Sunday, September 10, 2006

Mars and Venus: The Sting of the Spelling Bee

This may not be a Mars and Venus issue...but if I can't poke fun at myself, what's the point of my blog?

First; an admission of guilt. I am not the world's best speller.

The spell checker is one of my better friends, and the babylon on-line, pop-up, look-up, spelling applet is worth it's weight in golden technical manuals.

In ninth grade, I did reasonably well on my spelling tests, but there are still words which I forget how to spell on a constant basis.

Vacuum. Two C's? One U? Two U's? Which is it?

Surprise. "R-P-R" That doesn't always sound right.

Yes, I've memorized all the spelling algorithms; "I before E, except after C", and I know that "ghoti" can be pronounced as "fish"...

But there are times I've lost miserably to my wife when spelling words -- the most humiliating of all was then I went on and on, telling her that it's unfortunate she didn't have the advantage of growing up in the USA where we learned to properly spell in English.

We even bet on it...and I lost.

I lost, I lost, I lost.

Thankfully, my wife doesn't remind me of my humiliating defeat...which is why I was much more careful last night, when a Yiddish word came into question.

I didn't bet, nor did I make that big a performance over it...I tried to be more modest... perhaps I could be wrong.

I said, "let's find out" -- and I called my father-in-law.

Obviously, my wife was right again. (Or was I wrong again?)

However, I was relieved that I had minimized the damage by:

1. Not betting on it with my wife.
2. Not dancing around the kitchen in advance of finding out the answer, saying how "I am SO going to WIN this"
3. Not making any lame remarks about my superior US education (even my US college diploma wouldn't have help me with this vs. my wife's Israeli college diploma).
4. Not mentioning a word to my father-in-law about the reason for my question.
5. After hearing the correct spelling from my father-in-law (He's a Scrabble Champ, so we trust him on these things), instead of hemming and hawing to my wife, I turned to her, smiled and said, "You were right!"

Just like that.

So she smiled back and we were able to continue on with motzei shabbat.

Important Lessons Learned

1. If guys are going to be stupid competitive with their wives...and you win, be graceful. (otherwise, you've still lost)

2. If guys are going to be stupid competitive with their wives...try to reduce your silly performance of thinking you're going to win, so that the sting of defeat isn't as painful.

3. If your wife smiles at you after you lose, and still doesn't rub your face in your defeat (too much), then you've both won.

4. I really need to brush up on my Yiddish spelling.

If you haven't read the original Muqata posting about Mars and Venus on this blog, now is a good time to read it. Shifra wrote about how differently men and women view the Erev Shabbat 18 minutes, and it's become a JBlogosphere Muqata classic.

Shavua Tov!

--Jameel


Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael

20 comments:

tafka PP said...

Not dancing around the kitchen in advance of finding out the answer, saying how "I am SO going to WIN this"

Oh, dearie me.

Well thanks for the imagery to get us through the week...

~ Sarah ~ said...

Excellent damage control there :)


"advantage of growing up in the USA where we learned to properly spell in English" --> really?!?! English? In America? I thought you learnt 'American' over there.

(am I going to get in trouble for saying that...?)

;-)

Chana said...

This is actually highly amusing.

I think everyone has fights/ bets/ moments like these. :)

Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) said...

Did i miss what the word was?

Mike Miller said...

I am so smart..."

kasamba said...

There is no 'I' in team!!!!

Mike Miller said...

kasamba,

It's true there's no I in team... but there is an 'm' and an 'e'

kasamba said...

Ah, but then you assume and if you assume you make an ... out of u and me.

Pinchas Floyd said...

perhaps i should spell it ghotialiyah

Mia said...

So what was the Yiddish word? Are there any rules of how to spell a word in Yiddish? Is there also grammar? I thought it is so depending where you´re from, the Polish Yiddish is different from the Hungarian Yiddish etc etc, not totally but the pronounciation of some words. Or am I wrong?

Jack's Shack said...

There is no 'I' in team!!!!

There is in WIN. ;)

bec said...

conversation circa mid 1980s

bec: dad! can you spell a word for me?
dad: look it up in the dictionary.
bec: but how can i look it up if i can't spell it?

bet you had similar conversations growing up, but is there an accurate yiddish dictionary with spellings with which you folks can both agree?

kishnevi said...

And this so interesting word, nu? Tell us so we know how to spell it, please, for ourselves, and not just listen to you huk vi a chaynik about how good a wife you have.

My downfalls are separate, conscience, and aluminimum--not ever sure if I've spelled it right there.

Soccer Dad said...

The woman in the house who beats me at word games is my 15 year old who now beats me in boggle regularly.
My wife doesn't play word games.
However for Yiddish words that have been accepted into English (or at least law see: http://www.jlaw.com/Commentary/SupremeChutzpah.html )

Batya said...

As an English teacher, I'm expected to have perfect spelling--gevalt! They should only know...

DTC said...

We're just glad that our childrens' school finally instituted spelling tests!

:-)

Jak Black said...

5. After hearing the correct spelling from my father-in-law (He's a Scrabble Champ, so we trust him on these things), instead of hemming and hawing to my wife, I turned to her, smiled and said, "You were right!"

Oy vey, you're an amateur. I always claim "alternate spelling" and begin sifting through the dictionaries :)

rockofgalilee said...

I'm more interested in knowing what you had to pay for losing the bet.

rockofgalilee said...

Also, (for Sarah) America stole the English language, fixed it and kept it. All they have left in Britain is the old and backwards British language.

Elchonon said...

ich farshteist yidish zeuhr gut! un ya der iz asach vegen tzu reden yidish.. polishe yidish.. yekke yidish etc.. ver veist ?

It all depends on which yidish you are speaking and how it is pronounced is how it is spelled.

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