It occurred to me today that I probably think differently about heterographs than most normal people. I see them as an exciting opportunity, and I still get a small hit of satisfaction when I get to use uncommon ones.
I can remember first learning about stationary and stationery in primary school, and being on the look-out for opportunities to use stationery so that I could prove to myself that I remembered. It was genuinely exciting when I finally got the opportunity to use ‘stationery’ properly,a and I felt really proud.
It occurred to me today that I feel the same way about many tricks of language like heterographs, and I still get a little flush of happiness when I get to write things like, “the building was 10 storeys high.”
It’s not a feeling of superiority or anything though. When I see a mistake where someone has missed a heterograph I’m more surprised than critical, more disappointed on their behalf. I’m so sorry you missed the little thrill of remembering the correct version of their/there/they’re! I’m really shocked when I see a professionally printed sign with a mistake — surely there must’ve been someone in that group of people who loves heterographs as much as me?