Wednesday, October 7, 2009

How do you spell that?

I love spelling. I love spellcheck. I love everything about words. I love to use big words and freak people out. When I was a kid there was nothing I enjoyed more than telling another kid "Hey, your epidermis is showing." The kid would look around to see what was inadvertently hanging out while I laughed hysterically. I love reading business letters and emails with mistakes missed by spellcheck. I had an email last week where the writer was going to get back with me about my "corns." She meant concerns.

I'm still laughing about that.

As you are aware, this blog is about A&P and my inadequate, often faulty,misguided and all around shoddy parenting. A&P do not particularly like words. (Note: I did not say they don't have opinions.) They have no particular use for spelling words properly or using them in the correct order to construct a nice, complete sentence, perfect for diagramming with friends. No, they have little use for this or my love of words. My inner English major hollers out in silent pain every time they end a sentence in a preposition. "Were you born in a barn?" I scream.

What to do, you ask? How can you raise them to be straight talking, good grammar utilizing boys so that they don't go to dinner with Queen and say something pedestrian? Test them. Test their vocabulary and cram new words into their heads until they cry for mercy and the XBox. Test their spelling until every irregularly spelled French derived English word or commonly used Latin root is jammed into their heads. It's painful, but someone has to do it. It's not abuse so don't even think about turning me in.

At the beginning of every school year, I let out a fair amount of rope. This rope can be used to mess up spelling and vocabulary for about 4 weeks until such time as I lasso them back in. Last Thursday was "Lasso Day." I am now back in the spelling and vocabulary business at the dinner table. They holler and protest, but mysteriously their grades improve by about 30% within 24 hours.

I can hardly wait until they learn about dangling or misplaced modifiers. Good times.

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