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kvetching of a RL sort

Originally published at Faith Seeking Understanding. You can comment here or there.

… or at least a personal sort.

When I write, I use the wrong words. I don’t mean less than optimal words; I mean I get things twisted around in my head and use a similar-sounding word or repeat the same verb from the previous sentence. I don’t know why I do this. I try my hardest not to do this. I read and re-read but these things don’t jump out at me. It’s like being dyslexic with full words.

And I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I’ve always struggled with this to a certain degree but in the last several years it’s gotten worse. Toward the end of the MEFAs if I didn’t have someone proof my posts I’d end up saying things that were wrong, no matter how hard I tried to avoid it. I’ve seen it in my academic writing and especially with my blogging, which is usually rougher than my fic or professional writing is. It’s like I’m dyslexic but with full words or something.

I know I’m not stupid but it really, really feels like that sometimes. And it’s frustrating because inside my mind things really do make sense and are well-organized. They just don’t come out that way. It’s beyond frustrating, a lot of the times.

Thanks for hearing me out on this one, and thanks for everyone who can see past my “interesting” word choice or thinks I’m worth listening to anyway.


( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 4th, 2012 03:21 am (UTC)
Hmmm...honestly I've never noticed anything of the sort in your writing. I often do things in the same vein, like typing homophones or completely different words related to where my mind is wandering (which can be pretty funny, as you can imagine). Intuitively I would think that that kind of problem might be more common in people who read and write a lot, and quickly, and often under stress; we might tend to do it at a faster pace, and make more unconscious errors than we might if we didn't write so often. Or, we're so focused on content that we tend to pass over single-word mistakes.

Anyway, I imagine that overall it's fine, since you're aware of the problem (and really do know what you want to say), but I can imagine that that would be really frustrating.
Dec. 4th, 2012 06:14 am (UTC)
I'm glad it's not coming through too obviously to you. I notice it, and it's frustrating enough. Not so much because my point doesn't get through but because it just makes me feel intellectually clumsy. But it does help to know it's just in my head.
Dec. 4th, 2012 03:31 am (UTC)
I used to edit term papers for a woman who struggled with this, as well, though I don't think she realized it was an issue. She thought she was saying what she wanted to say and didn't realize the word she was actually using only sounded like the word she intended to write. I don't find it so difficult to see past the "sound alike" word to what is really meant, but I imagine it's still a frustrating thing for you, knowing you are sometimes doing this, and not being able to always catch yourself at it or correct yourself!
Dec. 4th, 2012 06:16 am (UTC)
Believe it or not, it helps to think I'm not the only one. One of the problems is it makes me feel *uniquely* like I don't have my act together. It's kind of like the internet equivalent of walking around with mismatched shoes - it feels like the first thing people notice about me is that I just am not coordinated and putting my best self forward.
Dec. 4th, 2012 04:07 am (UTC)
Huh. I do that occasionally, but not on a regular basis. It does sound like a certain kind of dyslexia, or maybe a written version of aphasia?

And of course, a spell-check is no use because if it's a real word it won't change it even if it's wrong. That must be so frustrating!


Dec. 4th, 2012 06:18 am (UTC)
I actually have some learning disabilities with written expression. I tended to "lose" words as I was writing sentences out and not understand directions easily. Maybe this is part of it? It's really getting to be a problem, if only in my head. But unloading a little bit does help.
Dec. 4th, 2012 02:42 pm (UTC)
Even professional authors seem to have similar problems. The only ways I've found around it is to read the final draft out loud before sending it on, or have a good editor who will catch those things for you.

- Erulisse (one L)
Dec. 4th, 2012 02:48 pm (UTC)
This is actually not uncommon. As you teach more, you will run into it more with your students. I discussed it with the Disabled Students office at one of the places where I worked (because that office was the blanket office for all sorts of things and the experts resided there). It can be a symptom of many things, including:

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Autism Spectrum Disorders
even impending migraines

Those are the things I remember off the top of my head. (Along with a symptom that a student might be suffering from a dependency problem involving narcotics like heroine, but clearly that is irrelevent in this context).

The point the person I spoke to was making was that in most of the syndromes associated with this, the problem seemed most pronounced when the person was expereincing stress. Gee, you are a grad student. Stress much? Naturally you do! I bet it gets better once you've been working in your field a while and feel more in command of your life. Hugs.
Dec. 4th, 2012 06:35 pm (UTC)
I edit for several professional writers who do that. And you have to believe me on this: their "polished" product contains many more of those errors than anything I see in your bloggery. So you're managing it much better. Hope that helps a bit. *hugs*
Dec. 5th, 2012 02:36 am (UTC)
When I am more stressed out than my usual stressed-out, I write the wrong words or leave out entire words. My brain seems to short out when it is on overload. I get the impression it is a pretty common problem.
Dec. 5th, 2012 05:28 am (UTC)
I sometimes type an entirely different word than the one I meant, but thought I was the only one! Often it's something else that is in my mind.I've never noticed anything amiss in your writing.

Edited at 2012-12-05 05:30 am (UTC)
Dec. 5th, 2012 08:30 am (UTC)
Well, yesterday I found myself typing "living delights" when I meant to say "living daylights"! And that's just one I managed to catch.
I think you manage to catch most of them.
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )



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