Most of us have heard how students these days aren’t being taught cursive writing, and we all know how technology has changed so many things so quickly during our lifetimes. But I never quite believed our written language had been affected…until recently.
I work in marketing, and one of my duties includes monitoring public submissions through our website. The spelling and grammar of some of these submissions has been atrocious. The sad part is the submissions looked like the people were really trying to spell correctly, but they just didn’t know how to.
I’m not even talking about “tricky” words like “its” or “their” or “you’re”. I’m talking about your basic spelling. Words like “fight” or “many”. And this goes way beyond an occasional misspelling. The submissions like this were completely full of misspelled words.
A lot of the words sounded correct if you pronounced them phonetically, but you couldn’t recognize them if you expected the correct spelling. If only a couple of submissions followed this pattern, I would have overlooked it as a few students who did not pay attention in class. But the percentages are slightly higher than I can justify by random coincidence, particularly in the generation that’s currently teens and young adults.
I would assume our texting language has a lot to do with the dwindling knowledge of spelling. Or perhaps the increased availability of “spell-check”. I’m not sure. Do you have any ideas? Here are a few of the words I have seen misspelled today:
- Fight was spelled “fite”.
- Since was spelled “seens”.
- Goal was spelled “gole”.
- Many was spelled “meny”.
- Lives was spelled “lifes”.
- Awe was spelled “owee”.
- And any word ending in E that was conjugated to the ING form, had both E and ING at the end of the word. For example saving was spelled “saveing”.
Of these misspelled words, only fight was shortened in the misspelled version. All of the others were as many characters or more than the correct spelling of the word. That part doesn’t make sense if these are the texting versions of the words.
I am not a fantastic speller myself. And when I type, sometimes my fingers don’t type what my brains says to type. But when you are submitting a story online in a professional setting, wouldn’t you want it to look professional?
Do kids these days not know how to spell? Or perhaps they just don’t care how they spell as long as they know what they are trying to say? I don’t know. But it saddens me to see these changes slowly filtering into our written language. Why do you think these changes are occurring? How do you think our written language will change over the next 50 years?