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Subject:Re: Typ o sin Rsms From:"Wayne J. Douglass" <wayned -at- VERITY -dot- COM> Date:Fri, 28 Feb 1997 09:26:59 -0800
At 04:58 PM 2/27/97 PST, Robert Plamondon wrote:
>Even spelling is not a basic writing skill. There are good writers who
>can't spell consistently (Shakespeare leaps immediately to mind). In
>fact, rigid spelling rules are a relatively new invention. Much of the
>world's great literature predates this newfangled concept. Composition
>is the central skill -- word choice and (to a lesser extent) punctuation --
>with spelling being distinctly secondary. Heck, in many languages it's
>not even an issue, since the spelling rules are so straightforward that
>there's little chance to screw up.
Shakespeare is not the best example because English orthography was nowhere
near standardized in the Renaissance. As someone who has examined English
plays from the period, I can testify to the charm of seeing the same word
spelled four different ways *on the same page.* F. Scott Fitzgerald, to
choose someone closer to our time, was a notoriously bad speller - and he
went to Princeton!
And remember Marshall McLuhan's dictum: "Nobody made a grammatical error in
a preliterate society."
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