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Wednesday, March 21, 2018
Article written by Jeffrey Hauser

R U Wurreed Cuz Yur Cid Kant Spel?

I’m a writer and author and, therefore, somewhat biased. I grew up in a school system that emphasized grammar and spelling. Later, throughout college, this concept was reinforced by a slew of professors. Today, I pride myself on my basic knowledge in these areas. Sure, I enjoy the benefits of having ‘spell-check’ on this site and my MS Word applications. But, in the real world, this isn’t the norm. I’m venting a bit because I see misspellings rampant among the articles on sites like this and spreading around the Internet. Go to myspace.com, the Holy Grail of young adult postings, and cringe when you read their writing.

What if the next generation can’t read or write? They already rely on calculators for all their math solutions. The other day, I made the mistake of giving a fast food cashier a five-dollar bill and a quarter as an afterthought, when the bill was $4.20. What was I thinking? They took an extra minute to figure out what to do. The problem was, they had already entered just the five dollar bill in the system. Time to get a supervisor.

This is just one instance. Now, I’m not picking on my college daughter, but I’ll use her as another example. She still has trouble with ‘there,’ ‘they’re,’ and ‘their.’ I’ll assume it’s probably fairly common. That also goes for ‘its’ and it’s.’ She admits she has no clue when it comes to comma usage: especially among a list of items, phrases, or thoughts. Also, changing tenses in mid-stream going from past to present in the same sentence: “I went home and get my sweater I need for work.” So, if she asks, I’ll help her all I can.

The problem with relying on a spell-check feature is that it can’t tell you if the entire word is wrong. Suppose you’re talking about an ‘affect’ (happening to something) or ‘effect?’ (has happened to something) Spelling is no longer the issue. Instead, it’s the knowledge of the correct word. This comes with reading, which I also feel is a lost art. I fear less and less young people read the newspapers and magazines. Although, I would guess, many read stories on the Internet. But, ultimately, reading helps spelling.

I could refer you to an article I wrote about using text-message shortcuts like ‘LOL’ and such, which certainly doesn’t help the situation. But the problem of spelling is spreading among adults in general. My thinking is that if someone goes to the trouble of posting a business website, get a proofreader. There’s no excuse for misspellings, sometime right in the main header. I even understand there’s an entire market for buying articles on Ebay that are misspelled. Like Guchi (Gucci), Louis Viton (Vuitton), and Tommy Hillfigger (Hilfiger), and therefore, not receiving many offers at auction. Good grief!

So what do we do about it? Well, we can do that person with the misspelled website a service and point out the mistake via a friendly e-mail. Or correct any other misspelling we find. I’m not immune to this crisis. I noticed a few typos (not actually misspellings) with prior articles I need to address, but I’ll go to the trouble to correct them. After all it’s my sivic duty, write?
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