Spelling Friday.

I am fed up with adults who can’t fookin’ spell! People on Facebook are the very worst offenders for this and its starting to really get up my nose.

So, for those of you who are in any doubt as to which words to use when; here’s a little copy and keep for reference

Your = as in it’s something belonging to you (your ball, your house)

You’re = you are (the apostrophe replaces the ‘a’) – you’re going out later?

There = generally a location or referring to a point in time as a statement. I’m going over there, there is a dog over there. There, I said it.

Their = something belonging to a 3rd person or a group of other people – their socks, their ball. Johnny, can you give their ball back

They’re = they are – same as you’re = the apostrophe is a dropped ‘a’ They’re going over there to fetch their ball.

You cannot use any of these words interchangeably.

There ball = means (as a 2 year old might say) = there’s a ball just there.
Your so funny = that something called ‘so funny’ (a racehorse perhaps?) belongs to you.
It’s over their = its over their what? head? like spelling?

Gah! this is stuff you learned in primary school!!

Next lesson – basic punctuation, capitalisation and full stops. When and where to use.


God Bless America

Lets get this absolutely clear. I love America. Many wonderful and amazing things come from there.

The world invents something, often Japan, the plucky Brits, the odd Frenchman – and America runs with it and turns it into something amazing.

Take the modern internet (but h/t to top Brit Tim Berners-Lee for actually inventing it) for example – there’s no doubt that the US is the centre of the internet these days – I have no idea where this page is actually physically hosted, but I’ll bet it’s in the good ole USA.

This trusty and very desirable MacBook Pro that I am typing on – it’s a computer, invented in other places, manufactured in China or Japan or Taiwan or someplace, but designed (by an Englishman as it happens) and lovingly created in, yup, you guessed it, America. You don’t see the Brits or the Spanish or the Australians doing stuff like this. I don’t know why really.

Anyway, on to my point, and this is where many of my American friends will have to take a breath and realise I am not having a go at them, not at all. I love you guys (to coin a phrase). So, the story:

My wife (tee hee, still makes me giggle) is writing a book – it’s an Australian book, Aussie characters who say Aussie things. She went on a forum for critique, and got slammed for stuff that really highlights something deeper.

She got big red underlining and very rude comments for spelling. Words like neighbour, colour, realised, specialised, mum (I’ll come back to this one) and recognised.

Now, lets just take a minute here – these words are actually spelt like this everywhere outside of America – its quite well known. The dropped ‘u’ and ‘z’ instead of ‘s’ are American specific spellings. Now, when we get books and magazines from the US over here, we don’t melt in a puddle of rage at the misspelling, so why should everyone else in the world have to pander to them?

She also got slated in her book for things like when kids leave school, when they get a driving licence, car types and names, the use of the word ‘Ma’ when describing your mother (it ‘has’ to be Mom, apparently, ‘Ma’ is too redneck). Well, I’ve got news for you, America – people from Yorkshire who have emigrated to Australia often call their mothers ‘Ma’ – more to the point – no one outside of the US calls their mothers ‘mom’, but somehow in books and films that get exported around the world from America, we can get past this fact as we know that’s just the way it is in America, things are different, its ok.

So – why do we have to change stuff that’s not American? Why does Hugh Laurie, an English actor famous for his voice, have to play Dr House with an American accent when it’s not relevant to the story?

Listen up America – there’s a whole wide world out there that does things differently, spells stuff the differently (some may even say the correct and original way, but you’re big enough and ugly enough to have your own way if you want) and speaks differently. This is a good thing and we’ll be buggered if we’re going to change stuff to suit you.

Celebrate the differences, understand there are differences for good reasons and don’t try to make everything uniform American colour. I want to see actors from Australia (Sam Worthington in Avatar for example) speak with an Aussie accent in films – why should he have to speak with an American accent – hell, other people in the film speak with different accents – I don’t get it.

So, America, I love you, but I will never spell colour as color or attempt to disguise my (very) English accent. It’s what makes me me.