Monday, August 18, 2008

Say wot?

I have to admit I’m a spelling geek. Not the Tori/Aaron/Candy drama kind. The word kind. Maybe it’s because I’m a writer. Maybe because I thought it made me feel superior to the mill worker children in Purty Mouth, Texas.

Or maybe just because I learned how to do it properly. That’s not to say I don’t, on occasion, misspell a word. Spell check helps, for sure. As does having an online dictionary a click away.

Which I guess is why today’s article in CNN has me fuming.

A university professor in Buckinghamshire (UK) thinks teachers waste too much time correcting students' spelling. And he thinks we should lighten up a bit. He doesn’t want to allow ALL misspellings, just words like February (Febuary), twelfth (twelth) and truly (truly). He says his students ask him why there’s no “e” in truly and he doesn’t have a good explanation.

Uh, hey dumbass, there are a lot of spellings that don’t make sense. Most of them in your own back yard. Colour. Favour. Arse. That should get us started. But it doesn't mean we need to change them.

And “twelth?” What the fuck is that? I actually pronounce that “f.” Am I alone in that?

He goes on to say how “punished” these students are, especially when it comes to applying for a job or filling out a form, even when most of the misspellings are quite common. I'm sure you heard me groan on that one.

Right, then, guvnah! Let’s not make the stupid people feel, um, I don’t know, STUPID!?!?! Let’s reward this fucking laziness by tagging them as poor victims. Sorry, that shit don’t play on this blog.

Thank God CNN was kind enough to provide counterpoint:

"People who spell a lot of words incorrectly either aren't paying attention or don't care," says Barbara Wallraff, who writes the Wordcourt column on language and writing problems for the Atlantic and King Features Syndicate. "Why are we changing our language to accommodate — with two m's — them?"

Amen sister. Of course, what do you expect from someone who doesn’t know his arse from a whole in the grind.

1 comment:

hokgardner said...

There's a lot of that in schools here. Ella's kindergarten teacher told the kids to just sound out the words and not worry about the spelling - she wanted to get the kids writing and not worrying about their spelling. I understand the theory, but it's two years later and we're still trying to convince Ella that yes, she does need to learn to spell words correctly.