I have decided my biggest journalism pet peeve is when people s-p-e-l-l words for me (other than their last name) without me requesting them to do so. And truly, I’ve recently become so frustrated by this, I felt the need to share my irritation.
The act is not only annoying and somewhat condescending – after all, I likely wouldn’t be in this business if I didn’t know how to adequately spell – but it’s distracting.
In taking notes, journalists are typically a few words behind, hurriedly writing whatever the individual just said. But when that person breaks out his or her spelling skills, I’m often so caught off guard by it that the words I was scribbling onto the page are simply lost into thin air. And clearly if he or she considers me stupid enough to require the spelling of a particular word – again, with me asking that person to do so – I’m not going to ask for the repetition of whatever was just said. Thus, I simply miss out.
I’m unsure of why exactly this bugs me so seriously – perhaps a combination of my intelligence seemingly being questioned and my annoyance at the distraction itself – but it does, and I wish I could convey that to every individual who f-e-e-l-s the need to s-p-e-l-l into my ear.
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