October 18, 2006


When did America forget how to spell? I am amazed at the number of semi-professional websites out there with spelling errors in almost every sentence. Last night, after browsing a designer's website and feeling pretty inspired and somewhat intimidated, I went to his "ideas" page. Three paragraphs chock full of spelling errors. Some that could be dismissed as typos, but others were just downright embarrassing! I felt compelled to contact him and beg him to fix the errors that, for me, detracted so strongly from any idea of professionalism I might have at first respected him for. His artistic work was pure genius!

My own children seem to think spelling is for nerds and old people (like myself apparently). In the age of internet communication, who needs correct spelling? That's their philosophy, and sadly it echos through an entire generation.

Just take a little browse through some random blogs, or personal websites...you'll be horrified, I'm sure.


Alexandra said...

i've pondered both the decline in spelling and its effects on me (usually, rage or severe disappointment). for some reason, typos don't bother me...i'll check the keyboard once in a while to see if someone 'typo-ed' or mispelled. if it's the latter, i lose all respect for them.

but i really can't decide why i care so much. it seems inconsequential in the long run...and yet...

famjaztique said...

But is it really inconsequential in the long run? What are we sacrificing? I mean, if someone really can't spell and they are otherwise intelligent...well, some people just seem to have that quirk and I can forgive this. But what about the fact that some people just really don't care? What does that speak to?

Alexandra said...

can't control others...wonder why I care so much. i had been emailing with a guy, but, (believe it or not) he wrote "peaked" instead of "piqued."

(yes, this occurred recently--after the posting of The Story on my blog).

but now, i'm just not sure i will ever be truly attracted to him. for some reason, it seems like words just aren't as important to him as they are to me--i thrive on words. they are my crack. they are my first and only fulfilling love. and he just spat on that when he wrote "peaked."


ttractor said...

it's the love of words thing, yeah. some typos, some not knowing how to spell, ok. not knowing the difference between piqued and peaked? or vial and vile? uh-uh, not ok. I don't feel like someone is undervaluing my love of words, I just know that essentially we are not really thinking in the same way, taking the same care. I appreciate precision, that could wind up bugging the flying crap out of someone.

Num-Num said...

Computers have a lot to do with this, no? Pagan Kennedy's latest book Confessions of a Memory Eater is full of typos which look like the result of running spellcheck but not actually proofreading. So that the words are all spelled right, but some of them are nonsensical in their context.

An example might be this interview in which the Nick Drake biographer is made to say that Nick Drake's father was an absolutely classic English bridge over the river quiet kind of bloke. Is this a transcription error? Or a spellcheck error? And is it Lisa Carver or her editors at Nerve who have never heard of Bridge Over the River Kwai?

famjaztique said...

num, oh I'm quite sure that computers have a lot to do with it. Email, then instant messaging, both served to make people lazy about proofreading. I'll admit that I myself almost never proofread an email. There is something spontaneous about it and I expect a certain amount of typos in any email I receive, in the same way I expect people to say, "uhhh" in conversation, or to trip over words now and then. You know? Fine.

It's when people are presenting themselves professionally or semi-professionally that it blows my mind. Crikey, if you can't spell, have someone ELSE read it.

Maybe the good in all of this, is that editors will become a coveted group of elite professionals to clean up the messes of the masses.

Or, maybe we're going to hell in a handbasket.

famjaztique said...

D'oh! Why didn't any of you bother to tell me about the GLARING typo right on the face of my very own BLOG? My "Photography" link on the right? Up until 10 seconds ago when I caught it and corrected it, it read "PhotographRy".

Er, I'll be on the back steps eating my Humble Pie.