grEy, grAy, or graVy?

I’m starting this post with a quick PSA. If you didn’t know already, I am about to blow all y’alls minds! The spelling of both grey and gray are correct. The one spelt with an ‘e’ is more commonly used in England, or countries who speak British English (get it? E for England). And if you can put two and two together, I’m sure you’ve guessed that the one with that uses an ‘a’ is usually seen in America (way to go us, being petty and changing letters just because we can). Anyways, this confused me for years, and I can honestly say that I can’t tell you which one I used up till the point that I discovered it, and even now I think I have the problem of switching the spelling every time I write it. But here is something that I’ve heard and actually is frustrating. I had someone ask me once which way was correct. As I told them both, they gave me a puzzled look. You see, their teacher had told them that spelling it with an ‘e’ was incorrect and gave them a bad mark on their assignment because of the error. I was frustrated. Why on earth would you mark someone down for their own personal way of spelling. I mean that argument doesn’t work in all cases, but seriously! Spelling it with an ‘e’ is correct! In fact it is the original way of spelling it, just like colour and armour. America was just so fed up with the British that they decided to take everything they could out of it. So they changed words, mixed up letters, deleted some, and drive on the opposite side of the road. (To be fair though, we can blame Webster for all this. He decided to write books to sort out the mess of people not knowing the proper spelling for words, because there really wasn’t any. And to top it off, he wanted to help America take away Britain’s language control. To do this he decided to have words be spelled as they sound, and lop off any unnecessary letters. So yeah if this confuses you, blame him.)

Now after that rant on words, I’m sure you’re wondering, or even if you’re not (Mwahaha), why on earth this title would include the word “gravy”. I was talking about spelling before, why now talk about gravy. Well, I’m not actually in the mind to be discussing gravy itself, although if you want me too, uh leave a comment maybe I’ll rant and rave about gravy, never know unless you try right? Actually I want to talk more on its spelling and how my brain moves too fast for my eyes. On Sunday, my mom texted me and asked, “If you get the chance can you grab the gray pot with pink flowers in it please.” I had time before I was heading out the door to attend Church, so I started looking around. But I couldn’t find it, so I go to my dad and ask him if he has seen a “gravy” pot with pink flowers in it. (At this point in time, I had read the text too quickly and had added in the extra letter) He said no, so I continue my search asking for where it is, eventually inquiring of my brother if he has seen a “gravy pot with pink flowers”. He says yes and brings me to a “gray pot” of the description. He heard gray when I spoke, actually making him correct and me sadly lost. I quickly text my mom, “Where is it? and did you mean GRAY?” She replies with, didn’t I say gray? I glace up the line of messages and read. It says gray. Plain and simple gray. I apparently have been in error and just can’t read. Which is a problem being an English major. But, this isn’t the first time a problem like this has occurred!

See there is a trick with our brains. I’m sure most people have seen it, and or tested it out. The theory is, if you take a word, and you mix up the letters, just so long as the first and last letter are the same as normal, your brain can read it fine. I’ve done a test like this before, and it works. Pretty easily I might add. But here is the problem. There are a lot, and I mean a LOT of words out there that begin and end with the same letters. And sometimes, my brain works too fast for my eyes. I’m constantly doing double takes because I’ll glance as a sign or read a sentence and think “that doesn’t make sense”, or “why on earth is that written on a sign!?” Most of the time it makes me laugh at my mistake, but it happens so often that I’ve begun to confuse myself. (I mean I guess not really, but still it’s weird). I sometimes feel like I’m dyslexic, because I mix up numbers too. But as I write these words, everything looks and reads fine. So I’m just making the assumption that my brain just skips middle words most of the time. Which is why the messy word theory works. Because, middle letters don’t matter, and your brain just reads the first and last ones. Which is frustrating when you’re trying to be efficient and end up just making a fool of yourself because you just process the world faster than your eyes can take it in.

Image result for paragraph with first and last letters correctThis is an example of a paragraph I was talking about. And if this is true, well then my brain is the cause for this rigmarole.

But in the end, I guess it’s a good thing. Because it makes me slow down and reread things, so that I know for sure I’m getting what I should out of either a piece of literature, or I guess now text messages. Doesn’t mean I enjoy making myself look and sound like a fool.


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