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Does Spelling Count?
The Atlantic ^ | MAR 5 2013

Posted on 03/05/2013 1:49:51 PM PST by nickcarraway

In a perfect world, students might be judged by their ideas alone -- not by whether they write "you're" or "your." But that isn't the world we live in.

It happens every time. As I hand the test out to my middle school students, one of them will invariably look up, pencil at the ready, and ask, "Does spelling count?"

Let's ignore the fact that my students should know better than to even ask this question in the first place. I've answered it more times than I care to remember, usually in the fall of the new school year, and it goes something like this:

Yes. Spelling counts. I have lots of witty quips loaded up in my quiver about why it counts, but my new favorite comes from homeschooling mom of four Jodi Jackson Stewart who tweeted me with her answer to this question: "Spelling counts here because spelling counts out there."

Let's imagine you work in human resources department in a company like Google, or in the admissions department of a popular university. You are responsible for reading thousands of applications and whittling those thousands down to a handful of promising candidates by next Tuesday, when you will meet with your boss. The application files are thick, and at the height of admissions or hiring season you have learned to carry a couple of extra grocery bags around in your car for toting these files back and forth between work and home. You have four meetings and a dentist appointment tomorrow, and you simply can't imagine how you will get through these application files.

Now, imagine that it's late on Monday night. Your kids have been put to bed, but your spouse is insisting on some alone time, and you've already spent nine hours today reading through these applications.

(Excerpt) Read more at theatlantic.com ...


TOPICS: Education
KEYWORDS: edumacation; english; isthisonthetest; language; orthography; spelling; spellingcounts; wordpolice

1 posted on 03/05/2013 1:49:54 PM PST by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway

Speling allways cunts.


2 posted on 03/05/2013 1:52:12 PM PST by eCSMaster (Palin was correct!)
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To: nickcarraway

What annoys me is when college grads do not know the difference between the plural and the possessive.


3 posted on 03/05/2013 1:54:31 PM PST by Perdogg (Sen Ted Cruz is my adoptive Senator, Rand Paul for President in 2016)
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To: nickcarraway; a fool in paradise; Slings and Arrows
Spelling's dead, Jim!


4 posted on 03/05/2013 1:55:12 PM PST by Revolting cat! (Bad things are wrong! Ice cream is delicious!)
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To: nickcarraway

When I was in college the standard acceptable limit before receiving an F was 3 grammar/spelling errors per 1,000 words.


5 posted on 03/05/2013 1:58:14 PM PST by SampleMan (Feral Humans are the refuse of socialism.)
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To: nickcarraway

Considering how much effort was put in standardizing spelling, it seems idiotic to abandon it because people are too lazy and/or stupid to try and spell correctly.


6 posted on 03/05/2013 2:00:18 PM PST by Shadow44
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To: nickcarraway

My spelling isn’t the greatest but I try because I recognize the importance of it.


7 posted on 03/05/2013 2:03:03 PM PST by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: cripplecreek

Correct spelling and punctuation add no weight to an argument; but careless blunders cause many readers to ignore it altogether.


8 posted on 03/05/2013 2:14:21 PM PST by LearsFool ("Thou shouldst not have been old, till thou hadst been wise.")
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To: SampleMan

I don’t know when you were in college, but today’s students have access to grammar/spell checking assistance in the word processing programs. There should be no reason for very many errors.

Also, I don’t agree that improper usage (such as mixing up their, they’re, their) constitutes spelling errors; it seems to be more of an ignorance of the proper usage and/or laziness to figure out the correct usage.


9 posted on 03/05/2013 2:14:30 PM PST by NEMDF
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To: nickcarraway

In Hebrew, Greek and Roman numerals, yes, very much so...


10 posted on 03/05/2013 2:23:42 PM PST by null and void (Gun confiscation enables tyranny. Don't enable tyranny.)
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To: nickcarraway

I loathe texting. But when I inevitably receive a text from my kids or my wife that contains lazy ‘text speak’ I have a generic response::

That does not make sense and it does not look like anything in the English language that I have seen. Reply to me with what you need in normal written words or call me like an adult.


11 posted on 03/05/2013 2:29:41 PM PST by envisio (Its on like Donkey Kong!!)
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To: nickcarraway; Revolting cat!; Slings and Arrows
It happens every time. As I hand the test out to my middle school students, one of them will invariably look up, pencil at the ready, and ask, "Does spelling count?"

"What difference does it make?!!!"

12 posted on 03/05/2013 2:30:22 PM PST by a fool in paradise (America 2013 - STUCK ON STUPID)
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To: eCSMaster; JoeProBono
In the future, spelling won't matter as much.


13 posted on 03/05/2013 2:33:34 PM PST by a fool in paradise (America 2013 - STUCK ON STUPID)
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To: nickcarraway

If you can’t spell...
...people can’t find what you publish on the ‘net.
...nobody will care about what you write, because it hasn’t been thought through well enough to even get obvious spelling right.
...people will laugh at what you wrote, because autocorrect will do some amazing things with misspellings. See damnyouautocorrect.com and imagine being a feature there.


14 posted on 03/05/2013 2:39:42 PM PST by ctdonath2 (3% of the population perpetrates >50% of homicides...but gun control advocates blame metal boxes.)
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To: envisio

I had a boss at a law firm who was a stickler for “the right word” (not just grammar, tense, or punctuation) in email communications who’d go into full on textspeech mode when she was sending IM messages (ur for YOUR). Looked lowest grade dumbass to me.


15 posted on 03/05/2013 2:40:34 PM PST by a fool in paradise (America 2013 - STUCK ON STUPID)
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To: nickcarraway

I read a number of resumes. With the technology that’s available today, anyone putting out a resume with spelling errors is just flat lazy. My opinion is, if you don’t take yourself seriously enough to run a spellcheck on a document that is your attempt to impress me with your abilities and experience, then why should I take you seriously?


