greenspun.com : LUSENET : Country Families : One Thread

Just a quick "drives me nuts" thought. I really work with my boys on spelling and knowing how a word is pronounced correctly. But reading the paper and online, I am shocked at how many people don't know how to spell correctly (or use spellcheck) or how to use a word correctly. Is it just me, or has anyone else noticed this? I'm not talking about typos, we all have those sometimes, but glaring spelling mistakes. I'm afraid that there is a generation that must have been raised without spelling lessons!!!

-- Ivy in NW AR (balch84@cox-internet.com), November 12, 2001


You must be talking to me!!! I really can spell... but I get in such a hurry. I really have to take more time to check over my typing. Sometimes when I re-read what I type, I actually go back into my post and edit it, because I can't stand how many mistakes I have made!!!!

-- Melissa (cmnorris@1st.net), November 12, 2001.

Oh, it gets me crazy! I was taught to have pride in the written word and I try hard to use the proper grammar. As for spelling, my DH and I have both noticed how some people can't or won't spell correctly. Isn't that taught in school anymore? Before I send a email or post in a forum, I re-read the material a few times to make certain it is spelled correctly and it communicates what I want to say. It is that simple! Now, when I'm in a chatroom, it goes very fast and typos are understandable. I don't understand sloppy writing as it shows no pride, in my humble opinion.

-- Ardie/WI (ardie54965@hotmail.com), November 12, 2001.

I overlook misuse and misspelling on e-mail, because, rereading what I've written, I often find careless mistakes. What gets my goat is when the local papers misspell words in bold print. Several times I've seen gross mistakes in headlines. You'd think they'd check those;)..Our small town paper in Texas was particularly bad about it. My sister worked there for awhile, and commented to me once that the owner had long since fired all the proof-readers, feeling it was an unnecessary expense. lol. Still, doesn't anyone proof their own copy anymore?

-- mary (marylgarcia@aol.com), November 12, 2001.

It drives me bonkers to see wrong spelling or wrong use of words, especially in newspapers and magazines. One of the most glaring mistakes to me is using it's when it should be its, and vice versa. Probably my pet peeve with advertising (TV) is people chewing with open mouth, talking with mouth full, noisy eating (we used to call it chonking or slurping). You try to teach your kids manners, then they watch this gross stuff several times a day (or even several times each program) and figure if it's on TV it's probably OK.

-- gibson girl (bobtravous@email.com), November 12, 2001.

I proof read and I still see huge misspellings when I see it on forum.Most times I get so caught up in what I'm writting that I sumit before I check so everyone can read what I think!I also don't know how to use the spell check when I am posting. I didn't realize how bad I am , I will try and do better!!

-- Micheale from SE Kansas (mbfrye@totelcsi.net), November 12, 2001.

I wasn't posting to anyone specific. It has really been on other forums that I have seen the most errors. I think the biggest is "are" for "our". Do people really think that is correct???

-- Ivy in NW AR (balch84@cox-internet.com), November 12, 2001.

Hi, Ivy! I know you weren't meaning anyone in particular. I too notice words that are speeled wrong in my newspaper all the time. sometimes I run my spell check, and everything is OK. Then I print the document and find a mistake. That is really awful to have to reprint the whole thing.

I think that the "are" and "our" words are easy to mix up for young people and people who don't speak English as a first language. I notice sometimes I mix up "there" and "their" even though I know perfectly well which one goes where! Just hurrying again.

I had to ask my sixth grade super-speller daughter how to spell refigerator last night!!! My brain froze, and I resorted to frig instead!!!!!

I used to be so smart...sometimes I think the more I put in my head the less room there is for spelling. I can usually tell if it looks right and go from there.

I want everyone to post and don't worry about making mistakes, because I make the most of all. All of you homeschoolers, could use my postings for spelling lessons. Just print them out and have the kids correct them. They could circle the wrong words, spell them correctly and stick in all the capital letters I leave out!!!!! Ha! Ha! I might make up my own spelling site. Thanks Ivy, if I get rich I will give you half!!!!!!!!!

-- Melissa (me@home.net), November 12, 2001.

