Nemesis Word Blues

This blog post is on nemesis words and it’s all because of this one Instant Message Chat between myself and my equally obsessed spelling fiend of a Cousin. Pardon the lack of grammatical placement even though I know your blood is boiling.

Calling someone a “white ass cracker” never felt so right.

The Cousin: ugh for the life of me i cant spell albuquerque right on the first try EVER

Me: hah i can never spell rthym




 The Cousin: rhythm

 Me: that’s my nemesis word

here let me try



 The Cousin: YES ITS SO HARD

to spell


honestly my nemesis word is accidentally

or is it accidently

OMG i can never remember

 Me: no u had it right

you know, i think ill do a blog post on nemesis words

And there we have it. This little chat evidences the torment we feel when words are needed to be spelled but they just won’t come. At least on the first try. The words that continuously haunt us. We may be damn good spellers we’re nothing when it’s a showdown between misspell and donkey punch.

Wait. What?

Now I’ll admit it. I’m a grammar Nazi.

The Raptor really brings this message together

I pride myself on being a damn good speller, I can spell superfragilisticexpialidocious in one fell swoop, and know the difference between there-their-they’re like a BOSS, but I’m not afraid to admit there are words out there that stump me. Everyone has a word nemesis. If you don’t then you’re a LIAR LIAR PANTS ON FIRE. Maybe it’s only one lone word that sneaks up from the depths to claim your linguistic soul or maybe it’s a few.

Either way, sometimes my brain can’t wrap their synapses around phrasing or proper I-before-E etiquette.

So as I do most nights, I’m throwing shame out the window (along with my bra because who needs that?) to confess the words that give me pause and give me tantrums like a three-year-old.

Rhythm (I got this down now)

Carribean            Caribbean

Supposedly or Supposebly

Judgemental   I always add that damn E

Cemetary   Cemetery

I have about four big ones that occasionally pop up. It’s not too bad but it baffles the mind why I’m still not able to log these down to memory. Luckily, I keep a copy of The Elements of Style handy and randomly give it a read whenever I need to refresh my skillz skills. In fact, I flog myself with it daily.

As a handy side note, Googling “spelling photos” made me look at waaaaaaaay more photos of Tori Spelling than I’d like to. Although now I really want to watch the Lifetime classic “Mother, May I Sleep with Danger?”

“I’d rather stay celibate, thank you.”

 So I implore you, good writers and fellow heathens, what’s your nemesis word? Confess it here on my blog and I promise I won’t touch you in inappropriate places.

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  • Reply

    Michael Gillan Maxwell

    May 6, 2012 at 8:38 pm

    Funny you should mention it, but “rhythm” is my ABSOLUTE nemesis word, in fact I just had to use my spellchecker to get it right.That first “h” always gets me and I always expect another “y” in there. “License” is the other one. Never get it right on the first pass. I misspelled “Merrimack” incorrectly twice already today. “Bon Appétit” threw me earlier today when I was writing a Lunch Lady Cookbook recipe. (In fact I just copied and pasted it here from Wikipedia) I thinks of meself as a good speller too. My knuckles didn’t get this way from draggin’ on the ground. Years of ruler wielding Franciscan nuns in full battle regalia will make a good speller out of most anyone. Damn you Autocorrect! Don’t you know I’m a genius????

  • Reply

    Ali Trotta

    May 7, 2012 at 2:57 pm

    Oh, I have so many. Genius (I always want to put an i after the e), lightening (instead of lightning), and believe (I want to switch the i and e). There are more, I know, but I can’t think of them off-hand — which means I’ll be back! *grin* Great post!

  • Reply

    Michael Gillan Maxwell

    May 7, 2012 at 5:23 pm


    • Reply


      June 1, 2012 at 6:28 am

      Nothing like taking over Sean’s LJ!! LOL And hell yes I have IM! Who do you think I am?!? ROFLUm which one do you want? Yahoo and MSN are emily83176, AOL is emlaomu83176 and I use gtalk too which goes to my address. I adore IM ~ it’s what gets me through the day!Why isn’t Sean on IM too?!?

  • Reply


    May 9, 2012 at 2:37 am

    Good ones all around…thanks for reading!

  • Reply


    May 24, 2012 at 2:24 pm

    Ugh, I have a couple too, and it ALWAYS drives me nuts! One of them is embarrassing. Is that right? Is it always two r’s and two s’s….or is it one r and two s’s? This one I always get correct: definitely. But people always spell it definately. Come on people. It’s like “infinite.” Get it right!

  • Reply


    May 25, 2012 at 3:09 pm

    weird (weird, huh?); fillet/filet (still have to Google it every time); millennium (Why the second “n”? Really, why?) I could go on.

    • Reply


      June 3, 2012 at 6:25 am

      ugh, good ones. fillet/filet kills me — i still don’t know!

  • Reply

    Hubert O'Hearn

    June 3, 2012 at 12:21 am

    I share a disdain of rhythm with you. I suspect that may have to do with being raised Catholic. Also vacuum, which I suspect may have to do with neing raised Canadian. Outsides of dose, nuthing muche.

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