Re: Yay or Nay

Subject: Re: Yay or Nay
From: Phil Snow Leopard <philstokes03 -at- googlemail -dot- com>
To: "techwrl (techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com)" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 1 Feb 2012 21:26:06 +0700

I'm torn on this one.

On the one hand, there's a crucial difference between making a typing error (a typo, and I'm sure there'll be a few in this post) and a spelling error that revolves around knowledge and ignorance of spelling conventions.

On the other hand, spelling is just a convention and changes over time. Of course, there is social capital in knowing those conventions and practical consequences of not knowing them: not being able to spell may make you look uneducated at worst and cause a disaster at best (I'm imagining a case where a spelling error leads to some critical misunderstanding such as where the spelling mistake produced a correctly spelled word, but not the intended one).

Nonetheless, it seems to me that if in the modern world people can act in accordance with the conventions of the day with technological help (spellcheckers and what not), I'm not sure why we should be against that. Apart from recording meanings, traditional dictionaries have always served as 'snail mail' versions of spellcheckers anyway.

Unlike John, I'd argue that thinking is done through writing in the sense of logically ordering and combining thoughts, rather than through spelling. After all, what is 'spelled' in the US is 'spelt' in the UK. I'm not sure that the width of the Atlantic is a reason to be pessimistic about thinking skills on either side of the pond (but then again...oh dear...now that could be a can of worms... :-)

Phil
Tech Writer:
http://applehelpwriter.com


On 1 Feb 2012, at 21:08, John Allred wrote:

> At the risk of showing my age, what this Newthink action highlights is the loss of vision for what our educational system should provide: improving our ability to think.
>
> Recalling the introduction of slide rules (remember those?) and calculators into math testing, educators decided that the end goal of getting the answer was more important than having their students understand the process.
>
> In the "real world," precious few people can spell above third grade level, and as few also use their spell checkers.
>
> Once they figure out how to get MS Word to do the thinking and writing, they can pay kids $10 dollars an hour to pull the paper off the printer and make neat stacks of them.
>
> Where has our collective vision of our future gone?
>
>
> On Feb 1, 2012, at 7:37 AM, "Dan Goldstein" <DGoldstein -at- riveraintech -dot- com> wrote:
>
>> "We are not letting a student's keyboarding skills get in the way of being able to judge their writing ability," said state Superintendent Susan Castillo.
>>
>> The state Superintendent thinks that all spelling errors are the result of hitting the wrong key on the keyboard. Sounds pretty ridiculous to me.
>>
>> Obviously, you don't "have to be good at spelling to be a good writer." But that's not the question at hand.
>>
>>
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: DaLy
>> Sent: Tuesday, January 31, 2012 7:44 PM
>> To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
>> Subject: Yay or Nay
>>
>>
>> Do you have to be good at spelling to be a good writer? Not necessarily, at least not in Oregon public schools?
>>
>> http://www.oregonlive.com/education/index.ssf/2010/12/oregon_will_allow_students_to.html
>>
>> I think spelling, grammar ,and structure are as important as content. IMHO, this is just another way to push kids through the public school system.
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
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Follow-Ups:

References:
RE: Yay or Nay: From: Dan Goldstein
Re: Yay or Nay: From: John Allred

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