Jul
27
2011
3

Fear of a Letter

So when I can catch an hour, I’ve been learning Spanish. And I’ve developed the fear of a letter—of the letter R. I’m calling it R-phobia.

(According to Dumbledore, naming something takes some of the fear away. Or something like that.)

If you speak Spanish, you might be laughing now, because almost every freakin’ word in Spanish has an R in it—or worse, a double R. It’s so bad that the other day, when I was discussing Spanish words with someone, I realized I was spelling every word out letter by letter in order to avoid trying to pronounce words with the letter R in them.

*rolls eyes at self*

The bad thing about being an ex-teacher is that every single lecture I’ve given to my students haunts me. When I was a teacher, I knew when students took shortcuts because I’d taken the same shortcuts when I was younger. (And shortcuts almost never work!—as I told my students millions of times.)

But now that I’m learning again, I feel like all my old students will know if I take a shortcut—or if I don’t practice something the “magic three” (three times correctly in a row—actually seven is the magic number when we’re older than twelve or so). I feel like I’d be letting them down or something.

(Do you see how much anxiety I’m having over speaking a stupid letter? It’s ridiculous!!!)

I’m having a blast, though. I love how learning a new language compels you to examine the intricacies and subtleties of your native language more closely. It makes me choose more precise words in my own writing.

Speaking of which, I’d better get back to it.

How’s your writing going? How do you have fun with words? What inspires you?

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Written by Natasha Fondren in: Languages | Tags:

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