Now Here's a Test I Can Sink My Teeth Into!

Yeah, me!

Although I did spot one mistake in the test itself .. did you also see it?

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Maybe they mean Tori Spelling.

By Tegumai Bopsul… (not verified) on 31 Jul 2008 #permalink

I got 'Embarrassment' wrong as well.

But here is the thing: There is no embarrassment in making any of these mistakes. The embarrassment is failing to proofread our work and correct it. I proofread even casual communication (and still let mistakes slip through.)

In doubt? How about looking it up?

And I'll pause to complain about the absolutely chaotic spelling rules that the English language suffers from.

Hooked on phonics? Uh, our (not ARE!) language is not remotely phonetic!

I understand how it got that way, but I recognize the difficulty it presents for many people. You can be really smart and a lousy speller.

Neither 'Calender' nor 'Calendar' are proper nouns. They are common nouns, spelled 'calender' (the smoothing machine) and 'calendar' (the date computer).

BTW, the test covered only the easy ones.

Also BTW, there is no fix for English spelling. Regional accents will be the ruin of any attempt to spell-as-sounds. How do you pronounce 'Boston' and 'car'? If the name of a thing is pronounced the way I would spell it -- 'nun un' -- would you recognize that as the term 'nine iron' as said in the South? In New England, the word 'drawer' is pronounced 'draw' and the word 'drawing' is pronounced 'droring' [yes, no mistake: they add an 'r' where it isn't when they don't sound an 'r' when it's there].

And no, I don't see their error, except I question whether or not "that'll" is truly a proper contraction.

One could probably quibble with some of the grammar.

GrrlScientist, are you sure you didn't mean "Yay, me!"?

And shouldn't your ellipsis have one more period?



True on spelling. But it is goofy that we have a language that is around 14 letters short for phonemes and lacks a distinct letter for our most common vowel sound. And we have multiple spellings for many sounds due to our ransacking of other languages.

In one of John McWhorter's books, he wrote about an effort by a Boston school district to prohibit teaching by anyone with a "discernible accent". This prompted letters-to-the-editor by non-native Bostonians with an outsider's perspective.

One writer described his teacher citing "orphan" and "often" as an example of homonyms.

Another had trouble with a teacher over spelling "Korea" and "career". As the teacher pronounced them, career was the country and Korea was your job...

The test-makers don't seem to like punctuation.