Saturday, April 01, 2006

Spell It Like You Read It

I used to be good at spelling. Really good. And then, post children - not so good. At first I blamed my children for eating my brain cells, but then I came to the rueful realisation that it was because my reading habits had changed. And it's all Al Gore's fault for inventing the internet. Stupid git.

Before the internet I read a lot of books - a LOT of books. After the internet, I read boards and later blogs. Guess which has the higher writing/reading level. Guess which will reinforce the spelling of longer, higher-level words.

After coming to that realisation, I made it a point to read more books again and my spelling started coming back up to snuff. Sadly, my typing still sucks, so it doesn't show.

Want to know how I learned to type? I hope so, since I'm about to launch into it.

When we moved back to the States, my parents chose Wisconsin as a landing place since my mom's cousin raved to my dad about the UW-Madison's history of Science program. My dad was going to go back for a Master's Degree in this field, so WI it was. As it happened, my dad - technology and gadgetry lover that he was - ended up in some computer classes and would sometimes need to go down to the lab at night to work on program assignments. This was still back in the day of 8" floppy discs. He would bring my sis and I and let us log in to the computers (username "Hello", password "100") and play "Adventure." Adventure was a text-only adventure game. Maybe you remember it: "You are in a field. To the north of you is a small white house." I didn't know how to type and this was ponderously slow, but oh, so fun. I played for hours and hours.

My dad bought our first computer - a Vic20 remember those? - when I was maybe 13ish. Wanna know how? He sold his plasma, LOL! Talk about blood, sweat and tears. He sold his plasma for $15 or $20 a shot and saved the dough for a computer. It had a tape drive. Cassette tape. Eventually he got a Commodore64 and a floppy drive. 5" discs this time. Somewhere in there I was introduced to Zork. As it turned out, Zork was the SAME GAME as Adventure! Bliss! I played for more hours and soon found that I actually knew where the letters were. By High School, I could type pretty fast (though I did have to delete and fix pretty often) and had NO intention of wasting my time taking a class because a) proper typing was for secretaries and I was NEVER going to be one of those! b) why waste time on something I could already do? (albeit really not all that well) and c) I was a rebel - I didn't need to learn to type "properly."

I never did learn the proper typing method. I still feel a little rebellious about even trying.

28 comments:

Poll said...

hello !

I like your blog !

Regards

Candace said...

Hi Poll! Thanks! And thanks for visiting and saying hi! :o)

Jaichan said...

Hahaha. I remember the Vic 20! My dad got us a Texas Instruments in 1981 or 82. It was great! My sisters and I had a blast. My cousin was so excited we had a computer that he told his class his uncle had bought a 'Testicle Instruments'.
Yeah. He's still trying to live that down.
I studied Gaelic for a year in university. St. Francis Xavier offers a degree in Celtic Studies. My grandmother would sing to us in Gaelic but she never really spoke it at home. But she had a lovely Gaelic accent all her life.

Candace said...

Testicle Instruments, LOL! Was that the old TRS-80? I remember that the affectionate (well, maybe it wasn't afectionate. . .) term was "Trash-80." That's the only reason I remember what it was called.

I'm so impressed that you went to a school that offered Gaelic. That's cool. :o) Do you remember any of the songs in particular? My sis's group, Navan (see sidebar) is always looking for new (old) material. :o)

Janet said...

Computer history makes me feel funny. Here I am, typing at this amazing, slim, futuristic masterpiece (courtesy of Apple. No, I am not a salesperson) otherwise known as a computer... but cassette tapes? It must have been a commpletely different species! Now that you come to it, I do have vague recollections of floppy discs that look like black sandpaper floating around my fourth grade classroom... but all the rest? One my have to hyponotize me to bring all of that back.

Oh yes, and I too realized after acquiring a laptop, that my spelling was lacking. I am now involved in War and Peace. I'll let you know if it gets any better.

Janet said...

*may.

See? Look at that spelling error! Ah!

Candace said...

Oh yeah - they WERE bumpy like sandpaper. And then when they came out with the 3.5" discs, those seemed soooo tiny. And they were in a hard case, but they were still called "floppy discs." :o)

The cassette tapes took like 15 mins (no kidding!) to boot the computer and they made a really weird noise if you put them in a tape player - like a FAX machine or somethng if I remember correctly.
Thanks for visiting! :o)

Candace said...

LOL! Maybe the advantage is that we read faster and completely skip over stuff like that. I had to read carefully to find what you meant. :o)

Candace said...

argh - someth*i*ng. . .

Rocket Surgeon, Phd said...

Highly enjoyable journal you keep here.

And probably the best name for one I've encountered thus far...

Candace said...

Thanks, Job - or perhaps Dr. Rocket! :o) And thanks for stopping in. :o)

Jaichan said...

http://www.gaeliccollege.edu/index.html is the link to the Gaelic College in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. I was born there, but I grew up in Halifax. The Rankin Family are from Cape Breton and sing heaps of Gaelic songs. My grandmother used to sing 'Ho Ro Mo Nighean Donn Bhoideach' to us as a lullaby. Mary Jane Lammond, a Gaelic singer, was in my Gaelic class at St. FX. She's a fantastic artist.

Candace said...

