Thursday, March 29, 2012

spell it ~ Mississippi

We have arrived in Mississippi...but let me leave our Gulfport experience for tomorrow...and talk about spelling and misspelling today. 

Mississippi. That is one word that is impossible to spell wrong. Right? We all learned the chant 'em-eye-ess-ess-eye-ess-ess-eye-pea-pea-eye' in our early years...and it stays with us forever.

We Canadians spell things a little differently than our American cousins...simply because we take our authority from the Queen.  What she says goes!  And so we have 'authours' and 'neighbours' and 'humour' (on occasion).  In the USA they 'favor' dropping the u in many words ending in -our.  But I noticed other discrepancies while we were travelling.

In Canada we don't spell elevator like this...

...especially not in our hotels.  Am I the only one that questioned that sign?

I noticed that Alaska Air had official decals on the backs of all the seats with instructions regarding 'flotation devices'. I thought it must be one of those words that Americans spelled differently.  So I did my research and found out it could be spelled either way...flotation or floatation. The latter spelling is the archaic version.  That explains why it looked right to me!

I like things spelled correctly. It's just that I am not always sure what is correct anymore!

Tomorrow....come with me to Gulfport for a spell.


  1. =D

    I blame not being able to spell anymore on having seen a word spelled so many ways. My niece has taken on the Canadian spellings for so many things...grey, for example. Personally, I found it a affectation or is that an effectation. Whatever!

    I love Mark Twain's quote on this subject: I respect a man who knows how to spell a word more than one way.

    Fun post!

  2. I'll keep my 'u's and my 'a's, thank you! With texting being so popular it may not be long before many vowels are dropped altogether.
    I remember the Mississippi rhyme, and the one for encyclopedia too!

  3. Love Vee's Twain quote. The added "u" makes the word look more proper, like a nicely coordinated outfit. Dropping the "u" puts the word back in to the fast paced blue jeans no fuss fast food American vibe.

    I still an undecided about how gray or grey should be spelled. Grey looks like it is a lighter, like fog, while gray is inching closer to black. Hoo you've got me thinking about all this!

  4. I agree with you Judy. I think that correct spelling is important. Another one that bugs me is cheque and check. Dairymary

  5. We are a family that likes to spell things correctly. As we sit and contemplate the correct spelling of a word you'll hear deep conversation like "does such and such have one el or 2?" Stuff like scintillating. I really enjoyed your post. That elevator sign is perplexing...

  6. Those of us to whom spelling correctly is important are very slow at texting. I must have lived in the US too long - I didn't even know it could be correctly spelled as "floatation"! On the other hand, I had lived here for over 20 years before I realized that most people here have practice but don't know about practise, and I was good at thank-you but didn't realize that here it's two words with no hyphen...but most people wouldn't know the difference anyway! I think someone had too long to wait at the elevator, Judy, and maintenance staff didn't notice because they use the service elevator.

  7. Spelling is another game. And knowing which version to use...depending from which country.
    The huge word...brings back memories from years ago. I could recite that poem...but now I think it's gone..
    You are the best teacher!

  8. Misspelled words irk me, too. And I'd be a little leery of a hotel with such an elevator sign.

    It bothers me sometimes that blogger flags the Canadian spellings as incorrect.

    I like Thoughts on Life and Millinery's comment about the different uses of gray and grey. I'm of the same mind - they differ slightly in tone.

  9. This is how we learned to spell Mississippi in my neck of the woods...em-eye-crooked letter-crooked letter-eye-crooked letter-crooked letter-eye-hump back-hump back-eye!!!
    Think someone needed to tell the maintenance man in that hotel that they had lost a couple of letters!

  10. I agree with Miss Debbie on the Mississippi spelling, I learned it the same way. I think the variations of spelling and pronunciations of words are a part of each region's heritage, and nothing to be mocked, but respected for that area. We lived in England for 3 years, and being a Louisiana gal, it was definitely an adjustment to the vocabulary! But I was happy to do so out of respect to the region and the country as our host. I find it interesting to learn about these parts of different culture.

  11. Fun post! Having crossed the border back and forth so many times,sometimes I'm not sure any more what it Canadian and what is American. I justknow that if I get a blank, I need to use the other version.
    Never heard of the evator, though ... what is that all about? Sounds like a two year old speaking.

  12. Misspelled words drive me nuts too. But I suppose the important thing is that my floatation device floats whether it has an a in it or not! LOL.

  13. Oh my ..the "evator" sign is a big mistake! I would have pointed that out to management.

    I am honestly not the best speller--I always have to look words up to make sure I am spelling them right. Very frustrating! LOL


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