Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Spell Check?

Time magazine has an article entitled "Making an Arguement [sic] for Misspelling" (and if you were to go to the link, you can see that 'arguement' is actually misspelled for the article, which I cannot say if it is done on purpose since it is not mentioned at all in the text). The point of the article essentially asks if we should consider changing the spelling of words to suit those who make errors.
For instances, the article states that words like truly are often misspelled (as is the word misspelled - as 'mispelled') as 'truely' and since these misspellings are a frequent occurrence, perhaps, just maybe, we should consider changing the English language to accommodate these oft misspelled words as a "variant spelling" of whatever word is in question.
Now if anyone wants to talk about dumbing down of America, now would be a prime time to begin just such a discussion - even if the English language is not the sole property of Americans, it would seem most Americans would happily accept such a change to the language for their own lazy reasoning (lazy in that they do not wish to learn how to actually spell a word).
Not to mention the computer age and the glorious usage of spell checker to correct all our little mishaps. Think about how many times the spell checker will change your words FOR YOU, unbeknown to you as a writer. You misspell the word opportunity, and BAM, it's fixed for you, so every time you type 'oppertunity' it changes magically to 'opportunity' - go ahead, go to Microsoft Word and give it a shot, I promise you the word corrects on its own. And this is just one example of such a feat. How many other words are people constantly misspelling that spell check simply changes for them? Sure makes life easier going through it spelling words incorrectly every time, just to have the word processor do the correction for you. After all, your time is likely too precious to take the time to A) know you made an error and B) to find the proper spelling of said error.
It seems almost daily I come across a posting on an article where someone is spelling 'loose' for the word 'lose.' Now I understand this is a common error that one can make when typing and doing so quickly, but the poster often uses the term 3 or 4 times in their post, only to use the term 'loose' each and every time - in the context of "the Red Sox loose the game" ... huh? How exactly does one loose a game? On the same posts, there will be someone specifically telling the individual that types 'loose' to learn 'grammer' ... errr, did you mean they need to learn GRAMMAR? Yeah, thought so. And 'grammer' is another word that should never be 'accepted as a variant spelling.' It would be a travesty if it came to such.
But this Ken Smith (senior lecturer in criminology at Bucks New University in Buckinghamshire, England) seems to think that "oft made errors should just become a variant spelling," but I ask, what about my case above? Loose is the oft made error for lose - but if we now accept 'loose' as a variant spelling, then how are we now supposed to accept the actual word 'loose' when used properly?
I will admit, I am not the best speller ever, but I have worked hard on this aspect of the English language to where now I have become a much, much better speller. And if I can't spell a word, I look it up, or have spell check do it for me - once my spell check shows me the correct spelling, I take the time to learn it before moving on - that way, I don't waste my time again and again trying to figure out the spelling of every word I use, and I certainly don't expect anyone to change the grammatically accepted (not 'excepted') principals to suit my too-lazy-to-find-the-correct-spelling needs.
Now, the language is just fine as is, and besides, if it is now 'exceptable' (I'm making a point here) to 'mispell' (same point) words, then how can I tell who the morons of the world 'truely' (again, same point) are? Oh yeah, it'll be easy because I still know the proper spelling and usage of words. At least I'll know I'm not a moron.

No comments: