Vicki Price: Spelling is Still Impotent

Vicki Price

Ha! That title totally makes my point! When I was asked to write a spelling blog, my first thought was that I have never written a blog before; my second thought was that I really don’t teach spelling, so why am I writing a blog on spelling?  As a college professor teaching in the technology areas, I would assign a writing project on a technical topic and inevitably would reduce the students’ grade if it was riddled with spelling errors.  As I would explain to the complaining student, technically, the paper was sound, but the credibility of the student would be compromised due to all of the spelling errors.  With texting, emailing and yes, blogging, our communication methods have changed significantly.  Is spelling still important?  I say yes, and I will give a few examples why.

First, it may be needed in the case of an emergency as illustrated by the following example: http://youtu.be/J32TRexMs4w   As you can tell from this, without spelling skills, someone could be in serious trouble!

Secondly, one area where spelling is also very important is in our life skills ability to get a job.  Step one, put together a resume.  Spelling errors on resumes are a huge reason why an application may not get considered. Following are a few examples of spelling errors that have been found on resumes:

  •  “Career break in 1999 to renovate my horse”
  • “I’m intrested to here more about that. I’m working today in a furniture factory as a drawer”
  • Objective: “career on the Information Supper Highway”
  • “Consistently tanked as top sales producer for new accounts.”
  • “Seeking a party-time position with potential for advancement.”
  • “Instrumental in ruining entire operation for a Midwest chain store.”
  • Languages: “Speak English and Spinach.”
  • Strengths: “Ability to meet deadlines while maintaining composer.”
  • Cover letter: “Experienced in all faucets of accounting.”
  • “I have a known track record and excellent experience with accurancy and fixing erors
  • “Demonstrated ability in multi-tasting.”
  • “Dear Sir or Madman,”
  •  “I am anxious to use my exiting skills”
  •  “I attended collage courses for minor public relations
  •  “Hope to hear from you, shorty.”

Recently, while visiting my brother he told me about a spelling error on a resume and that his hiring team eliminated the person due to the lack of attention to detail.  Spelling is still important and many of the errors are due to the incorrect use of homonyms.  According to dictionary.com, a homonym is a word pronounced the same as another but differing in meaning, whether spelled the same way or not. Knowing which word to use or how to write a phrase correctly can make a big difference in your writing. It is easier for readers to take a piece of writing more seriously when the grammar is correct.  A dictionary can be your best friend to make sure that the word being used in correct.  The first step to teaching spelling is convincing the student that correct spelling is important.

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