Historically, I’ve been a fair to poor speller. I’ve always chalked it up to skipping third grade, which I somehow managed to convince myself was the “learn to spell” grade (I place that phrase in quotes because it was my most recent google search). My problems have mostly centered around homophones and double letters, though I’ve been known to come up with some flat out ridiculous spellings.

The root of all of this: mostly intellectual laziness mixed with the fact that I was part of that first generation that grew up with personal computers. Even before I really learned to write (and by that I mean really learned to produce something cogent, or at least arguably so), my words were processed. The spelling was almost automatically checked and corrected without me having to ever get it right, just so long as I was close enough, and so I learned not to spell, but to be close enough. It’s quite pitiful really.

The reason I bring this up now is because when I documented my recent baking experience with the chocolate torte, I realized to my surprise that I had spent 29 years on this planet without learning how to spell raspberry. At first I typed ‘rasberry’, but that didn’t look right, then I tried two ‘s’es, but that wasn’t any better. I was debating the merits of throwing a zed in there (calling it ‘zed’ is my nod to the British, by the way) when I decided to just look it up and boy was I surprised. A ‘p’? Who the hell pronounces it that way? Rasp-berry? Strange, maybe the little faceted, knobby shape looked something like a rasp? So, I was simultaneously astounded by the spelling, and of course my ignorance, which is always a nice moment.


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