What’s YOUR Word?

Yesterday I was conversing with a writer friend, who was telling me about her daughter’s weekly spelling tests. The conversation turned to how it seems that everyone has “a word” we recall from childhood that really stumped us on those weekly spelling tests.

My “word” (I put it in quotation marks to make it seem more ominous) was “continent” (quotation marks again, because just thinking about it in terms of the fourth grade makes it seem ominous). For some reason, I always switched the “i” and the “e.” Every week, for what seemed like decades. My teacher and parents were dumbfounded at how I could make the same mistake over and over. Then one day I finally spelled it correctly and received my gold star on the class spelling chart. My teacher’s face lit up and her blue eyes sparkled so much that I thought she might call the office and have the principal make an announcement to the entire school. My parents took me out for ice cream!

My writer friend’s word was “recipe” which she read as “re-sipe” (which makes perfect sense if you compare it to “recite”). My husband’s word was “poem” which he consistently spelled as “peom”. He still complains about how our language makes no sense.

And the irony I’ve found in this is that when my son was four years old and in his second year of Montessori school, he could easily spell “continent”. Thank goodness for Montessori education, as spelling never was a problem for him!

So, what’s YOUR word? Which “word” was your biggest obstacle with spelling tests?