Sunday 8 August 2010

Spellings and misspellings

There are many things that I cannot do: I am very bad at any game which involves hitting a ball with another object, I cannot draw, I cannot (comfortably) walk any cliff path that involves a sheer drop on one side.

But I can spell. It's always come reasonably naturally, and when I was at school I wondered why other kids had trouble. Of course, then I'd wander off to Maths and have trouble multiplying a double figure with any other double figure. We all, I discovered, have our strong and weak points. My strength with spelling is becoming more and more useless now that Word will correct me without even being asked.

This train of thought was set off by reading this article:

It also made me wonder whether I judge people by their spelling - as the 46% of people who were questioned do. I don't think I do; I hope I don't. Because it would be as terrible as someone judging me because I can't multiply (or, as in one horrendous interview test for the Post Office once upon a time, subtract!!)

Some words are more difficult to spell; it comes from having a rich and varied history of invasion. But I like the fact we have random letters - apart from when I'm trying to teach my 6 year old how to read - that are either superfluous to the pronunication or can have several different sounds depending on what comes before or after. We should strive to preserve the language we have, to enjoy it even. (Is that going a little bit too far? Am I now just a language geek? - Don't answer that!)

My horror is that one day - and it may not be too far away - we will use American spellings instead.

And now that I've mentioned my real bugbear, there will be more on that next time!


  1. LOL! I can spell too. Though I have trouble with restaurant and guarantee...I have to pause and think these ones through. And I'm so glad you can't draw! I can't either. And being the insecure writer that I am, the other day I thought...maybe I suck as a writer and people are just being nice to me...because every writer I know is creative in some way,like art or drawing.

    1. Writing is my only creative outlet - perhaps we're so good at writing, the world wouldn't be able to handle us if we had another talent?

  2. Hi Annalisa .. it's great being able to spell - though I am amazed at how many obvious errors creep in to author's blog posts - always draws me up short .. I know we don't catch them all ...

    However up at the Nursing Centre - they're always putting up notices with words missing, words misspelled, and worse dates wrong ... etc etc ..

    I just think more care and concern - though perhaps they never learnt?!

    Cheers Hilary

    1. The only problem with telling people you're a good speller is you have to make sure you haven't made any silly errors! Which I usually do :-)


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