What's Not to Laugh?

Almost everything about aging–except grave illness and death–can be funny as well as disturbing. I try to find the funny and help us all get through it!

Archive for the month “December, 2012”

My year of blogging in review, courtesy of WordPress

WordPress is amazing! I received an email not only wishing me a happy new year, but also summing up the traffic and comments on the blog this past year. Here’s the report:

Here’s an excerpt:

The new Boeing 787 Dreamliner can carry about 250 passengers. This blog was viewed about 1,500 times in 2012. If it were a Dreamliner, it would take about 6 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Wanted: return of my ability to spell. Reward.

SpellingIt’s always the last place you look, but I swear I’ve looked everywhere, and yet my spelling ability eludes me. 

I was a good speller once. Not win-a-spelling-bee good, but good enough to write comfortably without having to look up a lot of words. A few were always a problem, like succumbed. I spelled it succombed and wondered why it looked wrong.  This was before the days of squiggly red underlines on screen to let you know that you’ve committed an error.

Even while playing Boggle, where the words are usually not very long (although a long one can be worth 11 points!), I have to stop and think: “Is it FUEL or FEUL? OK. I see it now. The former is right. But why did it take me a second to realize it? A number of words cause me to pause—words that I knew so well before. Before what? Before I became a senior citizen, that’s what!

I learned long ago that the ability to spell may be an in-born trait. I’ve known brilliant people who had trouble with spelling and had to have a dictionary nearby. (But there’s the obvious problem connected to the fact that you need to know how to spell a word to look it up.) I considered myself lucky because I had an innate ability to spell most everyday words. For new or technology-specific words, I learned to spell them shortly after I was introduced to them. For example, when I started at my company (36 years ago…where did the time go?), I was an editorial assistant and had to learn unfamiliar terms like “stoichiometric” and “molybdenum.” (And don’t think I didn’t have to look them up just now…)

I did promise you a reward if you found my long-lost ability to spell. I doubt that I’ll ever have to pay up, but if you do locate it and get it back into my brain, I vow to be on call to help anytime you have a spelling question. Between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. And not on weekends or holidays. Or days beginning with a T. (This offer applies to only one- or two-syllable words.) You’re welcome.

My select-a-word is on the fritz

A question for those of you in my age group (and I generously consider my age group to be between 50 and 70-something): Do you sometimes—or often—find that a word will just tumble out of your mouth without forethought about whether it’s the appropriate one? I hope you’ll say yes. Otherwise, I might worry.

Yesterday, I was talking with a friend and mentioned that it’s convenient for me to have a Dominick’s on my way home from work. As I said this, we were driving by the convenient Walgreen’s. Fortunately, I realized my mistake immediately. “I said Dominick’s, but I meant Walgreen’s,” I told her. I’m sure the diagnosis would be worse if I didn’t recognize the difference and my selection of the wrong one.

Even more troublesome, I give faulty directions to those who are foolish enough to ask me to guide them. The first time a friend and her family were driving to my home, I confidently told her to turn right when they came to a certain intersection. I swear I said “left,” because that was what I was thinking and picturing as I described the route to her. They got lost.

This is not the case of being unable to think of a word. I have plenty of those too. In this case, I don’t even stop to think of the word. My brain selects something from its overcrowded archives and shoots it out of my mouth.

If I were you, I’d listen very carefully to what I tell you. Then do your due diligence and check other sources before proceeding.

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