Saturday, August 26, 2006

Grey skies


Last night a random woman at the grocery store said I "look smart" and asked me how to spell the name of the town just east of where I live. I answered, but I don't know if I was right because I have a terrible weakness: a spelling deficiency.

Those of you who know me realize that I am not exaggerating when I say that I really do have terrible spelling problems, problems that are sometimes incongruous with other elements of my life. For example, before returning to school to pursue my PhD, I worked at a writing center for five years--that's correct, a girl who can't spell her way out of a paper bag helped college students refine their writing for five years. As a teaching assistant, my current source of financial support, my students correct my spelling on a regular basis. I have become very dependent on various "spell-check" devices, and I rarely have confidence in my ability to spot the difference between correctly and incorrectly spelled words.

Thus, today when beginning my blog, I didn't know if my title should be "Grey skies" or "Gray skies." Entering both into my word processing program didn't clarify the situation because both spell something, and the thesaurus function in my computer was also unhelpful. The entire time I had a hunch that "gray" is correct as a color, and "grey" is used in other situations such as "greyhound," etc. Yet, I needed to find confirmation.

After a bit of hunting, I made a discovery. According to Wikipedia's entry on variations in American and English spelling, the correct American way to spell the humble color follows my earlier hunch—gray. But, it is acceptable to follow the British spelling when one wants to attribute a positive aspect to the color, instead of dwelling on dull or negative connotations associated with "grayness."


And, although it is overcast at the beach today, I do not find it dull or depressing. I think it is lovely. As a child of the pacific northwest, I find grey skies homey and rather pleasant. Life would get boring if the sky were always blue. (Plus, when the skies are grey, there are less tourists crowding my little town.)

I want to proudly point out that I have 11 colors of fish at this point in my blanket (not all are in the picture below). Two of those colors are grey, and I like them. Grey fishes, and skies, are a source of joy in my life.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Cuz u cnt spll dont make me no diference.

Apple jack

Yr Big Sister! said...

Do you remember when we were little girls I used to tell you that when the sky was all white it was because the fairies were visiting us? It's nice to see your fishys in their pretty pattern. I don't know how to spell very well either. It's sunny in Olympia now. I love you!