You might not know this about me, but I am a grammar AND spelling nazi.
I am that
bad good at this, that it affects the choices I make, from not eating a menu item that’s misspelled to getting irritated by software that I use that has misspellings. Or worse, removing some of the entertainment value from TV shows or noticing mistakes in your professors lecture notes, and those mistakes can cause a Sheldon Cooper like response in me!
I love words. I love language. I love reading. I love the way a well written piece will make me journey, transcend my red leather lounge and…..be gone……
I love the way some words sound, like ‘staccato’ and ‘epiphany’.
I love the way they feel when you say them.
I love the impact of a well selected and contextual word and I love the razor sharp accuracy of correctly used words. I love the emotions woven when they are crafted into prose and I love that the English language in particular is a conglomerate of other language derivatives so you are not limited in words to use.
I also love swear words. Most of them are in my vocabulary ( there is one word I cannot stand, but only one) and I have a great sense of occasion. I love coming up with ways to communicate with out them, as a fun challenge.
The importance of words and their meanings is an obsession to me. Every word I use, particularly at work, or when I composing an important communication, especially within relationships, is intended. Every word I write at work is part of a legal document, I can be held to account for them, time not withstanding. Forever. That’s a hell of a commitment!
Many of my friends and family are a long way away form me, but are at the end of a status, or a text. Rarely is a word typed that is not considered for correct fit before committing it. That’s a lot of pressure, especially because I am not known for phone calls ;).
My family and friends are fully aware of this about me. Often it is the source of humour or I’m the “go to” girl when they need my particular super power.
But it has its downfalls.
English, to me, is like a picture or a pattern. I don’t read as such, but I see the word and the sentence like someone sees a picture. Poorly constructed sentences are grating, and look like scribble to me.
Poor spelling shuts my brain down, so people’s messages can be lost to me, because of their mistakes.
What happens when I’m having an off day and an ‘autocorrect’ that is incorrect sneaks through?
What happens when I just overlook it and get it wrong?
Why is teaching my son to read and write so frustrating for me? Shouldn’t it be simple for me?
Seriously, none of these problems are life threatening. The irony is that in spite of, or because of, the laser accuracy I have with words, it causes miscommunications with people I love who inevitably aren’t in love with language like I am, and my attempts to further communicate to avoid misunderstanding just make things worse.
However, it is MY superpower, and one that brings me great joy. And I strive to use it for good and not evil.
I guess that’s the point I’m trying to make. Whatever your super power is, and you often have more than one, learn to love it, embrace it and ultimately use it for good.