Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Spelling "Tests"

The other day, I was missing a family friend, Joanie, who still lives in tiny Calumet, Michigan. I thought she might be on Facebook, but did not see any profiles that were surely hers, so I figured I'd phone her. I didn't have Joanie's phone number, so I called her MIL, who is in her late 70's and not in the greatest of health.

Hi, Lois! How are you?

[Insert litany of terrible health problems for the entire family here (poor thing.)]

I was wondering if you or Joanie might be on Facebook?




No FACEbook.

What's Spacebook? No, I don't have that. What is that?

It's on the computer. FACEbook, with an F, like "Frank." FACEBOOK.

Oh, no. I don't have a computer.

I had to smile. Lois gave me Joanie's work number.

Joanie was busy, so I had to leave a message with a young co-worker. When I gave her my last name, she said, "Okay," and we hung up, but I did a double-take; that is the first time EVER that I have not had to
spell our last name for a stranger. Most people, upon hearing the spelling, still spell it wrong; they always either add a particular letter or subtract the one that's already there. It is annoying, yet funny.

The reason the Yooper on the other end of the phone already knew how to spell our name is that it's a Swedish name, and the U.P. is full of Swedes, so it was not foreign to her. Makes me want to take the four-hour drive up there, just to visit, even though we no longer have grandparents up there to see. Calumet is the home of many Finlanders and Swedes; a stubborn
hearty lot, which explains how they've survived the brutal winters up there for generations.

And why many of them (including Joanie) have no interest in joining "Spacebook."

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