Maybe spelling correctly is overrated. Does it really matter if a few letters are “mixed up”? Isn’t the most important thing that the concept/information is transferred?

In fact we’ve probably all done the activity where only the first and last letter of each word are correct and the ones in the middle are mixed up and we can still read it just fine. Try it out:

“Arocdnicg to rsceearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosnt mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer are in the rghit pcale. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit pobelrm. Tihs is buseace the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe.” (source)

Dr Ken Smith believes that the most common variant spellings should just be accepted. Words such as:

  • arguement for argument
  • twelth for twelfth
  • judgement for judgment
  • truely for truly

Mr Smith also suggested adding the word “misspelt” to the list and all those that break the “i before e” rule – weird, seize, neighbour and foreign. Overall his suggestion is too simply add the most commonly “misspelt” words to the English language as accepted variants.

So, why do we care so much about spelling, grammar, and punctuation? Some programs now-a-days actually try and get us to abbreviate everything (Twitter and text messages for example). If a few misspellings don’t prevent the transfer of knowledge then maybe we shouldn’t worry about it so much. I love some of the emails and comments I get when I accidentally misspell a word in one of these blog posts. Most of the time the email tries to infer that if you misspell a word then you must be a rotten person :)

So what do you think…are a few typos ok? What about 10 years from now…will anyone care about spelling? Do younger generations care as much as their parents and grandparents? Is correct spelling really directly related to a person’s IQ?

More spelling articles:
Children and spelling
Common Mistakes
English Spelling is “truely atrosious”

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