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Knowing the Correct Spelling


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I guess I can consider myself pedantic and perfectionist. As much as possible, I don't want any mistake specially with spelling and grammar. Ofcourse I make mistakes if there's some words I didn't notice but as much as possible I try hard to minimize it. When it comes to spelling, I usually rely on my gut feeling as well and when it's telling me I wrote it incorrectly, I check the dictionary or the internet.

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For me i find that it gets harder to spell as i get older. I used to be able to spell very well and very naturally when i was younger. there were very few words that would make me nervous when it comes to spelling. I think that it is to do with memory. As you get older it gets harder to remember some of the details in the language. But i do get a feeling when something is not spelt right.

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Google Dictionary to the rescue for me as far a spelling goes. Being anon-native speaker, I can;t depend on my gut feeling to know of I spelled something right or wrong.

It's definitely more dependable if you are someone who grew up reading in that language, I think. I know there are a lot of native English speakers who tend not to read or write much so they usually don't notice when they misspell something, but I think that's okay since we already have tools nowadays to find those errors anyway, as you've mentioned.

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  • 2 weeks later...
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That sort of thing happens with me, as an native-English speaker, but I don't think it happens with everyone. With technology taking over, and spell check everywhere, I think native speakers are losing (or never having to begin with) skills with reading and writing. However, if I overanalyze a word too long that I am not sure of, I may end up getting it wrong.

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I have always noticed something when writing in English: when I write a difficult word (or any word for that matter), if I spell it correctly I feel some sort of innate satisfaction/approval kind of feeling, confirming that I wrote it right. While, on the other hand, when I write a word wrong, I get a feeling too, but this one tells me I spelt it wrong.

Due to this, when I'm unsure about the spelling of any word, I just write it in as many variations as I can, and every time, one of them felt 'right' and it turned out to be so.

Have any of you ever felt something like this? Or am I just weird?

I am quite good in spelling. In fact, some native speakers that I've worked with even ask me the correct spelling of some English words. That's when I feel the satisfaction. Lol!

But there are instances, I seem to doubt my own ability. So like what you do, when there's no way for me to check the correct spelling, I also write many variations of a word I can't seem to spell right. Then I choose which one seems to click right to me. So far, my guesses have been mostly correct.

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I believe that's your instinct telling you something. It's not considered weird, not at all. I get those feelings too. It's one of accomplishment because you know that deep down that you understand what's being done. It shows that you're learning. The same can be said about anything. No matter if it's a language or another subject in school. Once you get into the swing of understanding it, you feel like you're on top of the world.

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No you are not weird, I get the same feeling. When writing, I use Microsoft word which corrects my grammar and spelling. When I misspell a word, I have a gut feeling that it is wrong even before it is highlighted. It is a wonderful feeling to write a page and not make a spelling mistake. Furthermore what surprise me is that there are some common words that I keep misspelling.

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  • 2 months later...

The word certain words look when you write or type it definitely is a good sign to look at if you are unsure if you are spelling it correctly or not.  I think it's because of our capacity to look at words as an "image" and just like any image that we see, if there's something different or weird in the way it is angled, we will definitely recognize it.  Most words are not really recognized by our brain as letters, it's actually taken in as a whole image.

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With technology, it certainly is getting less frequent to commit wrong spellings. However, when you do write the traditional way (pen and paper), it's probably when you are likely to get the nagging feeling that you are writing the word wrong. Personally, I attribute it to memory recall. Having met the word several times in the past, you probably have an idea how it's supposed to be written, but at that moment you are writing the word, you might be experiencing a bit of lapse in memory. It's not so much the arrangement in the word, because as was said before our brain only has to see the beginning and the end letters of the

wrod, and sitll rceogzine the crorcet wrod eevn if the lerttes are anrrgaed wrngoly. Ainmazg how the biarn wrkos!

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I think that happens to most of us, so it's not strange at all. I find myself doing the same thing all the time. My husband is a native English speaker too, yet he'll check his spelling with me from time to time. Sometimes it's weird because it's a simple word that we use often but for whatever reason, at that particular moment it doesn't look right.

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I'm a native English speaker.  I used to be able to sense when a word was spelled right or not, just like you mention.  But then I learned French and spent a year in Europe speaking and living French.  After that my ability to sense if a word was spelled right went out the door.  No longer able to do that.

I can see how this could happen. I think it's very easy to rely on your instinct if you use the language everyday, but if for one reason or another, you stop using it for a while, then what was once familiar will cease to come naturally. I also experience this with my second language as it's been a long time since I last used it in practice, so I can't distinguish whether or not I'm writing it correctly anymore.

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Yeah I get this as well. There's just this instinctual gut feeling I get when I see a wrongly spelled word, and when the word is right, I also get a gut feeling that it *looks* right. These days I'm just relying on spell checker so the gut feels are weakening

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It's a type of recognition.  You may be a very visual learner, so you see words on the page and part of how you remember them is the way the word looks.  So when you are writing, you know when it looks like what you have read, or if there is something different.

I agree with you here, it is a type of learning through recognition and clearly you are a visual person. When you write things out your memory recognizes them as how they are and gives you that signal of approval or correctness so to say! I know that I have to write things down in order to remember them otherwise they won't be stored in my memory for a long time, in actual fact they get chucked in the short term if I don't write them down first or while I am learning them.

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There are several English words that are easy to spell incorrectly and I do it quite often. English is my native language and I struggle without spell check or a dictionary. Some words have odd spellings and letters that you would not think would be in the word. You should not feel ashamed if you spell a word wrong, but rejoice if you actually spell it correctly.

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There are several English words that are easy to spell incorrectly and I do it quite often. English is my native language and I struggle without spell check or a dictionary. Some words have odd spellings and letters that you would not think would be in the word. You should not feel ashamed if you spell a word wrong, but rejoice if you actually spell it correctly.

There's also that problem; where a word is spelt in a totally different way to how it's pronounced. I think I'm pretty good at spelling, but sometimes I find myself checking and double checking just to be sure. The other thing that annoys me is the fact that sometimes even spell checkers can't be relied upon to be 100% accurate.

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That sort of thing happens with me, as an native-English speaker, but I don't think it happens with everyone. With technology taking over, and spell check everywhere, I think native speakers are losing (or never having to begin with) skills with reading and writing. However, if I overanalyze a word too long that I am not sure of, I may end up getting it wrong.

This is something that happens to me! if I have the teeniest bit of doubt about the spelling of a word, that's it; I can't relax. The longer I look at it, the more the doubt sets in. It may not even be a difficult word. It may even be a word I use regularly. It's very strange.

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There are several English words that are easy to spell incorrectly and I do it quite often. English is my native language and I struggle without spell check or a dictionary. Some words have odd spellings and letters that you would not think would be in the word. You should not feel ashamed if you spell a word wrong, but rejoice if you actually spell it correctly.

I think it's natural for a native speaker to have difficulty spelling correctly words of their native language. I attribute it to us having learned the language fully well verbally. Growing up, we never do a sit down to study our own language. Thus, we often just hear the words, and rarely ever see or study how they are written.

I am the first to admit that I would rather write in English to express my thoughts rather than use my own native tongue. The sole reason for my preference for the English language is because I really don't know how to spell correctly Cebuano words (my native tongue).

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