Stares, stairs. To, two, too. Their, there, they’re. Who’s, whose.
Architecture. Dilemma. Procrastination…These are a few of my least favourite words.

Why? Because I know their spellings. I know how, where and when they are used, but for reason I can’t begin to imagine, I have a fifty-fifty chance of getting them when I write.

It drives the perfectionistic side of me up the walls. Surely I’m smart enough to get the difference? When I read what I have written, I tend to catch the mistake immediately. But not while I’m writing…

I’ve been thinking of reasons for this phenomenon and so far I only have a good reason for the first group. In a word: Homophones.

Basically to me, writing is the reverse of reading. When I read, I see the words, “hear” them in my head and form a mental picture. When I write, I see a picture, “hear” the words describing them and write them down. I think that when I write fast, I just write the first thing I hear without paying attention to the meaning of the word. So… picking between two or three words that sound the same might be a problem.

You may think I’m exaggerating, but the more I think about it, the more it makes sense. Sometimes I “listen” and write so fast that my eyes have to play catch-up. So it feels like I’m reading instead of writing. Weird/sad but true.

That may or may not mean that I am insane… Which is a good reason why the other group of words is a challenge. But… on pondering this in the post, I think I hit on the other reason: I don’t pay attention. I get so absorbed in what I’m writing that spelling something correctly becomes insignificant.

I’m wondering if anyone else has problems with certain words…

4 thoughts on “Words.

  1. As writers we all have those words that make us want to TRY NOT TO USE THEM. It's seemingly impossible in our crazy writing world. I have a problem with there & their, to & too!! I'm still learning on how to properly use it!

    Great post!

  2. For sure! I don't struggle with to/too or their/there/they're, but sometimes I'll type something and it just won't look right. But it is. So yeah. My brain goes through some weird things sometimes.

  3. Hahaha I know what you mean. I used to hate it when I wrote essays for English and struck out a word that I thought was spelt wrong, only to get the essay back with points subtracted because I was right the first time.

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