15 Famous Thinkers Who Couldn’t Spell

Words can be tricky things, often spelled quite differently than how they sound, coming from foreign languages with different sets of rules, or being just plain weird. It’s no wonder then that so many people struggle with spelling, even those who are generally regarded as having some seriously brilliant minds. No, it’s not just grade-schoolers, college students, and the everyday man who struggles with the age old “i before e” dilemma, but also scientists, writers, and world leaders. Here, you’ll find a list of great thinkers who made great strides in their respective fields, but never could quite conquer the perils of spelling.

  1. Alfred Mosher Butts

    Unfamiliar with this name? Well, you’re probably familiar with what he created, though it might surprise you to learn that Butts was a bad speller. He created the iconic and still quite popular game Scrabble, which requires one to be adept at spelling. The inventor himself was admittedly not the best speller, often scoring only 300 points on average in a game of Scrabble.

  2. William Faulkner

    Faulkner wasn’t a truly terrible speller, but if you take a look at his original manuscripts there are some definite errors the iconic Southern author wouldn’t have wanted to see in print. Despite setting many of his famous books and short stories in the difficult to spell and pronounce Yoknapatawpha County, Faulkner’s editors confirm that despite their repeated attempts to point out his mistakes, he made spelling errors all through his career.

  3. F. Scott Fitzgerald

    Few writers are so known for their bad spelling as Fitzgerald. How bad, you say? Fitzgerald wasn’t even able to spell the name of one of his closest friends, Hemingway, often misaddressing him in correspondence and papers as “Earnest Hemminway.” The editor of his collected letters called him a “lamentable speller” who struggled with words like “definite” and “criticism.” Still, his poor spelling didn’t seem to do the author any harm, and many of his works are regarded as literary masterpieces today.

  4. Ernest Hemingway

    Ernest Hemingway may not have had much room to judge when it came to his friend Fitzgerald not spelling his name correctly. Long before the days of spell check, Hemingway had to rely on newspaper and book editors to catch his mistakes, a job which they often complained would be a lot easier if he would make an effort to spell things correctly (though Hemingway retorted that that’s what they were being paid to do).

  5. John Keats

    The brilliant Keats died quite young at only 26, so one can hardly blame him for not spending time worrying about spelling in his written works. If readers want to get a taste of his more interesting spelling choices, they only need turn to his letters. They record many odd spelling choices, including the misspelling of purple as “purplue” in a letter to his love Fanny Brawne, a misspelling which she questioned and Keats tried to cover up by saying he was creating a new combination of purple and blue.

  6. Jane Austen

    Jane Austen may have a place among the literary elites today, but when it came to spelling and grammar she wasn’t too handy with either. Research into her personal letters and manuscripts has exposed numerous errors in spelling and grammar that were corrected later by her early editor, William Gifford. One of her favorite misspellings? She often spelled “scissors” as “scissars.”

  7. Fannie Flagg

    Actress and author Fannie Flagg has had great success in her literary career, most notably with the novel Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe which was later adapted into a highly successful film. Yet writing never came easy to Flagg, who has dyslexia. She has said she was challenged as a writer because she was “severely dyslexic and couldn’t spell, still can’t spell. So I was discouraged from writing and embarrassed.” Flagg obviously overcame her embarrassment, and has since written numerous books and screenplays.

  8. Albert Einstein

    Being bilingual, one could hardly blame Einstein for being a bad speller in English. Yet it wasn’t just in English that Einstein struggled. He also was a pretty bad speller in his native German, and got even worse when he began using English more regularly. Of course, Einstein didn’t make those same errors when it came to writing mathematical equations, a fact that helped to make his name synonymous with genius today.

  9. Winston Churchill

    While today Churchill may be regarded as a great leader and speaker, he had a rough start in his schooling, always struggling with spelling and writing. He was a notoriously bad speller throughout his life, but he never let it hold him back. He battled through his difficulties, which also included a speech impediment, to leave his mark on the world.

  10. Leonardo Da Vinci

    Leonardo helped define the term “Renaissance man,” excelling in both the arts and the sciences, but spelling may not have been his forte. He is quoted as having once said, “You should prefer a good scientist without literary abilities than a literate one without scientific skills.” Some historians believe he may have been dyslexic (there is no way to prove that, of course) as his journals and writings are riddled with spelling errors common with dyslexics.

  11. Agatha Christie

    Agatha Christie penned some of the bestselling books ever created, but the author admitted once, “I, myself, was always recognized … as the “slow one” in the family. It was quite true, and I knew it and accepted it. Writing and spelling were always terribly difficult for me. My letters were without originality. I was … an extraordinarily bad speller and have remained so until this day.” Despite her struggles with spelling, Christie was an enormously successful writer, and has gone down in the Guinness Book of World Records as the best-selling novelist of all time.

