What Kind Of Writer Mangles A Word ON PURPOSE?

by Alicia Sparks on March 10, 2011

Friends don't go in these.

This post is part of the Words Matter 2011 Blog Challenge sponsored by the National Association of Independent Writers and Editors.

Day 4 Blog Challenge Question:

Words can be mangled, misused, or misunderstood. What is your funniest example of mangling, misuse, or misunderstanding?

I don’t know how funny it is, but this…situation has apparently taken up permanent residence among my memories and was the first story I thought of after ready the blog challenge question.

It’s a case of word mangling and, oddly enough, it was I who mangled the word – on purpose.

Just as she did at the beginning of every week of my third grade year, Mrs. Wagner passed out the list of spelling words for Friday’s spelling test. One of the words on the list was “friend.”

It seemed like a simple enough word. Definitely one I used often. Yet, upon further inspection, I noticed the spelling of the word.

I mean, really noticed it.


My eight-year-old self started to panic.

What would happen if the “n” decided to take a vacation. Or, just, I don’t know – disappeared for some reason?

What if some careless third grader forgot about it? What then?

I’ll tell you what: Fried.


I couldn’t stand for it.

Actually, I didn’t stand for it. Despite having enough sense at eight years old to know that if the teacher said a word was spelled this way, a word was spelled this way, I flat refused to spell “friend” correctly.

I decided to it was better to be safe than sorry, and so I flipped the “i” and “e” and – fully aware that was not the correct way to spell the word – went about my business spelling “friend” as “freind” for at least the remainder of third grade.

(The fourth grade brought Ms. Zando. I’m positive I wasn’t brave enough to purposely misspell words in her class.)

Miss the first three blog challenge questions? Check out: