The Importance of Good Spelling|
I'm sure that Harry Potter would agree. Some people think spelling is not important, these are usually people who ar poor spellers. Sometimes well-educated but misguided people will state that spelling is not important, but the chances are they are just trying to be controversial or fashionable, i.e. stupid.
With opinions like this, it will be no surprise to hear that I think...
I Am An Excellent Speller
Not perfect mind, just good. In fact I used to be better, or at least a more accurate speller. As a person probably just get better and better, but that would be immodest of me to say, so I will not mention it just yet.
If my spelling is so good, how come this site is riddled with spelling errors?
There are several reasons, some ot them good...
...well they sound good to me.
When I learnt to read write and spell, personal computers were not around. Although I learnt to spell, and later to (almost touch) type, the two did not happen simultaneously, and I have never got round to re-educating my fingers to work at the same speed as my brain, or my brain to work at the same speed as my fingers. The result is a certain lack of coordination. My handwriting is similarly appaling for similar reasons. Fortunately my typing is far more legible than my writing, so computers and word processors were a fantastic invention.
Most of the coorect spelling on this site and others for which I am responsible ar my own, most of the errors belong to my fingers.
Spell checkers are now so commonplace and so good, that any idiot can use them, and many do. Astoundingly, just as many don't, and in most cases these are people who don't care about spelling. Conversely there are probably some people, who like me, forget to use a spell checker because their spelling is good, and most of the time think they don't need one. So there you go, the spelling errors on this site are there because my spelling is good!
Isn't logic wonderful?
The programme I use for creating and editing my web pages in Arachnophilia, a very reasonably priced and excellent html editor, mentioned elswhere on this site. Unfortunately its spell checker is somewhat basic. I would not even think about complaining about this, especially at the price. I didn't even realise it had a spell checker for about tow years, and when I di realise, I ran it on one of our websites, and made corrctions to over 30% of the pages. So much for good spelling!
Bad Spelling is Bad Manners
People who don't bother to spell correctly are subjecting their readers to the discourtesy of being considered not worth taking the effort to spell correctly for. If any of my spelling offends you, please accept my apologies in advance. Actually they may just be...
In the first website I was responsible for, I checked every page for errors, and even got someone else to proof-read all the new pages. Becasue I knew that somewhere, sometime, an error would creep in, I offered a prize (of a pint) to the first person to spot the deliberate error. So far, and after six years nobody has stepped forward to claim the prize. A good number of people have very kindly taken the time and trouble to e-mail with corrcetions which have all been to non-deliberate errors, and I have promised pints to a few, well water is cheap in the UK.
One of the most enjoyable comments was from someone who had read one of our mis-spelling pages on our websites, in which I am mildly sarcastic about about poor spellers. The writer said that the next page of our site he accessed had a spelling error on it. the our e-mail programme (Microsoft Outlook) we were using at the time crashed yet again before I could reply and thank him.
I can remember a spelling test one of our teachers gave us at Blackpool Grammar School, although I can't quite remember who the teacher was.
He did tell us that it was intended to be quite difficult, and there were only ten questions. At the end of the test, he informed us that, unusually, we were going to mark our own answers. After revealing the answers, and us marking them, he asked for the results in reverse order starting by asking who scored 0, and at least one person owned up to this score. The counts increased sharply but only to about the four of five level, when they started to drop off even nore sharply. Nobody got more than about six right, except for one smart-ass. By the time the counts got down to one, at aroiund the six or seven level, expectation of any further show of hands fell along with the pitch of the teachers voice, until he almost didn't bother to announce 10 because it was obvious that the bidding had already subsided. Nobody could have got 10/10 for such difficult spellings. When he finally and half-heartedly uttered the word 10, the raising of my hand was greeted by a mixture of gasps of surprise and amusement by most of the class, although I still don't know why. I think I detected a completely unfounded suspicion of cheating. I was hoping that the teacher would do the decent thing and ask to see my answer sheet, and perhaps ask whether I had marked them honestly and correctly, but no. I got the impression at the time, and still do, that he did not believe me. He procedded to ask me one more question for me to answer orally. It was a word I could spell, but it's too easy to get it wrong when attemting oral answering excpet when taking great care and more time. I fluffed the answer to the great amusement of the entire class. They all remained blissfully ignorant of the lexicographical genius sitting in their midst. It was also an indictment of the teacher's attitudes, positive encouragement was all too rare in our school at the time.
This column is included to create the impression that there is more to come. In actual fact it's because I haven't got round to removing the two column layout, and replacing it with something better.