Friday, August 08, 2008


This morning's Yahoo headlines included a story about Ken Smith, a criminology lecturer at Bucks New University who wants university professors to accept common misspellings.

Um.... No.

I'm a girl who likes certainty. I've given up most black-and-white notions as I've matured, but surely we can agree that spelling is a binary system. Right (on). Wrong (off). 

What was I doing all those years in elementary school if not preparing to be right once in a damn while? I memorized thousands of words for hundreds of spelling tests. Tell me that wasn't a waste of time. Please.

Once upon a time you could rely on grammar for the occasional opportunity to be right, but that's headed right down the tubes. I spent a lot of time learning the difference between restrictive and non-restrictive clauses, and now people just throw thats and whichs every which way without a care in the world. Participles dangle off the edges of correspondence. Infinitives get split just to see what's inside. 

Spelling is one of the few absolutes we've got left in this crazy world, Mr. Smith. Leave us that one, could you?


Carrie Wilson Link said...

Ditto! And (look at me start a sentence with and!) don't get me started on how text messaging has ruined all semblance of order in the world!

mamatulip said...

Hear, hear.

doubting thomas said...

At first glance I thought maybe this fellow was perhaps arguing that language should be allowed to evolve (yes).

So, for example, one might argue that there are cases where it's okay to write "thru" instead of "through. Or that irregular verbs like "dive" might accept "dived" instead of "dove" as the past tense.

But when I looked at the article, I see that that's not the case at all...."twelth" instead of "twelfth."???


Nope. In this regard, my sister, you can rest easy in your certainty.

kario said...

I'm with you, my dear. Why would we make a change that would allow for MORE misunderstandings in the way that we communicate with each other when we've already proven that most of our difficulties come from misunderstandings? Someone please give that man something that will shut him up!

Michelle O'Neil said...

Well, I for one, am offended that Doubting Thomas above is messing with the order in WTF.

I don't care much for the grammer police, but WTF is sacred.

Deb said...

I'm still trying to come to grips with the changing rules about paragraphing. Accepting any old spelling puts me right over the edge, and makes my job even more impossible than it already is. Imagine a Friday spelling test where every student gets 100% no matter what they write. . . .

Amber said...

Yet another example of how society has gotten so touchy-feely. Why should be have STADARDS that might make someone feel bad, or have to learn something that might be hard for them?? Tisk tisk tisk. I am sure someone somewhere might feel JUDGED if they have their spelling corected. It might stamp on their creativity, as well. lol!

I am a crappy speller. So crappy! But that is life. I wouldn't expect everyone else to sink to my level so I don't feel bad. That is why I have those little speller things with me all the time! (Those thing rock) lol