Thursday, March 09, 2017

Orthography

I have always loved to spell . . . and read. I suspect the two may be related. I was reading about a spelling bee yesterday, and I recalled with sadness the 3rd grade spelling bee I lost. I remember confidently standing in the auditorium and misspelling aquarium. I will never forget that word. On my worst days when I feel really low, I think to myself, "Well, at least you know how to spell 'aquarium.'" And on days when I fear I may be losing my mental acuity, I spell "aquarium" to myself and rest assured in my still-functioning brain. ("The little gray cells", as Poirot would say.) Today as I write about spelling, I am waiting for a new book. It is the biography of the bandit, Tiburcio Vasquez. I love Vasquez Rocks, and I always take out-of-town guests there. Tiburcio hid in the rocks that were later named for him. Spelling and reading the biography of a bandit seem like two very different and unrelated subjects, but I've heard, on somewhat shaky authority, that bandits were widely known for their outstanding spelling.

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