Spelling absolutely matters. Many tools have been developed to help individuals spell words correctly. Auto-correct helps determine what words may or may not be spelled correctly. It will then “correct” the words that it determined are spelled incorrectly. However, auto-correct is a computer program. It cannot think like a human being can. It is therefore likely to make many mistakes. It may auto-correct a word that is correct and it may miss a word that is not correct. Currently, memes showing auto-correct “fails” are quite popular on the social media. The only explanation for this is that individuals have recognized the limitations of auto-correct and realize that this “vital tool” may actually lead to many problems. These problems occur when the auto-correct corrections actually lead to significant misunderstandings regarding the original intent of their messages.
In the videos watched, a young boy lost at Final Jeopardy because he spelled “The Emancipation Proclamation” incorrectly. He later stated that he was “robbed” of his victory due to a simple spelling error. No, he was not and his attitude needs an adjustment, to be polite. He needs to realize that he did not achieve a victory. While his error was unfortunate and obviously upsetting to him, he did not accomplish what the program asked him to accomplish. Before auto-correct, it was likely that he would have realized this. However, since Final Jeopardy does not auto-correct, he needed to realize that the proper spelling was on him. Before auto-correct, it is likely that no one would have even asked if spelling matters; most individuals realized that it does. However, since we now have this dubious tool upon which to rely, people believe that a computer should do what they should be able to do correctly. As the directly of the National Spelling Bee stated, the importance of good spelling is to allow the message to be unimpeded. Since the purpose of communication is to pass messages back and forth from individuals, then spelling is most certainly vital (Here and Now, 2013).
If one does not believe that spelling still matters, one should try to obtain employment with a poorly spelled resume or job application. The person is not likely to be successful. Poor spelling shows several things. Firstly, it shows that the person does not know how to spell basic words. However, poor spelling also indicates that the person did not care to learn how to spell the words properly. It indicates that the person is dependent upon tools that might not be available at all times. If the person writes out a job application with misspelled words, it tells the perspective employer that the person cannot perform a basic function without the use of higher technology. Higher technology is not always available at different jobs. This is for even basic entry-level jobs. For instance, if one works at a fast food restaurant, one must care about attention to detail. If one just makes all food in the same manner and believes that some “magic” tool will correct the mistakes, one is sorely mistaken. The customers will not be happy and this results in poor business performance. One must care about doing a job correctly. Writing and communicating are part of every job.
One poem by Mark Eckman and Jerrold H. Zar mock the use of spell check. The poem is entitled “Candidate for a Pullet Surprise” (Ted Talks, 2012). If one spells like this, one will never win a “Pullet Surprise” or a Pulitzer Prize either. It is the same as grammar. Grammar also still matters. Grammar is the difference between “Let’s eat Grandma” and “Let’s eat, Grandma.” It is time that people realize that the basic rules of language, such as spelling and grammar are critical to the content of the message. If one does not believe this to be true, one should only show the last message to Grandma.
- Here and Now. (2013, August 7). In an auto-correct generation, does spelling matter? Retrieved from: http://hereandnow.wbur.org/2013/08/07/does-spelling-matter
- Ted Talks. (2012). Do punctuation and spelling still matter? Retrieved from: http://www.ted.com/conversation/8529/does_punctuation_and_spelling.html