Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Spell check.

Here's a fun fact about me:  when I was in the fifth grade, I won my elementary school's spelling bee and got to go the regional spelling bee downtown. When you're 10 years old and a nerd for all things school, this is a big deal.

As former spelling bee champ and current professional writer, I cringed when I read a recent article from the BBC News about how spell check and other technology are ruining entire generations when it comes to spelling, or, as the writer phrases it, how technology has given birth to an "auto-correct generation."

Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not claiming that I don't use spell check. In fact, I was recently complaining to my husband about how I don't like the way spell check has affected my own writing by making me rely less on my own abilities and more on the red or green squiggly line that pops up on my computer screen when I've made a mistake.

The problem isn't necessarily the use of spell check -- it's our (collective "our") growing inability to spell correctly or proof our own work without it.

I think these few sentences really hit the point home:
"Today's tough economic climate means that poor spelling on a CV is fatal, as it says that an individual cannot produce work to a given standard, no matter how highly qualified they might be. Language used by a company or person is a reflection of their attitude, capabilities and skill."
Poor spelling has superficial ramifications as well as personal and professional ramifications. It's one thing to misspell a word in a text message to your friend, but can anyone really afford to make an error on a resume or cover letter these days?

I don't think so. But is that just because I'm a bit of a writing/spelling/grammar snob? What do you think about this "auto-correct generation"?

(image credit: cartoonstock)


  1. Like you, I am a spelling CHAMP!

    I've looked over CVs for a few friends, and they all had at least 1 spelling error. Seriously? I always check my CV 5 or 6 times before sending it out!

  2. I know we slack Off all The time..I will make My child knows how to spell!

  3. Here is something even scarier: our collective attention spans have dwindled down to only a few minutes. At a recent blog conference super bloggers advised us on a 250 word max per post.

    And last I was in a corporate position they began training us on how to standardize our public literature to 5th grade reading levels, which was becoming the average.

    Technology has flooded our lives with so much information...quantity sometimes sacrifices quality.

    Sad? Yes.

  4. Oh, that is sad! It's easy to slack off and not pay attention to spelling thanks to technology.


Comments, questions, suggestions, and compliments are welcome. Especially compliments. And if you comment, I usually return the favor. (hint, hint)