when I'm typing it.

After googling around for words other people find hard to spell, I am now thoroughly confused and probably won't be able to spell words I previously didn't think about: rhythm, colonel, sergeant, acquire, daiquiri, license, maneuver, business, bureau.

Then there are the ones that are confusing because of double letters: occurrence, embarrass, accommodation, recommend, necessary, occasion. And threshold, which seems like it should have a double 'h' in the middle (thresh-hold) but doesn't.

And ophthalmologist. That one's just hopeless.

I used to be really good at spelling, but as my brain cells die off, I'm becoming more and more reliant on spell check. Hey, there's something I'm thankful for-- spell check.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving here in the USA, and since I know at least two of you live in countries that don't celebrate Thanksgiving, I wrote a regular post for tomorrow, not the traditional (here in the U.S.) list of all the things I'm grateful for. Even though there are lots of things I'm grateful for.

Foremost among them are my two children, affectionately known here at AB3 as PellMel and MadMax, so I thought I would tell you about the origin of their blog names--not how I picked them, which is extremely boring (it's just what popped into my head when I first decided they needed blog names)--but where the phrases came from. (I didn't use PellMel until recently, but it is the original name I thought of for her.)

"pell-mell" is an adjective (or adjectival phrase?) that describes moving with great haste, or sometimes chaotic disorder. It comes from French pĂȘle mĂȘle, which means about the same thing as the English version. My Pell-Mel used to love to run very fast when she was a little girl. Now she runs a little slower because she is pacing herself for long distances. The chaos and disorder part of it doesn't really apply, but she definitely does brighten up any dull situation with her vibrant, friendly personality. She works very hard and she is amazingly loyal and warm-hearted.

"MadMax" comes from the name of an Australian post-apocalyptic film from 1979 that starred Mel Gibson. There were a couple of sequels, too. I've never seen any of them, so I have no idea why that name popped into my head when I was thinking of a blog name for my son. I can't even tell you whether or not the name fits, because I don't know much about the character. My MadMax is a steady, dependable guy, kind-hearted (though he wouldn't want you to know that), a bit on the cautious side, and really dedicated and conscientious when he picks a goal. Also, he makes me laugh.

And that's all for this installment of Words on Wednesday. I thought up the post title back when I was going to do a whole bunch of idioms this week, but I decided not to, and then couldn't think of a better title, so it stayed.


  1. I really think being a good speller is a talent - not much to do with intelligence. And English spelling is crazy!

    Happy Thanksgiving!!

    1. Happy Thanksgiving to you, too, Karen! Have a great day with your crew!