Making an Arguement (sic) for Misspelling - Chicagoland Sportbikes
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post #1 of 48 (permalink) Old 08-18-2008, 04:03 PM Thread Starter
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Making an Arguement (sic) for Misspelling

My spelling compatriots will probably enjoy this read....

--------------------------------------------
http://www.time.com/time/world/artic...0.html?cnn=yes

Making an Arguement for Misspelling
Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2008
By Laura Fitzpatrick, TIME.com

Most teachers expect to correct their students' spelling mistakes once in a while. But Ken Smith has had enough. The senior lecturer in criminology at Bucks New University in Buckinghamshire, England, sees so many misspellings in papers submitted by first-year students that he says we'd be better off letting the perpetrators off the hook and doing away with certain spelling rules altogether.

Good spellers, Smith says, should be able to go on writing as usual; those who find the current rules of English too hard to learn should have their spelling labeled variant, not wrong. Smith zeroes in on 10 candidates for variant spellings, culled from his students' most commonly misspelled (or mispelled, as Smith suggests) words. Among them are Febuary instead of February, twelth instead of twelfth and truely instead of truly all words, he says, that involve confusion over silent letters. When students would ask why there's no e in truly, Smith didn't really have an answer. "I'd say, 'Well, I don't know. ... You've just got to drop it because people do,' " he says. Smith adds that when teachers correct spelling, they waste valuable time they could be spending on bigger ideas.

Word nerds aren't the only ones with a stake in the proposal. People who have trouble with spelling are punished when it comes to applying for jobs or even filling out forms, even though their mistakes are far from unusual, says Jack Bovill, chairman of the British-based Spelling Society, an international organization that has advocated simplified spellings since 1908. A 2007 Spelling Society survey of 1,000 British adults found that more than half could not spell embarrassed or millennium correctly and more than a quarter struggled with definitely, accidentally and separate.

Smith and Bovill are part of a long and illustrious line of spelling malcontents. Benjamin Franklin, Andrew Carnegie, Teddy Roosevelt and even Noah Webster, father of American lexicography, all lobbied for spelling reform, their reasons ranging from traumatic childhood spelling experiences to the hope that easier communication would promote peace. In 1906, Mark Twain lobbied the Associated Press to use phonetic spelling. "The heart of our trouble is with our foolish alphabet," he once wrote. "It doesn't know how to spell, and can't be taught."

Non-English-speaking countries have been simplifying their spelling for centuries: Spain, France, Germany, Russia, Norway, Ireland, Indonesia and Japan, among others, have all instituted such reforms; Portugal in May amended its spelling to follow the simpler Brazilian rules. Since 1755, when the English language was standardized in Samuel Johnson's aptly named Dictionary of the English Language, many variant spellings have become widely accepted on both sides of the pond. In 1864, for instance, the U.S. government officially changed the spelling of words like centre and timbre to end in the variant -er; more recently, at the beginning of the 20th century, fantasy became an accepted variant of phantasy.

But some language purists insist that there is value to the top-down rules of English. "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?"

Joe Pickett, executive editor of the American Heritage Dictionary, says that changes to dictionary entries are always on the table, but he and his seven fellow editors are a tough crowd. They keep an eye on print publications to see whether a variant usage has started to become mainstream. Any word that seems to be a good candidate for an update undergoes rigorous scrutiny as the editors seek input from a panel of some 200 orthographic and lexicographic whizzes. Even among this writerly crowd, 13% admitted in 1996 to combining a lot into a single word. But 93% still considered it an error and corrected it in their own writing leading the editors not to change the entry. Variants are added to the dictionary, Pickett says, "only when we're really convinced that even people like us don't notice [the misspelling] much."

Smith, for his part, insists that he is advocating only for minor changes. "I'm not saying to people who have actually gone to all the trouble to learn all the exceptions to the rule that they should unlearn it. I'm just saying, let's have a few more variant spellings," he says. And if that doesn't catch on, he has another idea. "In the 21st century, why learn by heart rote spelling when you can just type it into a computer and spell-check?" he asks.
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post #2 of 48 (permalink) Old 08-18-2008, 04:11 PM
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This is proof that we are all getting dumber.

