I often hear people say, “I’m no good at spelling.” Is it possibly just another skill that must be learned through practice, much like any other skill?
I left high school with an A+ in English and a typing speed of 74 words per minute. I thought I was pretty good. I left business college with a typing speed of 86 words per minute and thought I was even better at English. Once finishing VCE English, some years later, I thought I had it nailed. I’d left school, so surely I had learnt everything I needed to know. Little did I really know.
Since discovering the world of transcription, I have been exposed to thousands of conversations with speakers using words I couldn’t even dream of using in a conversation, and I know there are many more to come. I had never given a thought to homonyms such a ‘compliment’ and ‘complement’ before. I had no idea there was a word spelt ‘payed’ and that I had been using ‘diffuse’ incorrectly instead of ‘defuse’.
I thought I was good at English, only to find that I could improve, and my spelling and grammar have improved tenfold over the last few years, along with my typing speed which scares even me sometimes. I am lucky as I can learn as I work.
My point is there is no need to accept mediocrity. If there is something you know you’re not good at, but wish to improve, then practise. In the case of spelling and grammar, read podcast transcripts, newspaper articles, blogs, etcetera or start writing your own material which may force you to research unknown words. In our fast-paced technological word, many of us spend a lot of time listening and watching content and a lot less time reading.
What skill would you like to improve?