#94 Correctly spelling that word you always spell wrong

What are your brainjam words?

For me, I mix up ‘know’ and ‘now’ every single time I use them.

Yes, some neural pathways fused together in my brain twenty years ago and since then I always do a three-second triple-check-stutter-step whenever I’m writing either word out a sentence. Spellcheck stays silent and grammar check can’t be trusted, so I’m forced to actually think about whether or not I’m using these words the right way.

Brainjam words are any word you mess up every single time you use it.

Now if you’re like me Brainjam Word Fear sometimes results in bad reactions:

1. The Wraparound. You’re so afraid of the brainjam that you write a long sentence that avoids using the word altogether, even if it makes the sentence sound terrible. If you don’t comprehend what I mean, let me be told.

2. Wordfind paranoia. Before handing in a big essay, you’re so paranoid about submitting with brainjam words that you actually do a search in the document to find every single instance of them for octuple-checking.

3. Complete self-confidence meltdown. If you’re like me this is where your frustration with your inability to spell a three-letter word boils up to the point where you punch a monitor and leave a broken keyboard covered in hot salty tears on your desk. Not a pretty scene.

Of course, these bad reactions are what makes spelling your brainjam word feel so good. It’s a personal victory in the lifelong battle against those neural pathways that are always out to get you. “Maybe,” you think to yourself, after using the right ‘there’, spelling ‘a lot’ as two words, or use the right ‘its’, “I will never doubt myself again.”

“Maybe today is the day for new beginnings.”

“Maybe today is the day for victory.”

“Maybe today is the day for


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75 thoughts on “#94 Correctly spelling that word you always spell wrong

  1. I used to have so much trouble with “rhythm”. Too many consonants!!

    There was also an embarassing incidence when I forgot how to spell “use”. I was putting a “y” in there somewhere…

    1. Flashback to 7th grade music class… our music teacher required us to learn how to spell rhythm… I guess she knew it was a hard word to spell. Ever since then I have had no problems spelling that word because it was drilled into us way back when. Yeah, and I always mis-spell “definitely”, and even some of the other words mentioned in this thread.

  2. HAHAHAHAHA: “If you don’t comprehend what I mean, let me be told.”

    One of my best friends and I lived together our freshman year, and she was typing a paper. All the sudden, she goes, “WTF, how do you spell ‘of’?? I’m having a brain meltdown, it’s CLEARLY not ‘ove’.”

    She’ll never live it down.

  3. I used to have trouble with “definitely” all the time, then I read this stupid tip:
    “If you put an “a” in definitely, it make you an a-hole” Since then, I haven’t had nearly as much trouble.

    1. That’s the word I always had trouble with too! I’ve never heard that, but I have trained myself to spell it correctly in the past few months.

  4. I don’t want to boast but I’m pretty good at English and grammar.!.,,,%**`~2#)??!! Haw haw haw.

    Haha, I only had this problem in year 3. I realised for the past five years of my life I had been spelling ‘maybe’ as ‘mabe’ and the teacher kindly pointed it out in class by saying “some people in this class still spell ‘maybe like ‘mabe’…” so then I finally got it when someone finally (inconspicuously) told me! Really, for me, it’s all about pronunciation. I’m more of a grammar/pronunciation Nazi.

    Remember, it’s “they’re over there playing with their toys” and “you’re about to drop your coffee!”

    …I still sneak on the English and literature forums every now and again ;)

    1. I was in 5th grade before I had a teacher point out to me – in front of the entire class (of course) – that I was spelling “maybe” wrong (I’m pretty sure I chose to spell it “maeby”. I have no idea what my logic was in that.)

      She made me sound it out and put the two words (may and be) together to form the word maybe. I never misspelled it again after that day.

  5. i’ve always had trouble spelling out ‘opportunity’ and it really feels awesome when u get it right……..

  6. ‘definitely’ ‘probably’ (not probly, which is how I say it) and I always get “from” and “form” mixed up and it’s never caught by spell check cause they’re both words. ‘Necessary’ and ‘successes’ are pretty evil too, haha

  7. lol it was great to see this during a study break from arabic. (where i spell pretty much everything wrong!

    speak truth!!!!!

  8. A few words yes… none come to mind except definitely… that one has always given me trouble. Calendar still gives me a bit of trouble from time to time. I’ve spelled it ‘calander,’ calender’ and even ‘calandar’. I don’t know why…crazy word.

