How to Improve your Spelling

First the comic, Reality Check. Doesn’t work this way in real life, of course.

I still have trouble remembering whether or not to put that “e” into that word. It’s because I don’t follow my own rule about learning to spell those last couple works that you don’t remember how to spell.

When I was younger, I had trouble remembering how to spell “until.” Was it one “l” or two? I also had trouble remembering the conjugation of “lie,” as in lie down. Then someone told me a trick, and here it is:

Write down the thing you have trouble remembering on a card, and tape it up where you can see it when you write. Look at the word whenever you feel the slightest doubt. Eventually you’ll remember and stop doubting.

It worked. I now remember “until,” and know the past tense of lie is “lay,” not “laid.” The wall in my desk nook was not quite plastered, but adorned maybe, with 3×5 cards containing the correct spellings of an assortment of words. Currently I have a card in front of me with a half dozen or so ASCII codes for several symbols that I use occasionally I have about half memorized, the others I use maybe once a year or less, so they’re there when I need them.

So there you have it: post your doubtful spellings up where you can see them.