"No, remember, y-o-u-r is possesive." Image from WikiMedia by Kevin Dooley.

“No, remember, y-o-u-r is possessive.”
Image from WikiMedia by Kevin Dooley.

I imagine a lot of English majors (or simply people who read a lot) get these questions from friends.
What does x mean?
How do you spell y?
Can you help me fix this paper/email/post?
Some of these questions are more complicated than others, such as when your friend has misspelled a word so badly Spell Check cannot save them, and they toss synonyms at you as you attempt to unscramble the puzzle.
Some of these challenges come as texts, or phone calls, emails, or chat messages. I’ve had roommates stick their head in my room, or someone call me from across a cafeteria or restaurant. They’ve come up in conversation, too. The fun ones come with a time limit, like a game show.
“Hey, so-and-so says you spell this word this way, and I say it’s that way. Quick, who’s right?”
Usually, I’m fine with these requests. Though sometimes, what people don’t know astounds me. Other times, what people think I know is equally astonishing.
So call me Dictionary Girl! Or Thesaurus Woman. Perhaps Vocabulary Goddess? Or Synonym Queen. Just don’t expect me to always be right, if I’m away from Google.
What kind of superhuman spelling and grammar feats have you been called upon to perform?

About Caitlin Stern

I have a MA in English, and have so many fantasy/urban fantasy WIPs it's not even funny. I'm an avid reader of science fiction, fantasy, mystery, romance, biography, fiction, and anything else that catches my interest. I collect books, and bookmarks I find that are visually appealing and useful.

2 responses »

  1. As a literature teacher, I frequently get called out by my students for pronouncing something wrong. The worst was when I couldn’t decide how I wanted to say Smaug (Smog like how I always read it vs. Smowg like the movie) when we were reading the Hobbit. My only retort is that that’s the reason I majored in English – because no one cares about pronunciation when I’m reading or writing!

    • caitlinstern says:

      Unless an author puts in a pronunciation guide, it’s pronounced however you want to say it, right?

      I had a teacher ‘correct’ me on Jabberwocky once–just to be a smart aleck. Some people…

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