It's been a worrying 24 hours at Tense Towers, well, at least in this pair of slippers.
There I was, happily frolicking through typing an email, when the dreaded underscore appeared under a word. Not as bad as one of Theresa's red lines, clearly, but a bit of an annoyance, nevertheless.
Hmmm, thought I, I definitely remember being taught (oh so many moons ago) that the noun has a 'c' and the verb has an 's', so what's with all this spellchecker nonsense?!
Opening up another tab on the screen, I (somewhat less confidently) typed in the word as previously written and was pleased to note that, on a quick scan of the page, all of the entries were the same as my spelling.
Hah! Take that, foul spellchecker!
On deeper scrutiny, however, I realised that same spelling they may have been, but same language? Not so much. Or, pas tellement, as it were. Eep!
At around this point, I went off on a tangent when I also realised that I couldn't recall the last time I had used an actual dictionary. Jings, I used to pass hours leafing through the dictionary, in those pre-surfing the internet days. Zipping from spelling to etymology to synonym and who knows where. Happy sigh.
But, no, since moving to Orkney, fitting the bookcases into the office and populating them with all manner of books, I don't think I have bothered to lift any of the dictionaries (oh yes, more than one!) from a shelf. It's been jolly old Google all the way, folly though this may be.
Now I was worried. Am I starting to lose it (assuming I had it in the first place)? Is this one of those telltale signs of senescence? Or worse?! Double Eep!
So, what had I been taught? Was I recalling it correctly? Perhaps I was conflating two different spelling rules? I had to admit, no matter which angle I approached it from, this was beginning to sound rather like losing it.
Hang on a bit, though, I have loads of blogposts to mine for data gold (or maybe just iron pyrites). Let's see if this is a new phenomenon, or something I've always been confused about...
[Enters 'exercise' into the search box and clicks on the little magnifying glass thingy...]
This produces fifteen blogposts, distributed through the years 2009 to 2018. So far, so ordinary.
[Then, enters 'exercice' into the search box and yada yada yada...]
Now, this only produces two blogposts, one from 2011 and the other from 2016, so I've obviously got previous, as they say.
Hey, every day is a school day, and it appears that what works for licence, practice and advice, doesn't hold true for exercice. Who knew? Not me, obvs.