Captain Heck (capthek) wrote in gradschool_hell,
Captain Heck
capthek
gradschool_hell

What do you think about this article?

On the one hand I realize that words do change through time in meaning and sometimes in spelling, but I also think that in our time of spell checking, there is no real reason to suddenly accept these mistakes when they can be more easily corrected than ever before. Also, when I am reading and I come across a misspelling like this, it completely slows down my absorption of the prose and makes me wonder if this was in fact their true meaning. The interruption of comprehension and communication should be stopped, not encouraged.

Am I crazy???

Spelling "truely atrosious," says academic
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080807/od_nm/britain_spelling_odd_dc;_ylt=AvnfgkQO46tcwe2uS4ai7W0DW7oF
By Luke Baker Thu Aug 7, 11:29 AM ET

LONDON (Reuters) - Embaressed by yor spelling? Never you mind.

Fed up with his students' complete inability to spell common English correctly, a British academic has suggested it may be time to accept "variant spellings" as legitimate.

Rather than grammarians getting in a huff about "argument" being spelled "arguement" or "opportunity" as "opertunity," why not accept anything that's phonetically (fonetickly anyone?) correct as long as it can be understood?

"Instead of complaining about the state of the education system as we correct the same mistakes year after year, I've got a better idea," Ken Smith, a criminology lecturer at Bucks New University, wrote in the Times Higher Education Supplement.

"University teachers should simply accept as variant spelling those words our students most commonly misspell."

To kickstart his proposal, Smith suggested 10 common misspellings that should immediately be accepted into the pantheon of variants, including "ignor," "occured," "thier," "truely," "speach" and "twelth" (it should be "twelfth").

Then of course there are words like "misspelt" (often spelled "mispelt"), not to mention "varient," a commonly used variant of "variant."

And that doesn't even begin to delve into all the problems English people have with words that use the letters "i" and "e" together, like weird, seize, leisure, foreign and neighbor.

The rhyme "i before e except after c" may be on the lips of every schoolchild in Britain, but that doesn't mean they remember the rule by the time they get to university.

Of course, such proposals have been made in the past. The advent of text messaging turned many students into spelling neanderthals as phrases such as "wot r u doin 2nite?" became socially, if not academically, acceptable.

Despite Smith's suggestion, language mavens are unconvinced. John Simpson, the chief editor of the Oxford English Dictionary, says rules are rules and they are there for good reason.

"There are enormous advantages in having a coherent system of spelling," he told the Times newspaper.

"It makes it easier to communicate. Maybe during a learning phase there is some scope for error, but I would hope that by the time people get to university they have learnt to spell."

Yet even some of Britain's greatest wordsmiths have acknowledged it's a language with irritating quirkiness.

Playwright George Bernard Shaw was fond of pointing out that the word "ghoti" could just as well be pronounced "fish" if you followed common pronunciation: 'gh' as in "tough," 'o' as in "women" and 'ti' as in "nation."

And he was a playright.
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