Friday, February 20

English and its charm with spelling

Some English words are spelt similarly, but the pronunciation varies across the globe. Spelling plays a very important role in reading.

"When our spelling is perfect, it's invisible. But when it's flawed, it prompts strong negative associations".--Marilyn vos Savant

No one notices the punctuation mistakes, but the poor spelling creates an impression about that person. But what if there are silly mistakes? Will that form an apprehension about the person?
Yes spelling is import for reading, writing and distingushing the words, but what if there is a small mistake in the spelling? Will that person be branded ?

The Importance of Spelling
by Susan Jones, M. Ed.  2/2009

Spelling over the last few years has been the subject of a commonly mailed piece of Internet "wisdom." And I quote:

 Aoccdrnig to rscheearch by the Lngiusiitc Dptanmeret at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a total mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe.

Translation: According to research by the Linguistic Department at Cambridge University, it doesn't matter in what order the letters in a word are, the only important thing is that the first and last letter be at the right place.  The rest can be a total mess and you can still read it without a problem. This is because the human mind does not read every letter by itself, but the word as a whole.

This paragraph has been widely circulated on the Internet since 2003, and it is still referred to, either as a point of interest or to defend inconsistent (poor) spelling, or choosing not to teach it. Is it because it rings of the truth that it makes scholars and educators cringe? Hardly. Among other things, there was no such research, and the words in the passage don't follow the rule of "only the first and last words matter."  It's a myth. It is fluent readers who can figure out this highly predictable text – and the path to fluent reading includes a firm foundation in the sounds represented by letters and their spelling .

When speaking spelling means absolutely nothing, but while writing it does. But if you are making silly mistakes then:


  1. I have read like that often and did wonder about the same! Rightly said :)
    People believe so many things if something like "according to the latest research" and the name of a famous university are added :D


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