Wow! It gets better and better. :o) Thanks for the link and title. :o)

PS my 4 year old loves your Lego chef. She said "Oh! There's my guy that you made for me!" (my kids obviously have one of those, LOL!)

Faltenin said...

I also blame Word for letting me type in errors then underlining in red squiggly line, that I just correct without thinking. No ruler slapped across the knuckles or anything.

As for buying a computer... today, would people sell plasma to buy a plasma TV? Sounds like freakin Soylent Green.

Candace said...

HAHAHA! Plasma TV, LOL!

I hateses the red squigglesly linses! Nasssty little proccessors.

I find that it's slightly less anoying in Open Office because it's, well, prettier. It's a nicer wave - lower frequency.

I like the auto correct that changes teh to the. :oP

I hate the green squiggly line, too, because Word is more often than not ignorant in the grammatical arena. Open Office hasn't given me the green squiggly line yet. I love me some Tux. :o) And no damn paperclip tapping on the freakin' screen. Yaaaaay! Although I did transmogrify that into a cute pussy once. :o)

Jenna Howard said...

I'm an Apple snob. I remember when dad brought home the Apple IIe. That beautiful monitor with the green type. The huge 5" floppies. The game lemonade stand (which was my favorite). Then the color monitors came along and we were all "oooh." I'm such a mac snob. I was traumatized when I had to work on PC...mostly because they never worked for me. At school they'd always crap out (they knew I hated them) and the prof said "We should have you go on every computer so we know what ones are broken." Ha-ha. My friend asked me what PC stood for and I answered "Piece of crap." She looked at me. "Serious." And IBM? It's Better Manually.

SUCH a mac snob.

And autocorrect is awesome. AWESOME! I hate the green squiggly lines though because my grammar is attrocious. I usually turn off the grammar function because it's my monitor usually looks like ~~~~~~~~~ in green...25 lines of it. I'm so stunned my editors haven't killed me.

PS - thanks for the linky love!

Candace said...

Whoa! I remember Lemonade Stand! Our neighbours - well the dad - was big into compters early on and brought over a PET for us to play with. And early Hack was on there, too. Remember the game with "&" for dragons? My 1 likes to play NetHack on the Linux box. Still primitve as ever, LOL! But she loves it.

yay - I'm not alone in my hatred of green squiggles!

As for linky - I meant to do it before but kept forgetting til dh begged me to, LOL! :o)

Candace said...

And by "1" I of course meant "10 year old. WTH happened there?? :oP

Faltenin said...

Jen - LOL

If it's 5" and floppy, it's NOT huge and it's nothing to remember...

Jay said...

Did your dad really do that? Because that's just crazy to me, and I can't help but see that you've posted this on April 1st...I mean, it's incredibly sweet, but a little unreal to me (especially since in Canada you can only donate bodily fluids, and not be recompensed for it).

I'm glad you blame Al Gore though, that totally makes my day.

tshsmom said...

That's EXACTLY how we started computing! My husband started us with a Vic20, then Comm64. We got our first PC, 10 yrs ago, and hooked to the internet 5 yrs ago.
BTW, those text games are available online. Z recently got into them.
I ABHOR that paper clip on Word!! Z disables him for me. ;) That green line keeps telling me that I'm mispelling my own son's name!

Fal, are we starting that "swollen head" thing again? LOL

Candace said...

LOL Fal! *grin*

Jay, he truly did, I kid you not. Though if I'd been on my game, I really should have posted some total BS for April Fool's Day. Can't believe I missed that window! You can still donate at the same place just off the University campus. A lot of students pick up some cash that way. :o) Myself, I did guinea-pig stuff for the Speech and Sleep clinics.

TSmom - I wonder how many people took that path. I bet there were quite a few! I'll have to find Zork - oh my. I can just see myself getting sucked in. "You are in a maze of twisty turny little passages, all alike."

Buffy said...

I'm a magazine junkie. Fashion mags with large product pictures. It's horrible. I've tried to quit.

Candace said...

Oh yeah - mags are culprits, too - not a lot of depth or vocab, but so easy to read in short snatches of time. It's a slippery slope, isn't it? LOL!

Thanks for stopping in - I'd never have found your COOL blog otherwise. :o)

Jenna Howard said...

Oh well then...give that dh a big ol smooch for me! That just means your DH is tres cool.

And Fal, my dear, 5" floppies are always memorable.

We still have all of them in my parents' garage. What the hell we're going to do with them. I lost a lot of my angst writing when drives switched over to 3.5". I was devestated. De-ve-stated. I don't remember a lot of the IIe games because then we got...oooh...an Atari and were the coolest kids on the block (natch of course). It still works and is up at my aunt's & uncle's in Edmonton.

Candace said...

Will do! Yeah, he is definitely tres cool. :o)

josh williams said...

Candace my first sailboat was a Ghost 13, I had a gift for turtling the poor craft.

Candace said...

No way! Yeah - we turtled ours the first time out, LOL! Turns out we forgot to put in the plug (d'oh!!!) and the hull was filling with water. We were on a small lake that we *later* learned was notorious for sudden changes in wind direction due to the lie of the surrounding land, and as we quick went to sort of hike out after one of these changes, there was a delay, and then all of a sudden the boat flipped. The water in the hull had worked against us initially, then come to join us, LOL! And then the mast got stuck in the weeds at the bottom of the lake. :oP What a first trip out.