  12. John F. Kennedy Jr.

    JFK is a figure that has fascinated the American public for decades, but what many may not know is just how bad of a speller the famous president was. He was outed for his poor spelling by his wife, Jackie, though she was a French literature major in college and would later become a book editor, so she may have been a pretty harsh critic.

  13. W.B. Yeats

    Yeats is yet another famous author who, while quite adept at writing, was pretty terrible when it came to spelling. To see examples of his spelling errors, one need only find a copy of his collected letters which contain misspellings like “feal” for “feel” and “sleap” for “sleep”. Despite his inadequacy when it came to spelling, Yeats was a prolific and very successful writer, winning a Nobel Prize for Literature in 1923.

  14. John Irving

    John Irving is another author on this list whose poor spelling was the result of dyslexia. Sadly, Irving wasn’t recognized as having dyslexia until much later in his life, stating, “The diagnosis of dyslexia wasn’t available in the late fifties — bad spelling like mine was considered a psychological problem by the language therapist who evaluated my mysterious case. When the repeated courses of language therapy were judged to have had no discernible influence on me, I was turned over to the school psychiatrist.” Irving’s struggles with spelling affected him deeply, and he even reflects on them in one of his most famous novels, The World According to Garp, stating that English is such a mishmash of different languages that no one should ever feel stupid for being a bad speller.

  15. Benjamin Franklin

    Ben Franklin wasn’t a particularly good speller in his time, and actually felt that the alphabet as it stood (and still does today) was what was holding so many back from being able to spell. In a letter he once wrote, “You need not be concerned in writing to me about your bad spelling, for in my opinion as our alphabet now stands the bad spelling, or what is called so, is generally best, as conforming to the sound of the letters and of the words.” Whether you struggle with spelling or not, you have to admit he has a point, as many words are spelled quite differently than they sound.

* Today’s article brought to you by www.onlinecollegecourses.com

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10 Things You Should Never Carry in Your Purse or Wallet

We carry a great risk of becoming victims of identity theft every day, and it all starts in the wallet and purse. Every piece of plastic, every password, and every receipt you put in your wallet or purse could be the very thing thieves use to compromise your finances and steal your identity. The best way to protect yourself and your belongings is to use common sense and not carry the following items (click the links for more detailed information):

  1. Social Security card and number

    Your Social Security number is incredibly valuable and it can be detrimental if someone gets access to it. You may use your Social Security number for work documentation and government services, but very rarely will you have to show your Social Security card. If your card gets into the wrong hands, there’s no telling what a person will do with it. Thieves can open a credit card in your name, apply for loans, and much worse. If you can’t memorize this number for the life of you, do not write the numbers on paper and leave it in your wallet or purse. Even if you delete the dashes, a thief can figure out what number this is because all SSN have nine digits. Be smart and leave your Social Security card and number in a safe place with other important documents.

  2. Passport

    When traveling abroad, you can’t really get around carrying your passport on you. However, American travelers are advised to pack extra passport photos and a photocopy of their passport information in case it is lost or stolen. These documents and photos should be left in the hotel, preferably in a hotel safe. This will make getting a replacement easier and protect you from other identity theft dangers.

  3. Checkbook

    It might be convenient to keep your checkbook on hand, but it can be a big mess if someone gets ahold of it. One look at your checkbook and a thief will have access to your account number, routing number, and possibly your signature. If they’re really sneaky, they might be able to forge your signature and cash a check. Avoid this fiasco by keeping your checkbook at home in a safe place.

  4. Passwords

    Passwords, such as PIN numbers, e-mail passwords, and even alarm codes should not be carried around in your wallet or purse. It doesn’t take much for a thief to figure out that four digits could be your PIN number. If you cannot remember important passwords that you need to use on a regular basis, then store them on a protected computer or phone.

  5. Gift cards and certificates

    Many people carry gift cards and certificates in their wallet because they never know when they’ll end up using them. This might seem convenient, but if your wallet or purse gets stolen, you’ll be kicking yourself for not leaving these gifts at home. Gift cards and certificates are as good as money, and you don’t have to show an ID to use them. Avoid this risk by leaving gift cards and certificates at home until you’ve picked a day to use them.

  6. USB devices

    As wonderful and convenient as USBs are, they can be very problematic if a thief gets ahold of one. Many USBs contain confidential files and personal information that a thief would love to have. Not to mention, all of your hard work and important documents could be lost in an instant if someone snags your purse or wallet.

  7. Receipts

    Many people disregard receipts and leave them hanging around or stuffed into a purse or wallet, but these small pieces of paper can be quite telling, especially to a smart thief. Some receipts contain your credit card information and signature, which opens the door for identity theft and forgery. Also, if a thief has access to your address and they can see what you bought on a receipt, they may go as far as to break into your house.

