Re: MS will help us find the right words?

Subject: Re: MS will help us find the right words?
From: Caroline Tabach <caroline -dot- tabach -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: Michael West <mbwest -at- bigpond -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 23 Feb 2009 12:15:54 +0200

If we look at this a bit differently, how about starting with the
school child who from some point writes many of their papers using
Word, and its spell-checker. In this case, the child actually never
learns to spell correctly in the first place, as they rely on the
spell-checker; in the same way that use of calculators from an early
age, means they do not acquire complex maths skills at all in the
first place. So, therefore we could be talking about not acquiring the
skill of correct spelling, rather than losing this skill. Or, the part
of humanity that depends on computers will no longer know how to do
mental arithmetic or spell.
Therefore I am not sure whether Edgar meant that the members of this
list, who are after-all a very specific sub-set, will lose their
spelling abilities, but that in general, regular people relying on
computers, will at some point lose their ability to spell correctly.
Possibly, they will never even learn how to spell in the first place.

On Mon, Feb 23, 2009 at 11:29 AM, Michael West <mbwest -at- bigpond -dot- com> wrote:
> Edgar D' Souza wrote:
>> No, I don't mean it quite that drastically... what I meant was that
>> when people rely on an electronic (or other external aid) for a task,
>> instead of letting their brain handle it... the ability atrophies.
> [...]
>> I think the old "use it or lose it" and "the mind is a muscle" sum it
>> up neatly. Yes, productivity sometimes requires us to discard older
>> ways of doing things, but where it's possible to maintain the mental
>> abilities, it makes sense to do so - would you agree with that?
> Well, sort of, to the extent that I believe anyone really does forget how to
> spell by relying entirely on a manifestly imperfect technological aid. Silly
> buggers, if they exist. I rather believe that such aids give bad spellers a
> chance to improve slightly, while careful spellers are not in the least
> deprived of that ability while being given a little proofreading assistance.
> In fact, that notion seems absurd to me. Even a dictionary or a grammar
> handbook is of use only to people who understand how to use them. If you
> don't know an adverb from a preposition, then nothing in the grammar
> handbook will make any sense to you anyway. It's no different if the grammar
> rules or spelling rules are loaded into a word processor.
> .............
> --
> Mike
> ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
> --
Caroline Tabach
Technical Writer
e-mail: caroline -dot- tabach -at- gmail -dot- com

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Re: MS will help us find the right words?: From: Michael West
Re: MS will help us find the right words?: From: Edgar D' Souza
RE: MS will help us find the right words?: From: Michael West

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