Many decisions are having to be made in my life right currently, and they all seem to hedge on each other being decided first. I feel like I’m going round in circles! Decisions, decisions and none are close to being resolved!
One decision I have been wrangling with is about spelling.
That’s right: spelling.
To others it seems a rather trivial one, but to me it’s fundamental. I have always prided myself on being a good speller, and on my extended vocabulary. So in my decision to relocate here to the US, I really didn’t think about having to alter myself and the way I communicate as much as has been asked of me. They still can’t understand me when I go through drive-throughs (not drive-thrus!), or leave voicemail messages. But the issue of spelling has been probably the toughest.
My grasp of the English language sure makes me feel superior in a country that lacks ‘colour’. I have persisted in the face of adversity with rogue substitutions of my letter ‘s’ for ‘z’ (and even in my pronunciation of them as zeds), and the removal of all redundant ‘u’s. I labeled my ‘jewellery’ as such in my Etsy store and now my search parameters are increasingly limited. I was even berated in front of people by a rather impertinent colleague for sticking to my guns and writing the date the right way: Day of the week/Date/Month/Year.
I have been fighting what I thought was the good fight. After all, I am the educated one who writes correct English! Yet, from their perspective, they are not ill-educated. They don’t see that by my persisting to communicate in British English means that I am above them: they just think I can’t spell.
So that leaves me here, being the pompous Australian arsehole to the Yanks, much like the British appear to us as Australians. I am in their country, communicating with them and being paid to be knowledgeable about them, and yet I am refusing to. Whilst I do think Australian are culturally superior to Yanks (particularly when we wear the flag as a cape and bang on about people being ‘dickheads’), I am actually being the proverbial dickhead. Me.
Maybe part of me laments changing my spelling as a way for me to stand out, to remain the outsider, to keep my ‘novelty’ card in play. But I have to see it less as ‘conforming’ and more about me committing to a life here. Plus, respect is a big part of it, and I should respect my new countrymen and countrywomen enough to make this step, even though the very thought of it makes me shudder.
I guess I really haven’t come to a solid conclusion about this (and thus, how I plan to spell things on this blog), but I have taken the steps to address my misplaced feelings of superiority. By altering my spelling, I am committing to to something I have already committed to. I think I need to do what is necessary to fit in over here and further my career. And have my crafty work found by people searching Etsy!