Do you guys value good spelling?

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  • #26
Evo
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Integral said:
Grammar and spelling are very difficult for me. I struggle continuously to transfer my thoughts to readable and understandable written words. I also recognize that I do not always succeed.

I object to those who do not even try. This forum is a wonderful opportunity to learn written communications skills. Every post should be make with the reader in mind. Well written, correctly spelled, correctly punctuated text is easy to read and understand. If you wish to be understood you should strive to write clearly and correctly. Is it always possible to succeed? Of course not, especially when you are attempting to convey difficult concepts. What is important is putting in the effort, with effort your writing will improve over time.

With all of this, I recognize that English is a second, or third, or fourth.. language for many of our members, Since I barely have command of the English language only, I am in no position to criticize others writing.

(By the way I use IEspell, it found ~12 misspelled words in the original text above!)
You missed some. :wink: I can't help but noticing when I read things, sorry. :redface: It just shows that spellcheck software can't find all mistakes, but it does help.
 
  • #27
Integral
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Evo said:
You missed some. :wink: I can't help but noticing when I read things, sorry. :redface: It just shows that spellcheck software can't find all mistakes, but it does help.
What were my fingers thinking! :cry:
 
  • #28
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Integral said:
What were my fingers thinking! :cry:
It happens to the best of us. <hugs Integral> :tongue:
 
  • #29
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Evo said:
It happens to the best of us. <hugs Integral> :tongue:
Oooh... Thanks.. I needed that! :biggrin:
 
  • #30
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And what I wrote wasn't meant to be in an offensive tone either.

I agree with Fred Garvin that in informal/colloquial situations spelling/grammar isn't (or shouldn't be) that big of a deal. I mean, it can't be absolutely atrocious.. it just has to be good enough to get across the message, because that's what writing is all about anyway. In general discussion especially, who cares? It is, to some extent, almost pedantic to write really proper threads.. which stick out as flowery. Spoken English is proof that getting ideas across is more important than flawless grammer.. People intentionally break rules all the time for the sake of coherence.
 
  • #31
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Evo said:
You missed some. :wink: I can't help but noticing when I read things, sorry. :redface: It just shows that spellcheck software can't find all mistakes, but it does help.
And me too: I also notice spelling errors when I read things :smile: .

Although English isn't my native language, there is simply a "feel" as to how words should be spelled, especially average and common words. Like Fred Garvin mentioned, "In a professional setting, situation or document, there are absolutely no excuses for poor spelling."

But internet forums generally aren't such settings :blushing:
With poor grammar and syntax around us on a regular basis, can't people at least strive for proper spelling? Grammar and syntax errors may be inconspicuous and even controversial at times. But spelling? It should be second nature :approve: (unless the person is not a native English speaker, I suppose).
Grammar and syntax form good sentences, but they are nothing (or almost nothing) with poor spelling. Why worry about grammar, syntax, or diction if the spelling is wrong? There are standard of writing words; grammar and syntax are questionable, but errors in spelling are quite apparent (if not blatant).
But aside from spelling, does proper syntax actually increase reading speed and clarity (understanding of read material)? :bugeye:
 
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  • #32
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hypatia said:
I know some really brilliant people who just can't spell...
In my school days I knew a kid who put the rest of us to shame for quick-witted brilliance, but he couldn't spell his way out of a wet paper bag. That always struck me as weird.
 
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Probably not a native English speaker??
 
  • #34
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bomba923 said:
Probably not a native English speaker??
I'm not sure if that question is addressed to me, but this fellow I was talking about was born and bred in the U.S.A. He was into computers back when Bill Gates was barely needing to shave.
 
  • #35
Integral
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Although English isn't my native language, there is simply a "feel" as to how words should be spelled, especially average and common words.
English spelling is not easy mainly because it does not follow any single set of rules. A vast majority of it is simply memorization. I am not sure where you get this "feel" from but I would not trust it very far.
 
  • #36
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Integral said:
English spelling is not easy mainly because it does not follow any single set of rules. A vast majority of it is simply memorization. I am not sure where you get this "feel" from but I would not trust it very far.
It's just a different skill set. There is a "feel" for words, I can't explain it either.

I was talking to my daughter about this day before yesterday. She tutors kids at her school that are failing English (Language Arts) and history. These kids are brilliant at math however. One of them told her that math was easy, the rules don't change, but with English there are too many rules and too many rules conflict and he can't deal with it.

One of the topics was Social Darwinism. She asked him to tell her what Social Darwinism was. He said he knew what Darwinism was, so she told him that was a good start, explain Darwinism, and he said "we all used to be apes". That's all he knew. Then it came to Marxism. She asked him if he knew what it was and he said it was about communism. She asked him if he knew what communism was and he said "all I know is that it started WWII". :bugeye:

Luckily the guy is brilliant at math.
 
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  • #37
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There are rules to English spelling, but they aren't simple rules. I agree that you acquire a "feel" for spelling, but I think that just comes with mastery of the rules.

I also have a very good friend who is brilliant in many things, but when it comes to spelling, it is atrocious! He knows it and tries to work on it, but it really does not come naturally to him at all. I asked him about that once, wondering how spelling was taught to him and whether there was some explanation, and his reply was, "You mean how can I be so smart yet so stupid?" Obviously it frustrates him that he can't master this skill.

The thing is, it's also something that I can do well, but have no idea how to teach to someone else other than the fundamentals. Yet, I can hear a word spoken that I've never heard or seen before, and even if it has an unusual spelling, can usually spell it correctly. This tells me there are rules to how certain sounds go together that tell you which variation of spelling to use, but it's not something I am explicitly aware of.
 
  • #38
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I find it for myself to be an issue of memorization, some of it visual. Because there are words that I do forget how to spell, and I need to look them up. This doesn't happen that often though.

Ironically, I have a pretty crappy memory which I think is related to my inability to visualize very well. There was a fascinating article by Oliver Sacks in the New Yorker last year in which I learned how much visualization skills can differ among people. He described an architect, for example, who had absolutely no ability to visualize, but still did fine at his job. I'm very envious of people with good visualization skills.
 
  • #39
Integral
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The best leason I had in spelling occured about 20 yrs ago when I encountered my first spell checker, it had a whopping 4000 word dictionary. I found that I had to keep a paper dictionary at hand and look up every word it marked as misspelled. To it, anything not in its dictionary was misspelled, so I had to look up even correctly spelled words, since I (with good reason) have no faith in my ability to spell. I specifically recall spending 2hrs looking for envelope, in the I section! after about 6 months of adding words (fortunately you could do that) I had a 14,000 word dictionary and was still adding words.

It seems that perhaps a key factor is how you hear or say the word, perhaps one impediment to good spelling is deficient hearing???

I find it interesting that people are giving examples of poor spellers who are strong in Math skills, could it be that there is a bit of brain wiring that can be set to language skills or mathematical logic, but usually not both?

I guess I can now establish my excuse. My hearing was blown away some where between the pistol range during my teenage years and the Phantom afterburners on board an aircraft carrier.... Hummm I have always been a bad speller.. guess that excuse doesn't fly!

Seems that I am just wired for mathematics, certainly not language skills. It just means I have to work harder at it.
 
  • #40
arildno
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Just a spelling question:
Sensible Americans have done away with the "u" in words like: rigo(u)r, labo(u)r and so on, and the adjectives are easily enough: rigorous, laborious.

But, aren't these adjectival forms the correct British spelling as well; that is, "rigourous" is incorrect in British?
 

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