I have a theory on a person's ability to spell, which is that you've either got "it" or you don't. The "it" I'm referring to is the ability to spell words accurately. Upon reading many blog posts over the past year, one of my pet peeves has been a lack of proper use of the English language, particularly in the area of spelling. Please, why can't people use the spellchecking feature on their computers? I know it doesn't catch everything that has been spelled incorrectly (due to context issues, such as the proper use of the words they're, their and there), but it would alleviate a lot of frustration on my part, as I painfully read blogs that contain spelling errors. I have a very difficult time tolerating misspelled words, and really, it doesn't take that long to use a spellchecker before producing a final work of art for the rest of the known world to read.
In Business College we spent two (wasteful) months in a class called "Spelling." Give me a break! Our textbook was entitled, You Can Spell! This textbook was apparently supposed to help poor spellers become better spellers, but unfortunately there are too many "rules" that just don't make sense for the English language, and it was actually agonizing to watch other classmates struggle through this course, trying to use the "rules" to become better spellers. It simply didn't work. The textbook didn't work. I think the class was a waste of time. Now, having said that, I'm sure there were some parts of the class and textbook that were helpful to some of the students. But had I been a poor speller going into the class, I would have found the whole experience to be more confusing than helpful.
Back to my theory. I think a person is either born a speller or not born a speller. I was born a speller. My husband was not. He knows this, and hence asks me for spelling advice. Unfortunately for him, I'm the first one to point out his spelling and grammatical errors in both written and spoken word. But that's what he gets for marrying a Business College graduate who has an obsession with spelling. I won't go into all the gory details about how I analyze church bulletins, letters, newsletters, etc. and check for spelling accuracy. That would reveal my obsession just a bit too much.
While searching Google for a picture to post of my Business College Textbook (apparently nowhere to be found), I came across the following link to a site that will test your spelling ability: http://encarta.msn.com/quiz_36/How_Well_Can_You_Spell.html
I'd encourage you all to try it. Just for the record: I got 100%.
P.S. I don't want to make any of you feel bad if you weren't born a speller. I love people even if they can't spell. I'm not perfect either. You should see my Algebra marks! I just have a spelling obsession!