Apropos Chikorita hitting the rough road towards self-improvement, the other day I was rewatching Ai yori Aoshi 01. For years, one thing about it bothered me: when Kaoru refers to Aoi's broken strap, he says: "Harao ga...". It's quite clear, but there's no such word.
And so, years passed, and now I watch them riding the train again, when they briefly touch upon their encounter, when Aoi says: "Kiyou nan des ne" ("[you are] skillful with hands, aren't you"), and Kaoru replies: "A, hanao ne?" ("oh, the strap?"). And suddenly I understand that it's the same word. He just mis-spoke. Only before, my mind's eye glazed over whenever they said more than 3 words in a row, and so I always coasted through.
Even now, I do not have any capability to correct mis-spellings or mis-spoken words. In this case, the answer was in the same episode, so I was lucky.
On the same topic, I bought a book off J's list: Watt and Rubinger's "Readers Guide To Intermediate Japanese". It explains all the things I just could not figure out, like "~ wake desu". Totally awesome when my Wordtank draws a blank.