Does spelling matter? Creative Copywriting blog
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Does spelling matter?

Well, duz it? If we can get the meaning of a sentence even if the spelling isn’t ‘standard’, how much does it matter if the letters are in the right order?

This is a much wider debate and a much bigger topic than I’m giving space for here, but I’m just really interested to hear what people think. Pretty much everyone has seen the muddled up sentences that appear on Facebook, showing that the placement of just a few letters can help our brains to unscramble the rest:

“Adcroncig to a rscaereh at an eisgnlh uisrnteviy, it dseon’t meattr in waht oerdr the leettrs in a wrod are, the olny ioatnrpmt tihng is taht fisrt and lsat ltteer is at the rgiht palce. The rset can be a ttaol mses and you can stlil raed it wuothit pborlem. Tihs is bseucae we do not raed evrey lteetr by iteslf but the wrod as a whloe. Cerheio.”*

This is an extreme example, but it does show that we don’t need correct spelling to make sense of everything we read – although we would get a headache if we kept at it for too long. So, is spelling more about tradition, ‘correctness’ and a narrow vision of the way language works?

I posted this picture on my Company Facebook page before Christmas…

Holly Reefs

I spotted it near my home, and drove round the block so that I could get out and take a picture. Whilst most people commented on how uncomfortable or inadvisable it would be to smoke a holly reef or dive at a holly reef, some people were unconcerned – you know what they’re selling, and it’s made you stop and read the sign, so perhaps it’s clever marketing?

What about text speak?

Text speak

 

There were a lot of newspaper and online column inches about text speak a few years ago. Teens could apparently only answer exam questions in text speak; English would be dead in just a couple of years; the end of the correctly-spelled word was nigh.

In fact, adults are now more likely to use text speak than children, who have smartphones and tablets with a qwerty keyboard (I love how easy it is to type qwerty) and so just type everything out in full. Spelling, punctuation and grammar are making a comeback in GCSE exams, with a percentage of marks in some exams being targeted just at these elements, so I don’t think we can blame the kids for being lax.

What do you think?

When is it important to spell properly, and when doesn’t it matter? Does it ALWAYS matter? Which spelling mistakes get on your nerves the most? Would you refuse to buy from a business because it couldn’t spell? Do spill.

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