I Can Spell That Word in 3 Letters

“A synonym is a word you use when you can’t spell the other one.”
Baltasar Gracian

Baltasar Gracian was a Spanish Jesuit, writer and philosopher who lived in the first half of the 1600s. There are many wonderful quotes by him but when I stumbled across this one yesterday, it made me laugh.

I type A LOT for my job – letters, agendas, rosters, briefing notes, website information – in addition to the day by day routine of emails to suppliers, clients and internal teams.   Over the years I’ve had  trouble typing various words correctly.  Some of these problems with words resolve themselves after a few years but a few of them have been with me for as long as I’ve been doing this:

Hors d’oeuvres

Unfortunately there aren’t good synonyms for some of my words, at least not that are accepted throughout my industry. Hors d’oeuvres is a good example.  I can’t use “canapes” because that actually means something specific .  “Appetizers” is more work to type and I can’t really go with “morsel”, “tidbit”, “finger food” as these would throw my hotels and supplier for a loop.

That means I have to have work-arounds. For “hors d’oeuvres” I have an auto-fill set up – when I type “hors” and a space, then the computer fills in the rest, spelled correctly every time.  Typing in “accom” will get me to “accommodations”.  I also have an auto-correct so that any time I type “rools”, the computer changes it to “rolls”.  “Deposit” and “Worldwide” I just have to struggle with as they are too similar to other words, so the shortcuts are just as long as slowing down and typing more carefully.

Any words defy spelling for you?


52 thoughts on “I Can Spell That Word in 3 Letters”

    1. You are not alone Steve. Several years ago my company went to a first name.last name protocol for our emails .
      Before that it had been just my last name with an s on the end. With so many people have trouble spelling spelling Sherrilee incorrectly, I went back to the old protocol so that I actually get my emails at work.


  1. My workplace is soon going to voice to text dictation system for psychologists to dictate their psychological evaluations. I can only imagine what the first evaluations are going to look like until the systems develop word banks of typical terms we each use.

    I have a hard time remembering how to spell counselor. I always want to put two l’s in it.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I get stuck on if I mean loose or lose.
    And I have to think about Life and Live (as in concert) or live (as in a good life).
    Maintenance is one I can never spell correctly (without spellcheck).


    1. I know which of Life and Live, Loose or Lose, Breath or Breathe to use…but I can’t think of any tips to give you to help you figure it out. Stuff like this used to bug me, but now I don’t seem to care as much, especially online where it might be just a typo. But in a book, that presumably has been edited for accuracy, it would still bug me.

      I think part of the problem is that there are so many people doing it wrong that if you’re a little unsure, you don’t have consistent examples of the correct way to help you start to instinctively know which is the right word to use.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Too many to list here. I happen to be an excellent speller, but a lousy typist. For example, my fingers decided long ago that when I ask them to type the word “best” they will instead type “b-e-s-e-t.” And on and on and on with a hundred other words.

    Chris in Owatonna

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I’m not as good a speller as I used to be. Words to be spelled fall into one of three categories: the ones I’m confident about, the one’s I’m unsure about and have to look up and the ones I’m confident about but wrong.

    The other morning, as I was waking up, a word popped into my consciousness: plimsol. Now I had a vague sense that it was a sort of athletic footwear and upon looking it up was edified to know it is, essentially a canvas sneaker, but nothing I’ve been reading lately would have led to that word floating to the top of my consciousness. I’ve read it before somewhere but never ever used it. What’s going on?

    Liked by 4 people

        1. Shall we call them more “mature” folks, tim. I doubt that most millennials would have a clue.


        2. No, plimsols look like what they represent. Without going into the complete etymology, a plimsol(or plimsoll) line was a line on the inside of ships that indicated the highest the cargo hold could be filled. The rubber margin on canvas sneakers was reminiscent of that.

          Liked by 1 person

  5. You couldn’t prove it by my posts to the trail, but in general, I’m a fairly decent speller. Typing, that’s a whole different story. When typing I often leave the r off your, and the d off and, and that’s not to mention the words that I simply omit. When I type “from” it often comes out “form,” and though I know the difference between choose and chose, and loose and lose, I often grab the wrong one.

    Like VS I have trouble with “hors d’oeuvres,” always have to look it up. “Mediterranean” defies me almost every single time. “Exercise” is another word I have as much trouble with as I do with the actual thing. Luckily, I can often look at a typed word and see whether or not it is spelled correctly, and not because of the squiggly red line below it if it’s not.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Reccommend. Reccomend. Recommend. There I got it on the third try.

    I text a fair amount (for a person my age) and auto correct likes to change what I type to what it thinks I should type. Often with hilarious results. If I’m not paying attention before I hit Send, I’m often surprised by what shows up in my text.

    I’ve also sent texts to the wrong person, which is slightly embarrassing. Or funny, depending on what I said and to whom.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. My freshman year in college, I was still using the British English spelling that I had learned in school. My instructors quickly disabused me of the notion that that was acceptable.Now I find it handy, especially on Facebook where there are posts from all over the world, that I can tell by how words are spelled whether or not the writer is American. I am appalled, though, that so many Americans don’t know the difference between their, and there, or then and than, and often are horrendous spellers.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I have a problem with homophones. My spelling quality control depends on the fact I hear the words I am typing. That usually works. But if I type “know” when I intend “no,” I’m in trouble since my brain is happy with the sound of the word I typed. Homophonic word substitutions don’t set off alarms in my head. I even have trouble with “compliment” and “complement” — which are not quite homophones but damn close.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. It’s and its is such a trap, since everywhere else the apostrophe indicates a possessive. I got called out in grade school for using the wrong one and I never got over it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve got my own rules about things like “the ’70s”, meaning the 1970s – a lot of people will us an apostrophe, but I don’t. I figure for an apostrophe, it either has to be some kind of contraction, or a possessive, and this is neither, just a plural.


    2. Scarred for life by a grade school teacher, what a travesty. You must have been a lot more earnest student than I ever was, Bill.


  10. I have trouble typing “deposit” too – it often comes out depsoit.

    “Financial” sometimes turns into <finanical.

    I have a friend named Mindy, but when I type it, I will usually spell it Minday.

    Like Ben, I have to think for a few seconds how to spell maintenance. There’s no e in maintain, so it confuses me to find one in <maintenance; the second a has moved into a different syllable, and where has the second i gone?

    For “traveling” and “traveler” I’m sometimes tempted to put it too many l’s.

    “Unfortunately” occasionally gets an extra e – unfortuneately. Autocorrect fixes it.

    I don’t get confused about its and it’s, lose and loose, or breath and breathe. They just look wrong if they’re not right.

    Liked by 1 person

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