Monday, June 30, 2008

Spell Cheque

By C. Lynn Beck
© 2008

Computers came out and we all cheered when we discovered the little wizard named Spell Cheque. Or is it Spell Check? Apparently, some Spell Chequers will allow either spelling. And that’s where the trouble comes in for most of us.

We mite re lie on Spell Check a tad to much and half a multitude of errors going out in our male … and inn our manuscripts.

Um-huh. See what I mean? All those errors in that sentence above, and not a single red underline to indicate something misspelled.

Recently, I ran across a site called, Accu-Assist,, which gives weekly grammar tips. Although they're a business site, they have an archive of commonly misspelled words that you might want to keep handy. That great and powerful wizard, Spell Check, is usually snoozin’ when these words come up and it’ll make you look like a literary genius when you spell them correctly.

(Info taken from the weekly grammar tips at Accu-Assist.)

You're a real trouper! (not trooper)

A sleight of hand (not slight)

A rite of passage (not right)

You piqued my interest. (not peaked)

Hear, hear! (not Here, here!)

Hear, hear!” is a phrase used often (especially by me) and I thought you might enjoy “hear, hearing” what Accu-Assist claims is the history behind it:

According to the "The Mavens' Word of the Day" at the Random House website, "hear, hear! " is a common cheer used at the British House of Commons as an expression of approval (or disapproval, if it's used sarcastically). The website goes on to explain: "As a parliamentary cheer, 'hear him, hear him!' is first recorded in the late seventeenth century and continued into the nineteenth; the reduction to 'hear!' or 'hear, hear!' occurred by the late eighteenth century." So next time you want to express your agreement with someone, you can shout, "Hear, hear!" However, if you write out this expression, don't be surprised if many people assume you have made a spelling error. You'll know better though!

There you have it. So, until next week (as they say in Canada) …“Keep your stick on the ice!”

C. Lynn’s other work:
Cup of Comfort for Horse Lovers, "Horse on Lap", pg 83
Life is Like Riding a Unicycle by Shirley Bahlmann, "Priming the Pump, pg. 79
Newspaper Column
Ensign Magazine, Dec 2007-Q&A
2007 League of Utah Writer's Award-Historical Fiction Website

What books C. Lynn recommends:
You Know You're a Writer When ... by Adair Lara
The Writer's Book of Hope by Ralph Keyes
Publishing Secrets by LDS Storymakers (BJ Rowley and others)



Unknown said...

Huh. I'd never heard of "You're a real trouper" though I knew the others to be correct. So, I looked it up. Trooper = a soldier (which I thought it meant in the phrase, meaning you're really sticking it out like a soldier). Trouper = an optimist, someone who is reliable, uncomplaining and hardworking.

Thanks Google define!

Dan Olsen said...

I find writing/critique groups to be great spell/grammar checkers. I can make an error in my manuscript, re-read it a dozen times, and since my brain knows what it expects to see with any given word, that is exactly what it sees...even when it's wrong.

My critique group catches those kinds of errors though, and I try to catch those errors in their manuscripts as well.

Cindy Beck, author said...

Andy: Thanks for the definition. I always thought it was "trooper" as well.

Dan and Wendy: Isn't it funny how our minds read what it's supposed to be instead of what it actually is. I' m with you ... that's why critique groups are such a help!

Thanks to all of you for stopping by and commenting.