What's next? Are they going to make texting it's own official language?
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post #3 of 48 (permalink) Old 08-18-2008, 04:12 PM
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awesome, lazy teachers + lazy students = noo dikshunary
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post #4 of 48 (permalink) Old 08-18-2008, 04:16 PM
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What's next? Are they going to make texting it's own official language?
ummm....

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post #5 of 48 (permalink) Old 08-18-2008, 04:18 PM
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post #6 of 48 (permalink) Old 08-18-2008, 04:19 PM
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i think if we're gonna throw out spelling.. why not be grammar toos?

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post #7 of 48 (permalink) Old 08-18-2008, 04:31 PM
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I'd rather see kids know how to use words than spell words.

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post #8 of 48 (permalink) Old 08-18-2008, 04:38 PM
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if spelling, grammar and words in the english language never changed we would all still be talking like romeo and juliet. try and read beowolf in old english and see how far you get.

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post #9 of 48 (permalink) Old 08-18-2008, 04:47 PM
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I think it is still important that the English language continues to evolve. The way this article was written, it seemed as if the teacher was simply being lazy and did not want to deal w/ all of the spelling errors. College kids slack off and wait until the last minute. Spell check doesnt even get ran in most circumstances. I dont think that it would make much sense to accept this as an evolution of language simply because people are too lazy to learn how to do things right. I dont spell well myself, but I would not expect people to change our language to be more accomidating.
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post #10 of 48 (permalink) Old 08-18-2008, 04:57 PM
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Today there are spell-checkers (heck, even this board has one). It's a lot easier to catch and correct spelling errors now than in the past. But I still keep a dictionary handy, as I'm a horrible speller, and not so advanced typist.

Language evolves, but just because everyone spells something wrong, doesn't make it right. Or does it? <--- Uh Oh, Philosophy breakout!

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post #11 of 48 (permalink) Old 08-18-2008, 04:58 PM Thread Starter
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ummm....
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post #12 of 48 (permalink) Old 08-18-2008, 05:01 PM Thread Starter
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This is an excellent read for anyone interested in the evolution of the English language. I believe I have recommended it in previous threads; can't stress enough just how good of a read it is. Very witty and easy to read.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Mother_Tongue_(book)
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post #13 of 48 (permalink) Old 08-18-2008, 09:43 PM
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You knew I'd have to respond

The misspelling of common words in a language the user considers to be their native language just grates on me. Or how high school graduates don't know the difference between their/they're/there, you're/your, it's/its, hear/here, break/brake, etc.

What really drives me crazy is the unnecessary apostrophes I see everywhere. When did every plural word need an apostrophe? Furthermore, were did these people learn this? Please stop abusing apostrophe's. ([sic] just in case)

In a medium where the written word is your method of communication, all these basic English language errors just make the offenders look uneducated. How can they expect to be taken seriously? Everyone makes errors, but come on.
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post #14 of 48 (permalink) Old 08-18-2008, 09:46 PM Thread Starter
pfft.
 
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Originally Posted by zerogta View Post
In a medium where the written word is your method of communication, all these basic English language errors just make the offenders look uneducated.
OMGILoveYouCanIHaveYourBabiesSoWeCanPopulateTheEar thWithIngtelligentBeings????
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post #15 of 48 (permalink) Old 08-18-2008, 09:50 PM
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Originally Posted by ill_ag View Post
OMGILoveYouCanIHaveYourBabiesSoWeCanPopulateTheEar thWithIngtelligentBeings????
I've been married too long to know how to respond to that. Maybe eight years ago in a past life?

Oh, and Phelps ain't got nothin' on me. (How's that for proper English?) Except the whole swimming thing...

Last edited by Zero; 08-18-2008 at 09:52 PM.
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post #16 of 48 (permalink) Old 08-18-2008, 09:56 PM Thread Starter
pfft.
 
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I've been married too long to know how to respond to that. Maybe eight years ago in a past life?

Oh, and Phelps ain't got nothin' on me. (How's that for proper English?) Except the whole swimming thing...
Ohhh...riiiight. I'm sorry; there's been a misunderstanding. I didn't want a relationship; just your sperm.
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post #17 of 48 (permalink) Old 08-18-2008, 09:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zerogta View Post

In a medium where the written word is your method of communication, all these basic English language errors just make the offenders look uneducated. How can they expect to be taken seriously? Everyone makes errors, but come on.
I am un-edge-um-a-cate-ed, does that meen EYE cant bee heer?