As an editor, I am particularly irked when the printer returns the magazine and as soon as I open it, the mistakes we didn't catch jump out at me. Headlines and titles especially develop the mean ability to hide typos.

One of the errors caused by computer spellcheckers are the falling out of hyphens. Those critters have no way of knowing when you're using a phrase as an adjective, so they'll have you bleep the hyphens every time. That's become my pet peeve.

I catch myself doing the their/there switch as well. Our timesavers actually rush us get it done and out, so we don't take the time to proofread our writings.

"I plead guilty, Your Honor!"

-- Randal (randal@rhyme.cjb.net), November 12, 2001.

Hrumph! Case in point: "One of the errors . . . are the falling out . . . Sheesh!

"Defendant is found guilty!"

-- Randal (randal@rhyme.cjb.net), November 12, 2001.

How do you use spellcheck when submitting something to this forum? I am computer illiterate. Bad spelling and grammar bother me, too, but teaching my children has given me a new sensitivity for poor spellers!

-- Jo (mamamia2kids@msn.com), November 12, 2001.

I have seen professional mass produced signs that had misspelled words, such as docter and physcian. On a place like this, I do misspell and have a lot of typos, because I can't type without looking at the keyboard!! There are two common spelling errors that really get my goat: when people confuse too, to and two, and spelling maybe as mabey. If the word is uncommon or difficult to spell, it's understandable. But these are such simple little words! But you know, we all have our gifts and weak areas. My weak area is math, which isn't usually displayed as often as the spelling. I am willing to venture that many fine spellers are not as proficient in math.

-- Rebekah (daniel1@itss.net), November 12, 2001.

Thank you to Ivy for having the courage to bring this up. Misspelling is one of my pet peeves as well, but I didn't want to make such a post for fear of the flames that would rise! I plan on staying anonymous anyway.

These forums on Lusenet don't have spell check. You can type out your posts in a word processing document (Word or Microsoft Works) or in a new e-mail, use the spell check feature, then copy and paste the post into the "Answer Box" here.

Everyone will make a typo or a spelling or grammatical error on occasion. It's the posts that are full of them that drive me to distraction. Many of the people who, judging by their posts, cannot spell and have little knowledge of grammar and punctuation also proudly proclaim that they are homeschooling their children. I wonder how they teach these elements of English. The ability to read and write properly is fundamental to so many other endeavors in our modern lives. Whether you believe it is fair or not, intelligence is often judged based on how well one speaks and writes.

There seems to be a great deal of confusion about "sound alike" words, such as to/too/two and their/there and hear/here, and a great deal of incorrect usage of I/me/myself; spell checkers will not catch those that are used incorrectly. Here is a website that will help you discover which word or spelling to use when: LINK

Yet another sort of error is rampant: Using phrases that have been repeated incorrectly, until the erroneous phrase is considered to be correct. For instance, "I could care less". This means that you do have some concern. The correct phrase is "I couldn't (or could not) care less. Another example is ". . . far and few between." The correct phrase is ". . . . .few and far between." Then there are the mistakes made using foreign words that have become part of our language as well. The two most glaring examples, to me, are "viola", which is really "voila" (pronounced vwah-lah), and "bookoo" (and other misspellings), which is really "beaucoup" (pronounced bow-koo). Maybe it's because people hear them but don't see them written?

I picked up a great many of these errors from other children and even adults. But my mother cares greatly about these matters and ALWAYS corrected me if I would use such erroneous phrases. Now that I am an adult, I am just as annoyed as she when I hear or see them.

Having made you all suffer through this diatribe, I will say that I have sympathy for anyone who truly cannot learn to spell properly. The mistakes grate on me like fingernails on a chalkboard, but I try to tolerate them because I have no way of knowing if the person has a learning disability, or perhaps a physical disability that makes it difficult to type. I even have sympathy for people who mangle the spelling of a word, but acknowledge that they just don't know how to spell that word. Sometimes, you just don't know where to start to find the correct spelling of a word. It is the suspicion that carelessness or laziness are the true reason for such errors that bothers me. It seems to me to be very discourteous to expect others to spend their time trying to decipher a badly-spelled and poorly- punctuated post simply because you didn't want to take the time to make your message readable.

