Monday, December 7, 2009

Spell-Off, Caleb Caswell


The day we held a spelling-bee in class, I did not have much confidence in my spelling ability. I assumed that I would be eliminated with relative ease and would sit after a question, or two. To my surprise, my word recollection ability was greater than I had presumed. After several turns at the board, my confidence grew in my ability. Rather than thinking through the phonetic properties of the word, the proper spelling would appear in my mind's-eye as soon as the word was said.

Where had I gained this knowledge? I rely on spell-check as much as any other individual, and oftentimes find numerous mistakes in the editing of my work. It is very possible, however, that through constant reading over a period of several years, I have subconsciously registered spellings for further use. Also, if much time is spent writing, one can get used to mentally 'visualizing' words, therefore helping them to recall them quickly and fluently. This can be invaluable to a writer, for as Cassiby has posted, "Spell-checkers on word processors are only so smart, and often cannot distinguish between verb tenses and other grammar mistakes." This can also extend into the spelling of words with several homonyms, such as there, their, they're, etc.

If ever in need of a site with helpful instruction in the way of homonyms, be sure to reference this site. Its extensive knowledge on the subject can be incredibly insightful.


  1. I agree with you. Constant reading is one of the only ways to maintain our mental bank of strangely-spelled words. Also that homonym website is excellent. I now know the difference between a "clue" and a "clew."

  2. Oh, so that is how you become so efficient at spelling. I was quite impressed during our spelling-bee; it seemed we had a spelling champion on our hands.