Resolved: that life is short, humans are fallible, and the English language--as a minor character says in Plenty, if I'm remembering correctly--is a most demanding mistress. Therefore be it also resolved to overlook the spelling gaffes, forgive the malefactors, and, when all else fails, take a deep breath and simply turn the page. Unless someone's paying me to do otherwise.
Which is to say that I am trying to tread the path of Ultimate Serenity and accept the spelling errors I encounter every day on blog posts and (especially) in comments.
I have come to accept that some people--okay, most people--will never, ever grasp that guerrilla is spelled with two r's. (Strangely, they always remember the two l's, but they balk at doubling the r. The word means warrior; it comes from the Spanish guerra, meaning war. Two r's in warrior! Two r's in guerrilla! Now, trill 'em.)
I bestow a gracious pardon on those who have never learned that dominate is a verb, not an adjective. The adjective, for the record, is dominant. (This may be a function of pronunciation confusion--see how tolerant I am?)
I pledge that when a published article notes that "relationships are collegiate instead of hierarchical," I will mentally substitute collegial--hey, the author got most of the letters right!--and will scrub the kitchen floor instead of writing a peeved letter to the editor.
Sometimes, though, I am stymied by a strange spelling that may not be a slip of the pen (or key) but rather a genuine eggcorn--a type of misspelling based on mis-hearing. For example, eggcorn instead of acorn, justified thus: "Well, it's egg-shaped, and it's a plant like corn..." (Another term for eggcorns, especially when applied to mis-heard song lyrics, is Mondegreen.)
Here are a few recent findings that caught me between amusement and bemusement:
"Midrift bearing." Let me preface this by saying that I am devoted to reading fashion blogs, many of which are thoughtful, insightful, and elegantly written. And, no doubt, carefully edited by their authors. The commenters, though, sometimes allow their enthusiasm for the subject to override their inner spellcheckers. (I'd assumed that most people learned the difference between heel and heal in, say, fourth grade, but such is apparently not the case.) When I encountered "midrift bearing" in a comment on Une Femme d'un Certain Age, I did a double take. Even a double-double take. Midrift (for midriff) is enshrined in the Eggcorn Database; a commenter in the forum notes that it deserves consideration "on two counts: mid-rift would suggest the fleshy gap or rift between upper and lower clothed areas; mid-drift, which suggests a surplus of flesh which it may have been wiser to have left discreetly covered." And 24,800 Google hits! As for bearing instead of boring old baring, I'm speculating the author was imagining a fleshy midsection borne (no! no! not "born"!) proudly aloft like a trophy.
"Servicing the dualing needs of business & pleasure." This one comes from an excellent design blog, Brand New; it's another case of mistaken homophonic identity (dual = double, twofold; duel = combat, fight) with a hidden agenda. I suspect the author has heard "dueling needs" more often than he's seen the phrase in print, and when it came time to write about two needs frequently in opposition to each other he opted for the two sense and spelling. Dual needs. In a duel. It kind of grows on you.
"With avengence." Oh, I love this one. I spotted it in a comment to a funny/alarming Daily Mail (UK) article on age-inappropriate fashion: Carol wrote that her husband "hates [her gypsy skirts] with avengence [sic]." Here we have "a vengeance" compressed into a package that folds in the concept of to avenge (to take vengeance on behalf of). Carol may also be under the lingering influence of The Avengers. Can you believe that Diana Rigg just turned 70? I'll bet she looks fab in gypsy skirts. (Hat tip to one of the aforementioned elegantly written fashion blogs, Passage des Perles.)