-- Anonymous (nottelling@nope.net), November 12, 2001.

Oops, sorry for leaving the "bold" on! As I said, every one makes an error occasionally! {insert embarassed face here}

-- Anonymous (nottelling@nope.net), November 12, 2001.


-- Still anonymous, still embarassed (phooey@stupidmistakes.com), November 12, 2001.

We must also keep in mind that there are many people posting here from foreign countries. I don't know how many of you have ever tried to learn a new language, but it is one of the hardest subjects I have ever tackled personally!!! Just the fact that they attempt to put their thoughts into another language astounds me. Even people from other English speaking countries, often use different spellings.

As I have said before, don't be afraid to post because you aren't sure if you have used perfect spelling and grammar. We want to hear from everyone, regardless of your typing ability. It is one of those things I don't get too excited about, on a forum.

Now if my children are writing a paper for school, that is a different story...

-- Melissa (me@home.net), November 13, 2001.

Since I'm very dyslexic, I try not to worry how other people spell things, sometimes no matter how much knowledge we have, it doesn't always come out right.

-- Cindy (S.E.IN) (atilrthehony@countrylife.net), November 13, 2001.

I find it funny how a site that is proclaiming to be nice , safe and family oriented is bashing people for there spelling .I think the person words and thoughts are more important than how they spell .How is this different than judging someone on their looks ?????? Sorry not everyone is great at all things .I would rather be a good person than a great speller.

-- Patty {NY State} (fodfarms@slic.com), November 13, 2001.

Patty, if we have to make a choice, you've made the right one, though most of us could aspire to being both good people and good spellers. We needn't be forced to choose. When we want to communicate, we have to have conventions to agree upon so that we can understand one another. Spelling is just one of those conventions. I appreciate the tolerance shown above, in spite of frustrations, to those with handicaps. Another worthy one to mention is that we lefties show tendencies to switch numbers and letters, somewhat like a dyslexic person. So there is plenty of room for mistakes and plenty of room for improvement.

-- Randal (randal@rhyme.cjb.net), November 13, 2001.


I don't believe I judged anyone on their spelling abilities or said anyone was a bad person because they misspelled a word!!! All I questioned was whether people know HOW to spell and if our kids are being taught how and how to use correct grammar. Some people just always look for something negative about any comment made.

-- Ivy in NW AR (balch84@cox-internet.com), November 13, 2001.

That's me Ms. negitive .Don't you think your comments could have hurt someones feeling .I could care less , but some might.Some may not of had the chance to have the best education , maybe they where poor .Maybe there school system wasn't great .Maybe they found english and spelling very hard no matter how much they tried .Alot of the comments where very negitive .Yes they where not directed at ant one person , but negitive just the same.So much for tolerance and looking for the inner person , couldn't get past bad spelling and grammer.

-- Patty {NY State} (fodfarms@slic.com), November 13, 2001.

I really feel that Ivy's original post was more directed towards spelling mistakes in settings like: newspapers, official Web sites, books, magazines etc... I may be wrong, but I don't feel she intended to direct her comments towards anyone in particular!!! I have said throughout thos post, that it eally doesn't matter to me if you use every word properly or not!!! It is the intent behind the post that matters. I don't think intelligence has a lot to do with spelling!!! Many very smart people I have known are horrible spellers! I graduated with a person who was co-valedictorian of our class, and he couldn't spell worth 5 cents. He is now an engineer, who is very successful and happpy for spell-check!!!!

I must say I am now officially paranoid about checking my posts for spelling...!!!!

-- Melissa (me@home.net), November 13, 2001.

I can't believe people are really talking about this as if it were the one thing that kept humans civilized or not. Spelling and its cohorts do not keep a person breathing or even happy. It is simply a way to communicate feelings and thought. Does it really matter if it is an accepted form of spelling or not? I, for one, cheer inventive spelling. It means that differences still rule this planet and that is very, very good.

-- Iris (Sar_India@msn.com), November 13, 2001.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