Sunday, 9 October 2011

When our spelling is perfect, it's invisible. But when it's flawed, it prompts strong negative associations.

Hooray!  A quotation about spelling that mirrors exactly my sentiments! Marylin Vos Savant (note the word 'savant' in her name) is an American writer and she is now officially in my Top Ten, even though I haven't heard of her.

(I won't mention bizarre American spelling here...)

 Marylin Vos Savant is in a very small minority. So am I. Not so many people think correct spelling is important.

Take a read of THESE:

"Correct spelling, indeed, is one of the arts that are far more esteemed by school ma'ams than by practical men, neck-deep in the heat and agony of the world." - Henry Louis Mencken

"It is a damn poor mind indeed which can't think of at least two ways to spell any word." - President Andrew Jackson

Well, I'm sorry, but to me spelling is important. Poor spelling is unnecessary and sloppy. For certain, not everyone is good at spelling but now there are spellcheckers (as long as you avoid the Cupertino Effect - see below)

This weekend, I received a letter confirming my place on a seminar called 'SUCCESS: The Power of Context.' Here was the opening line: 'Welcome to you're seminar.' Aaaaaaargh! NOT a success. It reflects SO badly on the organisation...

Then, last night we went out for a meal. The menu was peppered (excuse the pun) with appalling spelling errors...Eaton Mess, the desert menu, potato's... 
 Yes, the above is excusable! I couldn't even BEGIN to write in Mandarin...but to spell incorrectly in YOUR OWN LANGUAGE?

 "Spelling mistakes highlight to the customer that you have a careless and unprofessional approach to your business."  This is taken from a guide for restauranteurs.

The meal was pretty good though! So do the spelling mistakes matter? I still think they do. They DO say a great deal about someone's commitment to high standards.

Oh, The Cupertino Effect... "is the tendency of a spellchecker to suggest inappropriate words to replace misspelled words and words not in its dictionary. It refers to the fact that the unhyphenated English word "cooperation" was often changed to "Cupertino" by older spellcheckers. Cupertino is the home of Apple Inc. and thus would be in most computer spelling dictionaries."

More useless information from Caroline Coxon
I leave you with:
I have a spelling checker,
It came with my pea sea.
It plane lee marks four my revue

Miss steaks aye can knot sea.

Eye ran this poem threw it,
Your sure reel glad two no.

Its vary polished in it’s weigh.
My checker tolled me sew.