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post #18 of 48 (permalink) Old 08-18-2008, 10:02 PM
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Ohhh...riiiight. I'm sorry; there's been a misunderstanding. I didn't want a relationship; just your sperm.
See, I've been out of the game too long to even respond correctly.
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post #19 of 48 (permalink) Old 08-18-2008, 10:04 PM Thread Starter
pfft.
 
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See, I've been out of the game too long to even respond correctly.
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post #20 of 48 (permalink) Old 08-18-2008, 10:05 PM
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I am un-edge-um-a-cate-ed, does that meen EYE cant bee heer?
I don't make those decisions. You have an awesome bike so you could stay if it were up to me.
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post #21 of 48 (permalink) Old 08-18-2008, 10:29 PM
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I don't make those decisions. You have an awesome bike so you could stay if it were up to me.
You mean "had" an awsome bike. I should edit my list.

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post #22 of 48 (permalink) Old 08-18-2008, 10:29 PM
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If it's that big of deal in the schools that the teachers/professors don't want to correct spelling or make exceptions for it, then if an assignment is turned in with more than 3 spelling errors, they fail it. That will teach people to improve their spelling. Hand out a warning at the beginning of school, all students sign it, and copies are kept on file. So no BS suing the school for dummies failing because they can't spell at the college level.

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post #23 of 48 (permalink) Old 08-18-2008, 10:32 PM Thread Starter
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I don't make those decisions. You have an awesome bike so you could stay if it were up to me.
Oh I see now. You're hitting on sqrly. Got it.
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post #24 of 48 (permalink) Old 08-18-2008, 10:35 PM
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Oh I see now. You're hitting on sqrly. Got it.
I have a pin-stripe suit and a cool hat.

You just have a guy that can't even dress himself completely.


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post #25 of 48 (permalink) Old 08-18-2008, 10:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Audiofyl View Post
If it's that big of deal in the schools that the teachers/professors don't want to correct spelling or make exceptions for it, then if an assignment is turned in with more than 3 spelling errors, they fail it. That will teach people to improve their spelling. Hand out a warning at the beginning of school, all students sign it, and copies are kept on file. So no BS suing the school for dummies failing because they can't spell at the college level.
I'm all for that. Some of my non-English/non-writing professors were harder on grammatical and spelling errors than my English/writing/Journalism professors.

If English is your native language and/or you have completed compulsory education in the United States and you don't get 100% on this test; you need to go back to all of your schools and kick every last one of your teachers in the junk. I'd start at 3rd grade and work my way up.
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post #26 of 48 (permalink) Old 08-18-2008, 10:43 PM
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Quote:
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Oh I see now. You're hitting on sqrly. Got it.
No, but his avatar is better looking that yours, imo. That has to count for something.
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post #27 of 48 (permalink) Old 08-18-2008, 10:45 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by zerogta View Post
No, but his avatar is better looking that yours, imo. That has to count for something.
Quoted to capture your error, Mr. Smarty Pants



And P.S.: Please refrain from bashing Mr. Wilcock, lest you feel the wrath of every woman on clsb
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post #28 of 48 (permalink) Old 08-18-2008, 10:53 PM
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Originally Posted by ill_ag View Post
Quoted to capture your error, Mr. Smarty Pants



And P.S.: Please refrain from bashing Mr. Wilcock, lest you feel the wrath of every woman on clsb
Owned by the lack of apostrophe. I'm just a big faker. I've been outed. My hatred of unnecessary apostrophes made me do it.

Mr. Wilcock? Is that what you call him? Creative. Oh, that's his real last name?

You didn't capitalize CLSB. 1:1
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post #29 of 48 (permalink) Old 08-18-2008, 10:56 PM Thread Starter
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Owned by the lack of apostrophe. I'm just a big faker. I've been outed. My hatred of unnecessary apostrophes made me do it.

Mr. Wilcock? Is that what you call him? Creative. Oh, that's his real last name?

You didn't capitalize CLSB. 1:1
No, it was a that/than error. I originally suspected typo, but after you offended Mr. Wilcock I just decided to be mean and point out the mistake.

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post #30 of 48 (permalink) Old 08-18-2008, 10:58 PM
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Damn, you're right. This battle isn't over. Keep typing.
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