  9. Classic case of in one ear and out the other, for me are councillor and counsellor, to the very point I just don’t care anymore.
    Ove and Duz have stumped me on occassion.
    Yes, as a matter of fact, I do believe *they* meant to place 2’s in occassion!
    Rhetoric, rhythm and rhyme, get me nearly every time!
    I mean, y_ o_ y are there gost letters anyway?!* Hello!
    A free-fun, road trip, mind game, you can play *together*…
    classic case of “in one ear and out the other:
    councillor and counsellor, to the point I just don’t care anymore.

      1. Councillor and counsellor, occasionally I need help with that one too, especially when I’m working on a deadline, it’s come down to the wire and the mud starts flying! (but that’s not the point). :)
        It’s tricky when people give their all to offering the answers and end up drawing a big, bold blank at the same time. That’s when it’s good if someone on the outside sees that you’re in real trouble and jumps in with the solution.

    1. I spelled of ‘ove’ and they ‘thay’ multiple times on a research paper once. Still got an A on it, though.

  10. I’m a good speller, but my typing fingers are sort of dyslexic so there are certain words I mistype all the time. I either get the hands mixed up (e.g., I often type “work” instead of “word” or vice versa) or one hand moves more quickly than the other.

  11. I have to look up advice and advise every single time I use them. Any helpful will be greatly appreciated!

    1. advice with the c for counsel – good advice from the counselor
      advise – with the s for SAYING IT – to advise you somebody is saying it

    1. That word is my nemesis as well. Oh, and I spelled nemesis wrong. Figures. Others troublemakers for me include accommodate, bureau, guarantee, and judgment (there should be another “e” in there!)

      1. Yikes, yes, I forgot about my issues with judgment! In grad school, I consistently mispelled it by inserting that e you mentioned: judgement. Don’t know how many times I did that before it was pointed out to me. I agree with you, it SHOULD have that e in there!

  12. who, what, when, where, whish. Yes, I know it’s spelled wish, but I still have to catch myself.
    Convenience is another killer.

  13. One of the worst I remember was when I was in middle school and we did a project on what we wanted to be when we grew up. I chose sience teacher. Yup. Never did become a teacher, but I am working on my Master’s of Science now lol. They probably didn’t have much hope for me after that report……

  14. I never know which ‘its’ to use! And I always spell it “wierd”, and my girlfriend lets me know it every single time! And pretty much every word that has “ie” or “ei”. That “i before e except after c” rule should NOT be a rule because it has sooo many exceptions! >.<

  15. *Consciounce. Conchance. Consciounse. Conscience. So much like licence and science!
    However; I remember feeling like a genious, when I was 6 or 7 and learned to spell, M-I-S-S-I-S-S-I-P-P-I. I believe around the same time, K-I-S-S-I-N-G came into play. And like most people, to this day, I never fail on that spelling bee!
    You know what I’m talkin’ about… right?!*

    1. Nauseous. I have a suggestion for this one that might work for you. Now, it comes from the word nausea. Judging by your spelling of nauseous, it sounds like you probably pronounce nausea NAW-zha, but some people pronounce it NAW-zee-a. If you think of it that way, the spelling of nausea gets easier. Then just replace the “a” with “ous” and you’ve got it!

  16. this is something that i’ve had to deal with since i decided to marry the most amazing woman, but worst speller i’ve ever met. i spelled the word chrysanthemum in 2nd grade and haven’t looked back since, so you can imagine my dismay when i started getting texts from this beautiful and amazing woman with spelling ALL sorts of messed up. the one thing more awesome than spelling a word right you always mess up, is seeing a word misspelled and saying absolutely nothing. (even if you have to call a friend to tell them about it.)

    1. Haha! I remember correcting myself on a chat site after I had typed “alot” and I was like “Oops! I mean *a lot” and then this random was like “No, you got it wrong a second time, it’s ALLOT” … I didn’t even correct them, it was so funny I had to play along! xD

  17. for the longest time I misspelled the word “certificate” – not because I didn’t know how to spell it, but because my fingers got ahead of my brain. This wouldn’t have been a problem if my job at the time weren’t “Client Services – Certificates & Reports”. It’s awfully embarrassing misspelling your job title repeatedly!

    1. I finally learned how to spell Massachusetts properly this past month. Which is sad, because that’s where my boyfriend’s family is from.

  18. Every time I want to type “snow,” I type “snot.” I call it my “Freudian typo,” but it has lead to some interesting conversations . . .

  19. I always have to manually override my brain to spell exercise as exercise rather then excercise.

  20. Say to yourself: “I know about the K”.
    This way, you remember that “know” (as in knowledge) has a “k” in it.

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