Bureaucracy is the Worst

No, not that kind of bureaucracy. Or that too, sure, but at the moment, I mean the word “bureaucracy.”

Here’s a post at Kill Zone Blog: Glitches Happen

I’m forever typing thing instead of think. And I’m constantly leaving out question marks.

Then, there are the words you can’t remember to spell—and even worse when you’re so far off the Spell Checker has no suggestions. For me, it’s bureaucrat and all its variations.

I laughed. I can never get “bureaucrat” or its variations right the first time. I have to poke at it till I either get it right or get it close enough that spellcheck figures out what I mean and fixes it for me.

“Lieutenant” used to be just as bad, and still is if I think about it while I type it, as I just did. But I’ve typed that one so often that usually my fingers can get it right without my brain being involved.

I never, or hardly ever, leave out question marks. That one seems odd. But I can’t type “an” without sticking a “d” on the end. I’m continually removing the extra “d.” The same with “ever.” I can’t type it without putting a “y” on the end.

It’s not so much that I type “think” instead of “thing,” but somehow I’m always hitting the “k” at random moments when I reach for any letter over on that side of the keyboard, so extraneous “ks” appear everywhere. That doesn’t happen with any other letter. Just “k.”

And, as I’ve definitely mentioned before, if I’m tired (and, it seems to me, increasingly when I’m not tired), I often type homonyms. I can’t even tell you how often my fingers type “right” instead of “write” and vice versa. It seems to happen a LOT. Like “an(d)”, I generally notice this particular error at once. I don’t think it ever makes it to the draft any beta reader ever sees.

Near-homonyms are just as common, and they don’t have to be all that near, either. Five minutes ago, I typed “time” instead of “type” three paragraphs up in this very post, and only noticed when proofreading the post before hitting publish. Don’t ask me. Four letters, starts with a “t,” has an “i” sound, apparently those characteristics were enough for my fingers to produce the wrong word.

That’s why I TRY to take the time to proofread every post and every Quora answer and every tweet and so on, every single time. I know sometimes typos slip through. But I bet I get 49 out of 50, even in social media, where I don’t care that much.

I sure do wish the back of my brain had more sense about homonyms, though.

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7 thoughts on “Bureaucracy is the Worst”

  1. The way I finally learned how to spell bureaucracy is to think of it as “bureau”, like a chest of drawers (I don’t think of bureau as an office though clearly that’s where it comes from), and then I add the end “crat” or “cracy”

  2. Yen, that would work for me, except I also can’t spell “bureau.” I literally looked at your comment while typing “bureau” — both times it appeared in this comment right here.

    It’s a mental block. I swear there’s no reason for it.

  3. I’m so glad the homonym problem happens to someone besides me! I don’t think I used to have that problem but now I do it all the time and I always feel slightly betrayed by myself when I notice.

  4. Bureaucracy was definitely a word I struggled to type – still do, actually. There are other things I type that I frequently get wrong, but that one’s the worst offender. And I get it so far wrong that spell-check can’t figure out what to do with it, too!
    Usually I notice typos as I’m typing them, but I always check again before sending or posting anything, just in case.

  5. R Morgan, you’re right, it’s sort of reassuring to hear that someone else thinks the problem with homonyms might get worse over time. I kinda thought that was just me.

    Rather than defining this as “Getting older, brain melting,” I think we should declare that this problem comes as experience with writing increases and the writer relaxes too much about the writing process and both types faster and pays less attention to some aspect of the typing. Doesn’t that sound plausible? And less awful than the brain melting hypothesis.

    I think I’ve fixed the link. Don’t know why it wasn’t working!

  6. E.C. yes! Exactly! Whoever programs spellcheckers should add extra “and this is probably ALSO a misspelling of bureaucracy” things for that word. I too get it so wrong that spellcheck can’t help.

    I can get it right, or mostly right, myself, but I have to stop and look at it and then sort of look away and tentatively start b-u-r — oh, that does look like it might be right.

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