Under a spel

August 11, 2008

Guess the battle has been lost:

Embaressed by yor spelling? Never you mind.

Fed up with his students’ complete inability to spell common English correctly, a British academic has suggested it may be time to accept “variant spellings” as legitimate.


Rather than grammarians getting in a huff about “argument” being spelled “arguement” or “opportunity” as “opertunity,” why not accept anything that’s phonetically (fonetickly anyone?) correct as long as it can be understood?


“Instead of complaining about the state of the education system as we correct the same mistakes year after year, I’ve got a better idea,” Ken Smith, a criminology lecturer at Bucks New University, wrote in the Times Higher Education Supplement.


“University teachers should simply accept as variant spelling those words our students most commonly misspell.”

Of course, whether those “variant spellings” can be understood is a subjective judgment, which is why it’s sort of nice to have standard spellings that are commonly understood and accepted, but what the hell. Anything to relive the little darlings’ stress levels.


2 Responses to “Under a spel”

  1. MichaelK Says:

    “Anything to relive the little darlings’ stress levels.”

    Why would anyone want to relive the stress of spelling tests?

    Or are you thinking ahead to the new age “old souls” post?

  2. Leo Morris Says:

    “Relive” is a “variant spelling” of “relieve.”

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