Top Five Words That Need Spelling Updates

Even though your an “adult” and “intelligent” now, admit it: you still hate spelling. There are certain words that just bother you when you type them. They don’t look right, you always have to right-click for the spell check, and they will probably continue to confound you until your old and don’t care about anything, especially spelling.

After weeks of research, I have determined the five worst offending words. I hope you leave leave this post as angry as I was while writing it.

5. Guarantee

I garantee that if the “u” was dropped from “guarantee,” middle school placement scores across the country would improve 50 percent overnight. “Guarantee” has got to be the most misspelled word among pre-adolescents, and for many (me), this fault is carried into later years.

It is such an epically illogic spelling. I don’t understand why society forces people to learn how to spell words whose letter structure makes absolutely no sense to anyone. The ultimate result is a loss of personal time in memorizing peculiar spellings, and a loss of confidence in your ability to spell any word, because you never know when a fucking silent “u” is going to show up.

As an aside- you know those seemingly random correlations between objects your mind creates over time? Like maybe whenever you look at a wooden staircase you think of a cup of soup for some reason? Well, whenever I think of “guarantee” I think of an angry gorilla. Why? Because sometime in elementary school I saw “guarantee” written on a chalkboard, and I pictured the “u” as an angry gorilla that wanted to get to the front of the letter line, violently tearing the “g” to shreds in the process.

I hate angry gorillas, and therefore I hate you, “u.”

(Except this guy. He can be angry all he wants.)

“The fuck you lookin’ at, Karl?? You know I hate when people look at me like that, Karl…”

4. Successfully

In my own personal version of world history (a much more entertaining version, mind you), the same person that invented the spelling for “Mississippi” invented “successfully” as well.

That person was a dick; just a bitter, lonely man shacked up in a small cabin in the mountains, relegated to a life of forever spelling

The originator of “Mississippi,” in my version of history

words. The punishment handed down by his country for an unspeakable crime he committed in his youth. Life can be so cruel.

“Mississippi” was his first chance to get back at those who cast him away; his goal to forever frustrate anyone looking to pass third grade geography. Only it backfired, and it subsequently became every third grader’s favorite word (“m-i-s-s-i-s-s-i-p-p…I!!!!”). The sound of children’s laughter after reaching the final “I” was cacophony to his ears, and daggers in his cold, blackened heart.

Well, he came back and hit the nail on the head with “successfully,” since it’s a much more boring word. Nobody cares about finally reaching the “y” in “successfully.” The amount of times you trip over the red squiggly lines in Word  while doing so leaves you barely limping over the finish line.

3. Jewelry

The toughest part about “jewelry” is that the more you try to figure it out, that farther away you get from its correct spelling. From a purely technical standpoint it is the most frustrating word on this list. It’s the Michael Jordan of horribly spelled words, always getting into your head, breaking down your game from the inside out.

Try it out for a second. Without looking at the spelling, say the word out loud. If you’re from the northeast especially, it’s going to come out sounding like “joolry” or “joolery.” Now look at the word: “Joo-well-ry”? That sure as hell ain’t right, is it?

The worst part is that I don’t have any recommendation as to how to spell it properly. Can we just change it to “shiny stuff girls and David Ortiz like”? A few more syllables, a lot less confusion.

Wouldn’t it be more fun if a word was named after this guy??

2. Segue

In case you don’t know, this word is pronounced “segway,” as in let’s segue from the topic of ludicrous spelling (more on that later).

Does that look like “seg-way” to you? It appears like it should be something sounding like “sejooowe,” an exotic French sauce, perhaps,

“Wait…that’s not how ‘segue’ is spelled…WHOAAAAAA”

or the noise I made when waking up from wisdom teeth surgery.

How about we kill two birds with one stone, spelling this mess of a word correctly while also redeeming what was arguably the biggest technological bust of the past 20 years, the motorized Segway? If that useless contraption can be remembered for anything other than making G.W. Bush look not just like a dummy, but an uncoordinated dummy, let us take its spelling and apply it to a word that people actually still use every now and then.

1. Ludicrous

I’ve often wondered- in 50 years what segment of contemporary American civilization will be remembered more for their ridiculous language: rappers, or nerds?

Rappers: “We got the swag sauce, she be drippin’ swagu.” (Kanye, 2011)

Nerd: “I just linked my Quora account to Instagram AND foursquare, automating my tweets. #YOLO”

Or the dreaded combination of both

I would argue rappers, because not only have they become known for introducing nonsensical vernacular into popular culture for the better part of 30 years now, but one rapper in particular has changed an entire generation’s conception of the spelling of a centuries-old word.

That rapper is Ludacris.

For everyone around my age and younger, we were first introduced to Ludacris before we knew what “ludicrous” meant. A few years later, when we realized that his name was, in fact, another word, we decided to start using it, only we never ventured to question whether his spelling was 100% correct.

I don’t know a single person under the age of 30 that has at one point in their life started spelling it “L-U-D-A…” before catching themselves (or not catching themselves). It must have driven teachers absolutely nuts to know that we were raised on the vocabulary uttered by a man who named his two biggest albums “Word of Mouf” and “Chicken-n-Beer.”

But, what are you going to do. If it’s OK with Obama, it’s OK with me.

“OK, on three. 1…2…3…YOLO!”

Ludacris has taken a word, simplified it to its basic phonetic form, and directed his country to spell it in a way that makes sense. We have followed.

And for that I applaud you, Luda. I applaud you. Now go make another Fast & Furious you glorious man.


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