OPINION: I Cringe At The Spelling of “Momma”

Like an erased whiteboard that still has marker lines in the corners.


Honestly, what really grinds my gears is almost ridiculous. It’s as if it was a special tick created to make my body shiver from the feeling of my teeth grinding together; a nuanced nuisance. Surely laughable albeit the way it makes my skin crawl the second I see it. I hope you can understand how unnerving seeing the word “mama” spelled as “momma.”
Maybe it’s because it seems strange phonetically, maybe it’s because it’s the way that my least favorite ex-boyfriend spells it – “momma” has irked me to days-end. It’s like finding a hair in your food or never catching the fly that’s swarming your house. Or like a singular flickering Christmas light in a perfect string or watching someone pour cereal into a bowl of milk. There isn’t a particular right or wrong way to spell “mama,” but it sure isn’t “momma.” The word almost acts as the physical representation of indecisiveness. Were you trying to say “mama?” Or were you trying to say “mom?” Choose! Please!
It’s the uncomfortable way that “mm” lulls in a person’s voice and the questionable pause that happens halfway through the pronunciation that makes my muscles clench and my nose scrunch. While it seems rather ridiculous, I can promise that word is my kryptonite. I don’t know why I feel so strongly about a five letter word being so wrong, but I can promise that I will always rebut that it should be four.
Maybe it’s because it’s something so simple that connects me to my first language, or a way to connect with people of similar dialects. Maybe it’s because its four letter spelling just rolls off the tongue, but I will firmly stand that the only way that this word should be spelled is “mama.” And don’t even get me started about “papa.”