Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Blogging from A to Z Challenge: It's Just Spelling

Hello and welcome to the Focused on Story Blog. We are blogging through the alphabet this month. I'm writing about words that fascinate me. If you're a Word Nerd, you're in the right place.

The conventional spelling system of a language, the Oxford Dictionary

In the eighth grade a new subject, Orthography, was introduced to our class. We felt pretty special knowing we were the first class to have it. Come to find out, it was a fancy name for spelling which we’d had since first grade! We must have had some forward-thinking educators in our school in order to allow us to have the new books. My school was small, only 42 in our graduating class. And yet, our teachers kept up with the new methods of teaching. Very proud and thankful for them.

Orthography--a fancy name for spelling

I was fascinated with the words in this small orange book. I believe this is the subject that shaped me into a Word Nerd. I never put this together until I began this challenge.

Not only did we learn the spelling, punctuation, capitalization of words, we also studied root words and the changes in the meanings when adding prefixes and suffixes.           

Prefixes like anti-. bi-, dis-, pre-, are added to the beginnings of a root word. Suffixes like –ing,-ed, and –s are added to the end of the word. Breaking an unfamiliar word down into the root word and discovering the add-ons to it helps determine its meaning.

Do you remember bragging about how you could spell antidisestablishmentarianism when you were a kid? What a great example of breaking the word down to the root word to understand its meaning. anti- + disestablishment + -arian + -ism. Just in case you could spell it, but didn’t have the slightest idea of its meaning, the definition is “opposition to the belief that there should no longer be an official church in a country.”

I bet you thought you had learned to spell the longest word in the English language. I was deflated to learn it is not the longest word. According to Wikipedia, the longest word is “pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis, a word that “refers to a lung disease contracted from the inhalation of very fine silica particles, specifically from a volcano; medically, it is the same as silicosis.”

Did you have Orthography as a subject when you were in school? Do you have a teacher who helped shape you into a writer? Please share his/her name and how he/she influenced you?

of all participants who signed up
for the #AtoZchallenge 2018.


Anonymous said...

I loved spelling, except for 6th grade, where we had to do these awful "word form" cards which turned the magic of language into a chore to be dreaded. I'm so glad you had such a wonderful experience though! (Great words, BTW)
O is For (Books About) Overcoming

J.Q. Rose said...

Hi Doree, So sorry spelling was ruined for you. I remember chopping up sentences and hated tearing them apart to figure out verb, adjective, etc. But now, as a writer, I'm glad I had to do that. Glad you're enjoying my words!

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