Is It “i” Before “e” Or What?

The latest in writing wonders from my daughter

The latest in writing wonders from my daughter

It’s time for a semi-regular feature here that I like to call “Just What In The HELL Is My Kid Trying To Spell?” And it’s brought to you by a printed version of what I think might be the English language.

I say this because as my kid is practicing writing words, I sometimes wonder if she isn’t actually writing with her feet. Yes, I know that no one comes out of the womb a stone-cold spelling machine with perfect penmanship. But looking at some of the stuff that has come out of my daughter’s pencil, I’m beginning to think she is being trained in a newly invented font called “Hostage Ransom Note.”

Of course, since this is my six-year-old daughter, my first born, that I am talking about, I say all of this with love. But, based on her handwriting, I also say it with a bit of confusion, too. So, let’s look at some of her latest handiwork and see if we can translate it into regular English:

Maddo’s writing: Whales have blubr

What is really says: Whales have blubber

Comments: Hey, not bad out of the gate, kiddo! That one was almost 100% correct. “Blubr” or “Blubber”, I don’t think the whale really cares as long as he has plenty of it.

Maddo’s writing: Whales have wan[na] babey at a tim

What it really says: Whales have one baby at a time

Comments: Another one that was almost all the way there and close enough to figure out without any help without help from the grammar EMTs. Bonus points for Maddo sounding like an Italian deli owner with “ONE-AH-BA-BEE-AT-A-TIME!”

Maddo’s writing: Whales have bo hols

What it really says: Whales have blowholes

Comments: OK, so we lose the playbook a little on this one. “Bo hols” sound like it could the name of some band of bearded hipsters, and no whales need anything like that round them.

Maddo’s writing: Whales can brete udrwadr for in awr

What it really says: Whales can breathe underwater for an hour

Comments: Wow. Someone’s gotten into the liquor cabinet. Either that, or Maddo is adopting some kind of Welsh-like spelling here where seventeen consonants interrupted by one vowel can be used to spell the equivalent of “pork chop”.

In any case, the kid is getting better, letters are ending up in the right places more often than not and you don’t need a United Nations translator to spell everything out for you. That is, unless your babey’s blubr blocks up its bo hols uderwader and it becomes too hard to brete. Then you best call those grammar EMTs for some help.

 

 

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