Spell-check

Dawn over the Cow and Calf

I’ve been upsetting the spell-check facility on my computer a lot lately. It doesn’t seem to take much some days. It has never been keen on the fact that I write quite a lot in French for a start. But it can handle that, reluctantly, once it has had time to think about things for a minute or two. It simply sighs and switches dictionary. You can almost hear it grumbling under its breath as the fan kicks in.

It offers a minimal amount of protest for the odd bit of Latin. Perhaps it assumes I am being academic and doesn’t like to admit it doesn’t understand.

It has never been happy about some of the more arcane languages that creep in when I am writing on esoteric subjects. It has grudgingly opened the dictionary for me to add Hebrew words, and will permit me to include ancient Egyptian names, as long as they are written with an upper case letter. It has, of course, completely lost its temper on the odd occasion where I have transcribed Enochian, underlining whole paragraphs in violent red.

But the worst offender, as far as spell-check is concerned, is nothing so eldritch or profound. It is the dialect of my home. It seems to think I am being deliberately provocative, and underlines every word, space, punctuation mark and spelling with every virulent colour at its disposal. It completely withdraws the ‘add to dictionary’ facility in high dudgeon and persistently reinstates every coloured line as soon as I tell it to ‘ignore’. And let’s not even begin to explore its attitude to Yorkshire grammar…

yorkshire-rose-leeds-flag

It is, of course, well known that Yorkshire is ‘God’s Own County’. It says so on Wikipedia, so it must be true. It therefore follows that its language should be accorded a certain reverence. Perhaps spell-check is simply in awe? Even the ‘national’ anthem of Yorkshire is in dialect, for goodness sake!

Wheear ‘ast tha bin sin’ Ah saw thee, Ah saw thee?

On Ilkla Mooar baht ‘at….

800px-Cowcalf

So as my next book, a magical fantasy, is set in Yorkshire, it is of course obligatory for at least a little dialect to creep between its pages. To me, it is the sound of Home, of memory, love, laughter and people. It is fresh brewed tea, scones and the smell of warm bread. It sings to my heart.

Regional accents have a way of drawing us back to childhood, I think. They are, thankfully, now widely accepted in a way they were not when I was a young. The voice of the BBC has softened that acceptance as it has changed over the decades. Which is just as well really, as I do not have the modulated tones of a 1960’s announcer, but the accent of my home, and in April I have to stand with my Lancastrian co-director (he can’t help that, you know…) and present the School to the world, with an open soul and no pretence to be other than I am.

It is seldom ‘broad Yorkshire’ these days, of course. Time spent in the south in married quarters as a child, years in France and other places have altered it and left their mark. So have the various jobs and social strata through which I have moved. Life does that to us, doesn’t it? Time, place and experience leave a layer of accumulated difference upon us. It is easy to lose oneself beneath that accretion, in the same way as the golden sandstone of the north became darkened by industry.

I will never forget the revelation of the town hall in Leeds… a glorious piece of Victorian civic pride… when the scaffolding came down in 1972 and the black stone, now cleaned of the accumulated grime, was unveiled in pale gold.

800px-Leeds_Rathaus

I look at myself in much the same way… though smaller and far less stately. A lifetime of experience has overlaid the essential me with so many traces and layers that have changed the outward appearance both physically and in other more subtle ways. Sometimes from habit, sometimes almost in self-defence.  It would be easy to lose sight of the fact that this is just a veneer, a thin overlay, and that beneath those layers the essence is still there. It may have aged, and grown, there may be signs of erosion and a bit of wear and tear, but I comfort myself with the knowledge that in a building that would just add character, a sense of living history and presence.

It does make you wonder though, whether stripping back the layers to the essence of Self would let us see ourselves all golden again.

About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She writes alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. Find out more at France and Vincent. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at scvincent.com and on Twitter @SCVincent. Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email: findme@scvincent.com.
This entry was posted in Books, Life, Love and Laughter, Spirituality, The Silent Eye and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to Spell-check

  1. alesiablogs says:

    The word Wonder is so interesting. We are contemplating something. I love that word. I am beginning a study called Wonderstruck. It is 6 weeks long and I look forward to it. I facilitate the class so that should be interesting. What are we wondering about? Are we in wonder of God’s creation in nature? Are we in wonder of the gesture of someone’s kindness toward us unexpectedly? Do we see more in this life? I am on a course for renewal! Echo, Great Post as always.

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  2. What a great analogy. I love the idea of veneer of life’s experience hiding what we truly are. Thanks for the image. Cheers. Chris

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    • Echo says:

      Thanks, Chris. You raise some interesting points on your blog too. I rather liked the views on life limiting beliefs.. why shouldn’t we follow a dream, after all? Even the journey will be fun and teach so much 🙂

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  3. “Time, place and experience leave a layer of accumulated difference upon us. It is easy to lose oneself beneath that accretion…” AMEN
    An excellent quote for my Encore experience. Thank you.

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    • Echo says:

      You’re most welcome, Dianne. I love the fact that as we strip those layers back we can find all sorts of forgotten treasures underneath 🙂

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  4. Fran Keegan says:

    Several years ago I was working with Novell’s Perfect Works. One day I was going through the meditations of a student I was working with and in reply to her having used the Hebrew Name YHVH I used it also. My spellchecker changed that to ADNI. That intrigued me so I typed in other Hebrew Names and the spellchecker changed every one of them to ADNI, wouldn’t allow any other Name to be used unless I insisted and it couldn’t do anything about that. I would love to meet the person who programmed that spellchecker.

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  5. Each layer you’ve added defines the new you. Taking it away would erase some of the experiences you’ve had along life’s journey and you’d be less rich as a result.
    I do love your analogies, Sue. Living in the south – although many jokingly say Florida is New York with palm trees – I’ve been called out on my accent. The way I say “room,” for example. (It sounds like “red rhume, red rhume” from the movie “The Shining.”) I just laugh.

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    • Echo says:

      I love the regional accents.. it is quite sad to watch them diminish as people move around more and heritage is missed by younger generations with different stimuli. But that is the way the world evolves and much is lost as time closes behind us.

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  6. Ha! My spellcheck gets a workout because my spelling skills are shameful at best. And I am an awful magpie so I hear Texas creeping into my Canadian/Californian accent.

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    • Echo says:

      I had a lovely response on Facebook in dialect last night.. and John wrote it in dialect to test the spell check… and was jubilant when he managed to have the whole lot underlined 🙂

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