Sunday, July 11, 2010

It's Called a Dictionary

Through the years I have been appalled at the growing number of native English speakers who cannot spell.  Emails, Facebook posts, Internet sites, you name it, are full of misspelled words, and I have to be honest that it drives me crazy.

Yes, I am one of those people, those perfectionist kind of people.  But I try to think of it in a positive way - as in a striving for excellence.  And yes, I try to make sure that all of my words are spelled correctly.  I am never so embarrassed as to write something on Facebook or one of my blogs and to realize later that I spelled a word wrong!

My mother used a very effective way of teaching me to spell correctly when I was little.  I used to ask her how to spell a word, and she would almost always tell me to go look it up in the dictionary.  What?!  Yes, looking a word up in the dictionary actually teaches you how to spell that particular word correctly.  Trust me, it worked for me and it can work for you.

And now I don't understand what the problem is.  There are dictionaries galore all over the place, many of which are downloaded already onto your computer (aka "spell check") and automatically put that nice little red line under the misspelled word so that you can see it.  Do people turn that off?  Do they simply ignore it?

I am not saying that I, for one, spell every word correctly every time.  On the contrary, I have misspelled several words while typing this post and have corrected them (or been corrected).  It's basic, you just have to make a little effort.

I had a professor in college who ranted and raved about this.  He would even return a paper back to a student with spelling mistakes.  His perspective was that using spell check was not enough, that a personal touch was needed as well to make sure that "there book" is correctly written as "their book" - and I can see what he meant.  And I must confess that this has stuck with me through the years because I use spell check and then I still go back and re-read the document again, not just for spelling errors but also grammar (but that's a subject for another day).

So, please, if you're a bad speller - we still love you - but please try a little harder.  A little correct spelling will go a long way in getting you the respect you already deserve from those around you!

1 comment:


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