Posted by: Winslie Gomez | 03/04/2008

Sanctimonious, Sartorial, Simply Sordid or Spelling Snobbery!

Communication is a two way process. Does it really matter, as long as the sender and the receiver have the same message, if the method or medium is gobbledy-gook?

The English language is part of our UK culture. We use this language as a medium to express our thoughts and feelings. The internet, offers access to the zillions of other language speakers to communicate through the medium of the English language.

So! How serious is the sin of bad/poor spelling?

In this day and age, with spell-checker availble, there is surely no excuse as in the example of a leading UK newspaper, where a prestigious job advert had this:


Is there a society of sanctimonious grammar fanatics exercising spelling snobbery? Just joking ❗

Some good advice from The American Partisan

Use a Spell Check!

The spell check is God’s gift to busy writers. They cover over a multitude of sins by holding your creation up to the private scrutiny of a digital dictionary. Use it religiously, or face the possibility that you, the aspiring writer, may look unprofessional.

That said, two important caveats:

1) Not all spell checks are created equal.

This author thinks that the best spell check ever created –the spell check that he is using to produce this guide—is Microsoft Word 2000 (or subsequent versions). He could be wrong but, because of so many little cool features (like instant correction), he doubts it. Because you are human, the likelihood that your prose will not contain spelling errors is slim. Find a good spell check and reduce your chances of rejection.

2) A spell check is not a silver bullet, killing all bad spelling and sloppy prose.

Realize that a spell check is nothing more than a fancy digital dictionary. It has no brain, only programming. You must provide the intelligence.

To illustrate the point, a snatch from a poem by James Knisley should suffice,

Eye halve a spelling chequer
It came with my pea sea
It plainly marques four my revue
Miss steaks eye kin knot sea…

Eye have run this poem threw it
I am shore your pleased two no
Its letter perfect awl the weigh
My chequer tolled me sew.

Which leads us to homonyms

You did not go too the store today, you do not turn in for the knight and it’s highly unlikely that you deposit chemical residue in a vile. Tread very lightly over words that sound the same but have different spellings and, thus, different meanings.

(Publisher note: Likewise it is not they’re computer even if it is you’re program.)

Or, even a Belgian who is not too happy about abbreviation ot “text speak”, as in sms messaging.

Lately I’ve noticed an influx of people who seem to be rather fond of chat slang; eg. ur, m8, l8, kewl, …

I would like to point out that it *is* indeed frowned upon, this does not show your superior intellect nor does it testify of your maturity. While I understand that it is easier to type this way in chat, it is not ok to do the same in posts here. Mainly because it does not make your post very readable, it often leads to confusion, and in general a lot of people just ignore the post.

You will increase your chances on a speedy, good reply if you take the time to formulate your sentences, use punctuation and for the love of all that is considered holy – just to cover all bases – type in plain English. I don’t think that we all are English, in fact I am Belgian, English is my second language, but as long as you try – it is fine by me. Just make the effort of formulating your sentences instead of slapping them on the screen in an incoherent way.

Source: Astahost

A good document to refer to would be:

The Importance of Spelling for English Culture.

Valerie Yule replies to Sue Palmer.

[T]he exuberance, individuality and delight of the English language lies in its vocabulary and forms of speech that enrich communication and make it more accurate, rather than in spellings that make it more difficult.

And the English language is living. It changes. No English-language lover dare suggest outright that the language must be pinned down, and never grow or change. Why then, should the spelling be dead?

..Two points should be made clear here. First, a spelling system is not to be identified with ‘the language’ or even with the written language. Spelling is only a tool to write down the language so that it may be read. To identify it with the written language is like equating a system of music notation with the forms of music that it can be used to represent. English written language has shapes and forms and styles that make it different in many ways from the spoken language – and one objection to present English spelling is that learners have to have beginners’ books limited by vocabulary control or restricted phonics to a very dull writing style, and they cannot have the freedom possible with the more orderly orthographies of most other languages. So people absorb this very dull writing style themselves, pinned down, and never grow or change. Why then, should the spelling be dead?

Warning: This little section may seem odd and you should acquaint yourself with the whole document, or it may seem to be out of context.

.. Social valus hav changed radicly in th past three decades. Most cherishd customs hav becom unrecognisabl or vanishd, whole landscapes hav been replaced, and comunications tecnology itself has been revolutionised – apart from spelling. Th individual who feels helpless in th midst of al this change, can stil try to insist that th telly is in colour, even if it coms in a Japanese or American box labeld color.

Source: Spelling Society

Communication is the Key and acknowledging human dignity is King. Let’s keep talking in any way we can. 🙂



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