Being an avid reader has it's benefits, one of which is a fairly good vocabulary and spelling skills. Even without being able to recite the rules behind spelling things a certain way, there's a certain innate understanding of how a word "should" be spelled, by listening to it. I've generally been a good speller as long as I can remember (please don't use mistakes on this blog as examples as to why I'm not a good speller, I'm just making a point. I can spell.. usually).
But something about being in the north and being exposed to all this Inuktitut has messed with my spelling sense. In point of fact... Q no longer is automatically followed by U in my mind. First example: Qikiqtani, the name of the hospital as well as the region. Also, the local dialect and pronunciation(and the no "u" after "q") allows K and Q to be pretty much interchangeable. Several times a day at work, I have to ask, "I'm sorry, can you spell that for me?" Because, actually, the language here is only properly written in syllabics, which means there is no "proper" spelling for things, or names. So Joe Blow with a 6 syllable name comes in, spells it for you, ending in "kik" for example. Next day, he is asked to spell the name again... and this time he spells it "kiq". Ummmm. What does it say on your ID? kiq? okay, then that's how I'm going to spell it. People randomly changing the spelling of their own names makes finding the right chart a bit of a headache at times. But this Q not followed by a U... has somehow become normal in my mind. Makes me wonder what other little changes are going on in my head that I'm not noticing, as I learn and adapt to life up here.