  8. Unprotected cell phone

    A cell phone without a password is a dangerous thing to carry around. A thief will have full access to your e-mail and other personal information stored in your phone. Placing a password on your phone could deter a thief from taking your phone in the first place and prevent them from accessing any personal information. If your phone does not have a password option, then carry it in a pocket or on your body instead of in a bag.

  9. Too many credit cards

    Carrying all of your credit cards in your wallet can be very risky and quite the hassle if they get stolen. Not only will you have to cancel each and every credit card, but you’ll also have to use cash or write checks while you wait on new credit cards to be sent. To avoid this fiasco, only carry the cards you use on a regular basis and leave the rest at home so you’re not completely S.O.L.

  10. Large amounts of cash

    Carrying a lot of cash in your wallet or purse is risky for many obvious reasons. If you get mugged, you’ll be out a lot of money. It’s never a bad idea to keep some cash on you, especially when traveling, but be sure to bring only as much as you need and don’t flash it around for others to see.

* Today’s article brought to you by www.criminaljusticedegreesguide.com

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Cooking With Cops: Crime Scene Yams

Okay, take off those gun belts and grab a spatula. Today you’ll be Cooking With Cops! And the first recipe is…

Crime Scene Yams

The Evidence (Ingredients):

4 large yams

6 tsp butter (yes, only 6, Paula Deen)

juice of 1/2 lime (or a couple of good squirts of lime juice from a plastic grocery store lime)

juice of 1/2 orange (or 1/4 cup of orange juice, the breakfast kind)

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp ground ginger (No Mary Ann this time)

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 cup honey (do not substitute this ingredient!)

1 cup dark brown sugar (light brown sugar is okay if that’s what you have, but you really should upgrade to the real stuff)

The Procedure

This recipe takes a little time, but it’s well worth it—mouth-watering worth it!

1. Preheat oven to 375 (NO MICROWAVING. IT IS NOT THE SAME)

2. Place 4 large yams on a cookie sheet, side-by-side like corpses at a mob murder scene—and bake for 45 minutes. The yams should be still slightly firm to the touch—not quite done, but almost. You know, like when a body is two hours into rigor.

3. Allow the yams to cool enough to peel.

4. While the yams are cooling, combine the butter, brown sugar, honey, orange and lime juice, cinnamon, ginger, and other ingredients into a pot. Heat until the ingredients are well-mixed. Should look like a really thin syrup, or blood on a sidewalk during a New England spring shower.

5. Yep, you guessed it (you might make detective sooner than you thought!), now peel and cut the yams into 3/4″ discs. They should still be firm in the centers (not quite done).

6. Layer the yam slices in a 9×13 baking dish and then pour the honey mixture over the yams. (Some people would like to sprinkle a few crushed pecans over the top at this point. Personally, I think they’re sick, but if that’s your thing then help yourself).

7. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Doesn’t have to be body-bag-tight, just snug.

8. Remove foil and bake for an additional 20 minutes. The dish should be bubbling nicely at this point.

9. Remove from oven and cool until it’s less than 10,000 degrees before serving.

10. Enjoy!

Seriously, this dish is superb!

*Do you have a recipe you’d like to share? If so, please contact me at lofland32@msn.com. Please type Cooking With Cops in the subject line of the message.

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Friday’s Heroes: Remembering The Fallen

The Graveyard Shift extends our condolences to the families of each of these brave officers.

Sergeant Barbara Ester, 47

Arkansas Department of Correction

January 20, 2012 – Sergeant Barbara Ester was stabbed to death by an inmate when she entered an open dormitory area to investigate a contraband issue. Sgt. Ester had reason to believe that inmate Latavious Johnson, a convicted murderer, possessed an unauthorized pair of tennis shoes. And, when she approached Johnson he stabbed her in the side, abdomen, and chest. Sgt. Ester is survived by her husband who also works as an officer in the same facility.

Patrol Officer Garret Davis, 28

Honolulu Hawaii Police Department

January 21, 2012 – Officer Garret Davis was killed while assisting a stranded motorist. He’d parked his patrol car behind the disabled vehicle and was struck from behind by another vehicle. The patrol car immediately burst into flames. Officer Davis died at the scene.

Deputy Sheriff James Thacker, 53

Pike County Kentucky Sheriff’s Department

January 23, 2012 – Deputy Sheriff James Thacker was killed in a head-on automobile crash when a vehicle crossed the center line, striking the patrol car.

Senior Police Officer Gail Thomas, 46

Atlanta Georgia Police Department

January 24, 2012 – Officer Gail Thomas was assisting at the scene of a traffic accident when she was struck and killed by a suspected drunk driver.

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