Thursday, February 22

Corrrect spellling? Why bother?

Aoccdrnig to rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers occur in a word. The olny iprmoatnt 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. Amzanig huh?

I pinched this off a website a friend sent to me. I'm always carrying on about carelessness in spelling and grammar on blogs and in emails. Is that why the friend sent it to me?


  1. Suzanne8:25 am

    Way to go Ian!!!

    Now you can finally stop obsessing about whether people can spell properly and just enjoy your writing. It’s much more exciting if you can read something without turning it into an academic exercise. I used to tell my old mate and mentor, Denis Butler, that he had an occupationally induced disability. He couldn’t read anything without proofing and editing it in his head. He was also a movie and theatre critic; shame really because every time we watched a movie or video together he couldn’t get into whatever we were viewing. He was always too busy analysing it. Poor Denis he never did discover the beauty and human tragedy in Out Of Africa; but he sure picked up all the production, design and costume errors. How sad, that he never saw the look in the actors eyes.

    Well done Ian. Can we expect to see more sensitive, positive scribblings from you now?

  2. ian skinner4:03 pm

    Obsessing? That's a bit strong. You're a valued mentor, but you're mistaken if you think I've decided to accept misspelling and dodgy grammar. This post was a bit of fun to lighten the mood ahead of the following post. Perhaps you speed-read the next post, where I say, "Who is going to preach literacy, that precious skill which allows civilised people to communicate with precision, with nuanced subtlety or sledgehammer force as the need dictates?" Bad spelling may be acceptable between mates in emails, but elsewhere it indicates to me an ill-educated or careless person with second-rate ideas. Take "Ponpon's" comment on one of your blogs, where he wrote "tenants" instead of "tenets". Maybe I'm a snob, but I switched him off because I didn't accept that a semi-literate person had much to say. Occupationally induced disability? Yeah, that's me too. I spent most of the past 40 years as a newspaper sub-editor. You can't expect me to say it was all wasted effort. We'll talk some more about this, over coffee perhaps (as a bonus, the conversation may give me a lively new post for my blog). You'll be happy to know I've decided to stop writing negative stuff about John Howard. The way he's carried on in the last fortnight, what's left for a satirist to say?