Friday, August 08, 2008

And Now, A Word from Our Sponsor

You all know this blog is written by an English teacher--classes start in LESS THAN TWO WEEKS (help).

So, it was with great dismay that I read this story from the BBC: Bad spelling should be accepted.

I sent an email to my daughter with this story attached (she and I share many things including a love of good writing). Her response: This is silly. What about frequently made math errors? Or geography errors?

Oh, I so agree. What's a little mistake in addition? No problem--just consider it a variant. A small geography misplacement? No problem--just a variant. PLEASE.

But, there is still hope. Here's a story about a man who READ the Oxford English Dictionary. For particular enjoyment, note the list of words the man found that were his favorites. Example: gymnologize--to dispute naked, like an Indian philosopher.

Ahhhh--I can relax; there's still hope as long as someone cares enough about words to read the w-h-o-l-e dictionary. All 22,000 pages of it.

12 comments:

NCmountainwoman said...

Variant spelling? That is a terrible idea. Whenever I read something containing spelling errors, I no longer give the author much credibility.

egretsnest said...

Shaking head in wonder (or is it horror?).

Anvilcloud said...

What's the problem? I agree that bad spelling should be excepted.

Anonymous said...

I agree, but I equivocate on this one. Sometimes I grumble about what I call “the dumbing down” of American speech nowadays. But then I think, “Why not?” After all we don’t all pronounce words the same. Why not spell it Febuary instead of February when so many people pronounce it “Feb-you-ary”? And how about the difference between British and “American” spelling? Eg. Colour or color! Favour or favor! Saviour or Savior! And how about poor grammatical construction? Eg. “He took you and I to town.” I enjoyed your blog, dom. (that isn’t a downgraded spelling of dumb, but an affectionate way of saying “daughter of mine.” And I enjoyed reading of the man who read through the OED. Did you know your brother has (or had) the “Oxford Complete”? Or was it the OED? Your mother and I gave it to him Christmas of 1975 (at least I think it was 1975). Ask him about it.
Love, Father “C”
(Thank you anvil cloud for your comment. Beautiful!)

RuthieJ said...

Bad spelling has always been one of my pet peeves and as 'just a regular person' it drives me nuts when I see it on TV, in the newspaper and even on some people's blogs. I feel it detracts from the credibility of the writer. Donna, as a teacher, it must really make you crazy!

Climenheise said...

My dear niece is a wonderful person, but the comparison to math or geography makes no sense. If the bank teller gives me $900 instead of the %1,000 I asked for, I do not tolerate it! If the travel agent confuses Acadia and Alabama , or Kentucky and Kazakhstan, I don't murmur encouragingly, "It's just geography!"

When communication matters accuracy matters. I know that language changes over time, and that's fine. But much of what we experience is not change, just carelessness.

Rant over!

KGMom said...

Daryl--not sure what point you thought your niece was making, but I believe your observation was her point. We DON'T tolerate variances in math or geography; why should we in spelling?
BTW--she and I are both big fans of the book EATS SHOOTS AND LEAVES--a paean to the need for accurate punctuation.

Beverly said...

When I'm not sure if my grammar is correct (especially in a blog post where people read critically,) I usually change it around so that I know it is correct.

Misspelling I can't abide. However, there are a couple of blogs that I read whose spelling and use of punctuation and grammar leaves much to be desired, but they are writing to express their thoughts. I admire both of them for blogging.

Now, if they were educators or professional writers and made those errors, I would not bother to read their writings...

LauraHinNJ said...

Ridiculous! It seems almost bound to happen tho, considering the way that communication is changing.

Africakid said...

"Gymnologize" is such a great word! Now I just have to figure out how to fit it into my conversations...

Climenheise said...

Your explanation clears up my misunderstanding. "This is silly" -- I thought she meant that worrying about grammar and spelling in this way is silly. Which is why I didn't grasp the comparison. Clearly my mine ran alongside hers without seeing that we were on the same track.

Mary said...

Ugh. misspelt. I hate the way it looks and the way it sounds. Period.