Time wounds all heels

When I was a boy I was taught ITA spelling. ITA stands for Initial Teaching Alphabet. The idea was to teach phonetic spelling. As a consequence, despite years of ongoing effort and practice I still find myself misspelling homonyms - words pronounced the same but spelled differently. Words such as they're, their, and there. There (have to check it now...) are loads of them in English. I mentioned this to a friend on an email list a while back and he replied "What were they thinking?" Quite.

Here's an example of how it can affect me - an anonymous quote I've read in two of Jerry Weinberg's books:

Time wounds all heels.

When I read this I just didn't get it. I knew I didn't understand it and I kept trying to. But to no avail. Why couldn't I understand it? Answer: because I was reading it as:

Time wounds all heals.

The word wounds was nudging my ITA brain to see/hear the word heel as heal. They naturally fit together as opposites after all! And of course in reverse it is heal - Time heals all wounds.

How did time suddenly heal my wound and reveal the true meaning to me? It was while I was attending Jerry Weinberg's Problem Solving Leadership course. Jerry was talking about "Time wounds all heels" and he simply said the words "Achilles" and "heel" one after the other. And in that moment I understood! Heel. Heel. Not Heal. Time wounds all heals. Damn. I did it again. I really did. Time wounds all heels. Your (that's one I've learned I have to check... no it's not you're) Achilles heel is your (again) weak (not week) spot.

4 comments:

  1. I think it was George Bernard Shaw who said, "Anyone who can spell well in English can't be very smart."

    So, take heart!

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  2. Thanks. I do take heart from that. And also from G. K. Chesterton's "I had a very good education - it took me years to get over it".

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  3. Or Mark Twain, who said, "I was always careful never to let my schooling interfere with my education."

    Great advice!

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  4. Yes. It's what you learn after you leave school that counts! It reminds of this great TED talk http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/ken_robinson_says_schools_kill_creativity.html

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