Sometimes I write a word down and it just looks funny. Like, I think that’s how it’s spelled but for some nagging reason it doesn’t seem right so I Google it.

There are times I have genuinely forgotten how to spell a word, as if it never existed in my vocabulary to begin with. And more often than not, it’s an embarrassingly easy word. The first time I can remember this happening to me was in 6th grade English class.

So have a laugh at this: I forgot how to spell ‘took’. It was 2005, we still had Net Zero, so I didn’t just go home and Google the spelling. I was too embarrassed to ask someone for help so this problem persisted for a whole week.

My English assignment: tenses. I had it in my head that took would be like ‘take’ so I kept spelling it…’toke.’ I knew it was wrong, but my brain was betraying me. I had no choice but to write it as ‘toke’ in intentionally small messy handwriting in hopes that my teacher wouldn’t notice.

What was I supposed to do, go up to my teacher and ask? At eleven years old I’d rather just get the answer wrong.

Since then it hasn’t happened so…let’s say humiliatingly, but I’ve caught myself spelling ‘quote’ as ‘qoute,’ and ‘necessary’ as ‘neseccary,’ and ‘escape,’ as ‘excape.’

Now, those little red squiggles beneath words help us out. Although, on paper we only confuse ourselves. Something looks wrong, it’s usually right; something looks right, it’s probably wrong.

It happens when writing for a long time–or worse, editing.

Ah. Editing… Staring at words and reworking them, or replacing them. Reading and rereading until you don’t even know what language is anymore.

Can we all just blame this on the English language and the ever-breakable “rules” and call it a day?

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