can't help but feel the shame

As someone who holds a degree from a prestigious journalism school from a premier public institution of this country, someone who scored a 94% on the spelling and grammar exam that makes most j-schoolers shudder with fear, someone who once aspired to be a copy editor for a large newspaper and VERY WELL COULD HAVE, someone who staffed multiple publications and oversaw one of them while in school, someone who was awarded a top-shelf internship through the Dow Jones Newspaper Fund, someone who placed a heavy emphasis on the study of English, grammar, the history of English, linguistics, and the like...

I am ashamed to admit that a couple of years and one traumatic head injury later, I could only identify 10 of the 15 misspelled words on this quiz.

Seriously. I even spent a semester studying DICTIONARIES, and I only got two-thirds right. That's a failing grade, if I recall my college days correctly. Next thing you know, I'll be messing up my subject-verb number agreement and putting all kinds of errant it's gaffes all over the place. *involuntary shudder*

I was wallowing in dejectedness when I noticed a link at the bottom of the site. "See a list of the 100 most often misspelled words" it said. And that reminded me of the enormous list of spelling words that were to be included on the S&G. (Really, that test was a beast.) And I have now resolved to find my copy of that book, or acquire a new copy, and re-learn the English language that I once loved so dearly.


  1. Are you possibly speaking of UNC's journalism school? If so, I'm with you! That spelling and grammar examine was a bitch, but I passed first try.

    Yet now I find myself I constantly questioning "its" vs. "it's."

    Where does the knowledge go?

  2. Yes, I am! There's not much that I'm more proud of than that score. Ok, maybe that's an exaggeration, but it still appears on my resume. What year did you graduate?

  3. I graduated in 2000. I guessed it was UNC because that's the only place I've heard people say "j-schoolers."

    You got me hooked on those encarta tests. I scored a 14/15 and was so pissed! I got a little neurotic trying to get a perfect score on some of the others. No luck. At least I passed the "real" spelling & grammar test.

  4. Good for you for passing it on the first try! I took it my first semester in jschool, sophomore year, and scored a 69. I hadn't cracked a book for it, I'd just wanted to see what it was all about. WELL. I didn't like the tail-kicking so I decided to kick its tail right back. I still have all my notes from the grammar slammers. What was your sequence and who was your favorite prof? (for me, news/ed and Bill Cloud)


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