I've never excelled in the English language. Though I've always been interested in writing.
At my school, parents were asked what skills they thought their child needed to improve on. Every single year, without skipping a beat, my mother would say "spelling".
I started my elementary school career in french immersion, and by grade 6 I had moved to an English Creative Arts school. The move was good for my learning style but horrible for my spelling. The first few months of grade 6 saw me trying to spell English words with french accents.
By the end of grade 6, I had the accents under control, but I continued to make up elaborate spellings for words I didn't know. The pinnacle of this was a short story set in Okotoks, ie) Eauxkatokes. I guess I hadn't quite shaken off all my french spelling lessons.
My mother, the scientific editor who worked on articles and manuscripts from prominent and up-and-coming scientists for prestigious journals such as "Nature" and "Science", helped me through junior high always offering to edit my essays and offer gentle writing suggestions.
In grade 10 however, that all changed. My first writing assignment was for Social Studies: an essay on the Canadian Identity. I thought I did a pretty ok job at writing my first high school essay, but I still passed it along to my mother for a proof-read. It must have been slow at work for her because she took it upon herself to not only proof my essay, she nearly re-wrote the whole thing. The arguments were still mine, but she had re-written them, provided more data and better quotations. I know she only wanted me to succeed in the scary high school world, but I never let her proofread anything for me ever again.
I'm sad to say that since then I've been motoring along in spell-check land (sometimes) with a sub-par vocabulary and understanding of grammar.
I want to ensure all my readers that I speak Dog far better than I write English.
It's taken several occurrences for me to step it up in my writing game:
My boyfriend pointing out that I wrote "Pickled Pink" instead of "Tickled Pink" in my first ever newsletter. (that was a good chuckle)
Absolutely countless spelling, grammar and figure of speech errors on EVERYTHING
My old boss and mentor pointing out that the saying is "Peace of mind", not "Piece of mind" (in my defence my whole family was joking about pies when I wrote that); and the proverbial straw that broke the camels back:
My good friend and web developer softly suggesting that I look into using a program like Grammarly to help my writing after going through my latest blog posts.
From the girl who thought LMNO was one word in the alphabet song, who didn't know that Handy-downs were actually Hand-me-downs, and is forever scarred by the word Libary... LiBRAry, I'd like to announce that I officially have downloaded Grammarly. Great job marketing on all those youtube adds guys!
From here on in, it should all be a peace of cake.
Until next time, happy spelling
Holly, Duke and Jax