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Why is spelling so important?

(54 Posts)
vampirequeen Fri 22-Jan-21 13:56:13

Why is spelling so important? I mean I know you have to be able to make yourself understood but does it matter as long as it makes sense. Reading is about more than just the word. You can usually glean the meaning of a word from the rest of the sentence. If I wrote 'the bow fell of the tree with an almighty crash' you wouldn't think there had been part of a ship in the tree or a rather heavy ribbon. You'd know that a branch broke off because it was from a tree. We already use meaning. 'I read a book yesterday.......I am learning how to read.' Even if I wrote 'I red a book yesterday....I am learning how to reed', you'd know what I meant. So why is spelling so important? After all William Shakespeare couldn't even spell his own name and he did OK.

Galaxy Fri 22-Jan-21 14:02:12

I think it will become less important as we write less.

Dragonella Fri 22-Jan-21 14:09:35

Shakespeare could spell his name. He chose six different spellings because the idea of one 'correct' standardised spelling wasn't introduced until Johnson's dictionary in 1755.

Butt eye tayke yore poynt. Yew kan undarstannd thiss beecos ov ther contexxtuel clews, bute itt iz mutch eezeer aned kwicker tew rede wen yoo cann bee shor watt thu werds mene.

EllanVannin Fri 22-Jan-21 14:10:31

Being as half the school leavers can neither spell nor string a sentence together, it doesn't seem to matter in the 21st century.

timetogo2016 Fri 22-Jan-21 14:13:14

I understood all that you wrote Dragonella.
Gave me a chuckle too.
I do dislike it when people correct you,as you say we know whats being written.

vampirequeen Fri 22-Jan-21 14:14:45

Dragonella....I taught Primary. That makes perfect sense to me with no effort. Although I admit it was a skill I developed over time grin

kircubbin2000 Fri 22-Jan-21 14:19:36

I think it prejudices people against you even if you are intelligent.Someone who uses bad grammar and spelling portrays an image as someone uneducated, a non reader and possibly not too bright.
The same is true when you see people interviewed on TV and they can't string a sentence together.They are presumed to be 'chavs,' or 'thick'. (Even if theyre not.)

JaneJudge Fri 22-Jan-21 14:21:09

Well Dragonella, I've read your post in Black Country

midgey Fri 22-Jan-21 15:02:36

My daughter had dyslexia, I can tell you that her spelling has lead to many problems! Not so bad when the spelling is phonetic but at other times 😱

eazybee Fri 22-Jan-21 15:11:09

Not bothering to learn to spell shows laziness and ignorance.

M0nica Fri 22-Jan-21 15:16:27

What Dragonella wrote could be deciphered but it took more effort because the spellings were unfamiliar - and this, I think, is why we go for standardised spelling. It is quicker and easier to read.

GrandmasueUK Fri 22-Jan-21 15:23:53

Spelling is literally my business. I don’t correct other people’s mis-spellings but it does grate. I find it annoying on school websites and official sites. On our local police Twitter feed I had to laugh at technical problems when they asked people ‘to “bare” with us’. Although that was really a homophone confusion.

Mollygo Fri 22-Jan-21 15:25:31

Just read a few FB posts and you’ll see how true this is.
Spelling as it sounds will be great with all the phonics teaching there is around nowadays. I could read your post Dragonella but only because I can read anyway.
I remember DD1 being encouraged to write (in Y1 pre synthetic phonics) without worrying about spellings and no corrections. Having spelled words in a way that made sense to them for almost a year, some children found learning and remembering the correct spellings really difficult.
I was a mean mum. She loved to write at home, but I made her practice spelling common words and correct errors.

kathsue Fri 22-Jan-21 15:33:15

I used to help out at DGS's primary school. One time they were writing fairy tales on the computers (year 2 i think). I kept seeing the words 'onsapona' and 'onsapontime'. It took me ages to work out it was meant to be ' once upon a time'.
My point is that it's not always easy to make out what the writer means.

PollyDolly Fri 22-Jan-21 15:33:48

I certainly do not claim to be top of the class in English grammar but there are a few words that grate on me when used incorrectly; there in place of their, were in place of where, of in place of have.........any plenty more.

However, I find lack of punctuation to be alarming too! My neighbour will frequently message me using NO capital letters and NO full stops; it often completely changes the meaning of the messages. There can be six or seven sentences per message, hard work trying to establish what he's trying to say!

Sarnia Fri 22-Jan-21 15:34:02

I entered a national writing competition a few months ago. I was very pleased to learn that my short story had been shortlisted for final judging with one of the judges being a lecturer for Creative Writing at Oxford University. I wasn't placed but when I received e-mail copies of the winning entries I was a bit taken aback to find that the story in 1st place had several spelling and punctuation mistakes.

SueDonim Fri 22-Jan-21 15:41:13

I’ve just read a book written in Pidgin English and it was quite hard work, although for the most part I understood it. Likewise, I could read Dragonella’s post but I was concentrating on what working out the words were, rather than the meaning. I suppose it depends on what we are used to, though. American spellings are perfectly legible and I never really notice it when reading anything that was printed in the US.

It’s also important that words like hypotension and hypertension aren’t confused!

sodapop Fri 22-Jan-21 15:42:18

I think for most of us on here spelling was a big part of our schooling. I remember starting most school days with spelling and mental arithmetic tests. I find that poor spelling really grates on me and I do think its important to be able to spell correctly. I instilled this in my children and then grandchildren. I still correct them on Whatsapp etc. My eldest granddaughter is a bit of a wordsmith and has been known to put me right on occasions.
I am an avid reader and can't stand the lack of proof reading in books nowadays.

Tea3 Fri 22-Jan-21 15:54:45

I think it is probably a good idea to have a reasonable grip on accurate spelling but I’m not keen on pedants who just read to find fault.

Fennel Fri 22-Jan-21 15:56:21

As well as teaching reading I also tried to teach spelling .
Very difficult as I think english has more irregular spelling 'rules' than most languages.

GrannySomerset Fri 22-Jan-21 16:01:29

As DH used to say to his bottom set fourth formers (year 10), what will be people think if they read this? They’ll think we’re ignorant, sir! Still true, and a badly spelled and punctuated job application does its writer such a disservice. Always advise getting someone else to proof read before sending if you have good spelling but it wobbles like Owl..

ixion Fri 22-Jan-21 16:07:14

As we speak.....

ixion Fri 22-Jan-21 16:08:01

Homerton Hospital: Man jailed for 'viscous' attack on A&E nurse

sodapop Fri 22-Jan-21 16:24:42

Maybe he will come to a sticky end ixion smile

Grandma70s Fri 22-Jan-21 16:36:50

I have always found spelling easy, but I have known one or two extremely clever people whose spelling was appalling. I suppose it’s something to do with your visual sense - do you know if a word looks wrong?