Take time to deliberate, but when the time for action has arrived, stop thinking and go in.
- Napoleon

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Spelling Importance

Okay, as you may or may not know, I homeschool. I know this doesn't seem particularly important to the business of writing, but in a way it's very pertinent. (Especially when it comes to English, of course.)

This morning, two separate writing blogs had posts about the teaching of spelling. Over at Romance Worth Killing For, she was inspired to write about the subject by the post over at Avon Romance blog. Both blog authors had very good and salient posts about the subject.

For me, spelling is not something to be taken lightly. Without proper spelling, humans cannot communicate effectively with each other. A system of standard spelling avoids all confusion. If you write "Deer Miz Nite" when it ought to be "Dear Ms. Knight", Deirdre Knight is not going to think your query is creative, she's going to toss your query in the trash. You could write the greatest novel ever, and she'll never read it because it would take too long to decrypt your work into something her brain could understand.

Try this:

Deer Ajant,

I em currantlee seekin reprizentashun for Calldara, a 91,000 wurd liturairy thrilur. Aftur reedin yur infurmashun at Ajantqueery.com, I beleve yu wood be the rite ajant for mi wurk.

Beneeth Yelloston Nashunal Park simers a vulcano 2400 tims mor pourfull thin Mownt Sant Helins. The questshun iz win, not if, the vulcano iz goin to blo, en win it duz, millyuns of livs cud be lost... (Can you imagine an entire book written that way?)

You get the picture. And that took an obscenely long time to type, btw, because my correct-spelling imprinted brains rebelled against that crap. Which leads me to believe that not only are they not doing kids any favors by letting them spell wrong, but they're doing harm by letting kids' brains get imprinted with the wrong information.

Don't let this happen to you, and please don't let this happen to your children.

For more of this rant, take a stroll over to my (oft-forgotten) homeschooling blog: Home Ed Musings.


Zinnia Cyclamen said...

Dere Bee Ee Zanderzun (wow, it is difficult, isn't it?), I'm here on a semi-official visit from the Novel Racers to say thanks for being such a committed racer, and thanks too for your offer of code for people's sidebars, I'll be advertising that as I do the rounds today.

Shannon said...

Wow, you homeschool? Good for you! And "creative spelling"????? WTF! I've never heard of this before- thanks for the warning. I don't get it, you either spell a word right or you don't. Period. Or don't they have to bother with learning correct punctuation either??

B.E. Sanderson said...

Thanks Zinnia. You're awesome.

Shannon: The education system is always coming up with some new way to teach things, when they're usually just reinventing the wheel (and making it square in the process, btw). I think I'm touchier about it because I used to work for a private school, and the way they taught was the old way. Of course, their test scores were always eons ahead of the public schools, so they must have been doing something right.

I had to homeschool. My daughter was drowning, and it was either that or let her suffer. Homeschooling was the only logical choice for me. I don't regret it for a microsecond. =o)