16 posted on 03/05/2013 2:45:38 PM PST by Hoffer Rand (There ARE two Americas: "God's children" and the tax payers)
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In most cases, I can accurately predict the age of any poster on the internet by evaluating their spelling and grammar alone. Well constructed sentences, good spelling and grammar are almost the exclusive domain of the ancients among us.


17 posted on 03/05/2013 2:47:39 PM PST by dsrtsage (One half of all people have below average IQ. In the US the number is 54%)
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To: NEMDF

If news articles are any indication, the auto-correct functions aren’t helping them that much.

I’m guilty now and then of typos and even bone headed misuse here on FR, but not on finished professional product. I consider lightening fast posts like this to be judged a bit differently than academic and professional work.


18 posted on 03/05/2013 2:48:20 PM PST by SampleMan (Feral Humans are the refuse of socialism.)
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To: SampleMan

Agreed! (note: that was not a full sentence!!)

CARRY ON & have a good evening.


19 posted on 03/05/2013 3:00:31 PM PST by NEMDF
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To: a fool in paradise

20 posted on 03/05/2013 3:13:53 PM PST by JoeProBono (A closed mouth gathers no feet - Mater tua caligas exercitus gerit ;-{)
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To: nickcarraway
I recall a professor at a local community college who complained that her students didn't know how to correctly spell "whales," "wails" and "Wales." If I had her students, I would use three princes to demonstrate the correct spelling of those words:
21 posted on 03/05/2013 3:26:01 PM PST by Fiji Hill (Io Triumphe!)
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To: nickcarraway

Spelling is a major discriminator for me. Any misspelling on a resume, and the candidate is trashed. It tells so much about the person.


22 posted on 03/05/2013 3:26:48 PM PST by SgtHooper (The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list.)
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To: JoeProBono

I can use that in a sentence, “Dis Lexus is for sale, with low mileage and low interest. How ‘bout it?”


23 posted on 03/05/2013 3:27:14 PM PST by a fool in paradise (America 2013 - STUCK ON STUPID)
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To: dsrtsage
Well constructed sentences, good spelling and grammar are almost the exclusive domain of the ancients among us.

And if the examples were hand-written you would be able to separate the ancients from the young by the latter's inability to do cursive writing; moreover, many of them can't even print without mixing caps and lowercase letters within words.

24 posted on 03/05/2013 3:57:06 PM PST by luvbach1 (We are finished.)
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To: nickcarraway

Spelling is necessary.

The correct use of possessive pronouns has gone the wayside with the boon of electronic messaging “shorthand”.

The earlier inclusion of barbaric “ebonics” into the English language, was a mistake heralded by the Politically Correct and Revisionist crowd.

I worked for a time at the local state employment division, as a part-time mentor, for those ignorant of computer usage and the English language. This included high school graduates, and a few college graduates, as well as middle-aged men who have worked with their hands all their life, leaving their wives to do anything involving a pencil to paper.

The computer usage ignorance I was prepared for, but NOT the lack of ability to create a simple resume, i.e., “What was your job, and what did you do?”

I kept thinking, “in the future, THESE humans will be those that will be deciding about MY financial future????”


25 posted on 03/05/2013 4:15:29 PM PST by Terry L Smith
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To: Perdogg

Ummm...do you mean like more than 50% of those posting on FR, with their Kennedy’s and Cuban’s and possibility’s and it’s who then call me a Nazi (another word they don’t know how to pluralize) when I point it out to them?


26 posted on 03/05/2013 4:26:09 PM PST by kabumpo (Kabumpo)
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To: NEMDF
...such as mixing up their, they’re, their...

While I have no problem with "their" and "they're", I find myself constantly misusing "their" for "their". :=)

27 posted on 03/05/2013 4:30:09 PM PST by Bob
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To: cripplecreek
My spelling isn’t the greatest but I try because I recognize the importance of it.

Perhaps we don't agree on certain matters (I have specific reference to our disagreement on college financing), cripplecreek, but I have always been impressed by the language in your posts. You obviously have spent a lot of time polishing your language.

28 posted on 03/05/2013 5:36:31 PM PST by OldPossum
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To: OldPossum

And I’m a high school dropout.

Fo’Shizzle. LOL


29 posted on 03/05/2013 5:42:32 PM PST by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: a fool in paradise
Klingon keyboards make spelling corrections automatically.


30 posted on 03/05/2013 5:43:50 PM PST by Lancey Howard
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To: cripplecreek

Yes, I know, and that’s why your English is so impressive.


31 posted on 03/05/2013 5:56:39 PM PST by OldPossum
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To: kabumpo

LOL!


32 posted on 03/05/2013 7:34:19 PM PST by Perdogg (Sen Ted Cruz is my adoptive Senator, Rand Paul for President in 2016)
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To: nickcarraway

“you’re” or “your.” , is not a matter of spelling. It’s knowing which to use.


33 posted on 03/05/2013 7:55:26 PM PST by Graybeard58 (_.. ._. .. _. _._ __ ___ ._. . ___ ..._ ._ ._.. _ .. _. .)
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To: Bob

Well, THERE you have it!


34 posted on 03/06/2013 6:30:34 AM PST by NEMDF
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To: Perdogg
What annoys me is when college grads do not know the difference between the plural and the possessive.

Collage grad's are fool's.

35 posted on 03/06/2013 6:37:55 AM PST by Half Vast Conspiracy (Based on a letter from an 8 year old…school is now illegal…”cuz it’s yuckey and dumb".)
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