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No Wonder We Can't Spell

Updated on September 2, 2011

Spelling Test


It is probably true to say that one subject that seemed to have given most of us, the most trouble at school, was spelling.

It is said that spelling is important, it helps us get our message over.

Many bosses will look at spelling on job applications, to determine a persons educational standard.

Why is this the case though: if what is said below is true?

Is It True?

It has been siad taht: the brian deos not raed lettres it only raeds wrods, so as lnog as you strat and finish with the corerct lettres and hvae the corect amuont of letters the barin can read it.


Considering the above, do we pay too much importance on a person’s ability to spell?

Surely the importance should be more on their ability to get a message across.

A person may be otherwise, remarkably intelligent, just has a problem with spelling. This could unfairly hold him back.

Although spelling has always seemed to be a major criteria in initially determining a person’s intellectual standard, to me incorrectly, it has now become even less credible. With the abundance of computers in the work place today and their spell check features, the otherwise most inept speller, can produce a perfectly spelt document in minimal time.

School Assistence

No Calculators
No Calculators


Given that today, due to texting on cell phones, people are more adept at communicating at a younger age and this texting gets messages across without perfect spelling, surely the ability to spell correctly is becoming redundant.

Considering the amount of time spent by teachers and the pressure caused to students, shouldn’t educational values now be re-evaluated?

When teaching math, calculators are not allowed in class and in many cases students are asked not to use them for homework. This is understandable, as basic math is still essential knowledge.

This is not the case with English. Most schools now seem to encourage, if not insist on, assignments being completed in print, thereby accepting the use of a spell check.

Today, more than ever, priority in accessing a person’s intellect should rest with their ability at math, legible writing and clarity in thought. Communication is no longer dependent on a person’s ability to spell, only his ability to get a message across.


Having had the poll up for two days, it would appear that everybody could read the paragraph.

So this, begs the question: why is spelling so important?

Does it show a persons ability to memorize?

Does it show a persons ability to rationalize?

Does it show a persons wisdom?

Or does it show a persons intellect?

I would say that it displays the first one, the ability to memorize and does not give any guidance as to the other three.

So, could it be said that our society is unnaturally biased. Perhaps being a little unfair to those that cannot spell?

If, as the poll shows, that the ability to get your message across, is not dependent on your ability to spell, then why should you be penalized in any way.


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    • profile image

      tugbo200-5 6 years ago

      Well done

      From my hub 4 months ago.

      Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a toatl 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.

    • travel_man1971 profile image

      Ireno Alcala 6 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      If not for the tool for correcting spelling, I'll have so much errors on my hub.

      I'm thinking two-ways (Filipino or Tagalog plus English) while writing a particular hub.

    • Syed Neaz Ahmad profile image

      Syed Neaz Ahmad 6 years ago from London, UK

      I wrote an article on this topic last week. It was published in a newspaper:

      The proof of reading!

      Syed Neaz Ahmad

      Once you learn to read, you will be forever free, said Frederick Douglas. The things I want to know are in books, my best friend is the man who’ll get me a

      book I [haven’t] read, said Abraham Lincoln. Walt Disney said: There’s is more treasure in books than in all the pirate’s loot on Treasure Island. There is a

      lot of truth in all that but where do we stand today?

      AS a child I was overawed and greatly amused by a book in our library at home, The Big Book of Great Short Stories. It was a prized possession for those

      of us who grew up thinking that one day perhaps we will make into the book. The book was borrowed by someone who ‘forgot’ to return—the way, I believe,

      most books are lost. However, I still remember a sentence from its Introduction: ‘The volume contains stories from authors whose name alone spell charm.’

      I was spellbound not only by the names, the themes and the plots but also by the spelling of many difficult words.

      At school I admired teachers who seemed to remember the entire Oxford Dictionary and devoted their time to reading and writing. I had often thought how

      could they remember the spellings of all those words?

      Teaching language is tough and teaching creative writing isn’t easy. Yet most of us keep devising and striking up our own personal methods and examples to

      achieve our goals. Students not happy to lose a mark or two for silly spelling mistakes are often told by a colleague of mine about a student who went to a

      foreign country for higher studies.

      One day the student was surprised to see his worried father on his doorstep. The father complained that the family had not heard from him for months and

      wanted to know the reason. On reflection the student found out—being careless about spellings as he was—he had been ‘posting’ his letters in the litter box.

      This is not particular to a society, profession or region—people all over the world suffer from spelling disorders known as dyslexia. At 14, Alexander Faludy

      became the youngest person to win a place at Cambridge since Pitt the Younger. With an IQ of 178, he can deliver verbal dissertations of enormous range and complexity, but can write only two words a minute. Otherwise a lucky lad, he was sent to a correction school.

      A girl of five—closely assisted by her teachers and parents—worked for the best part of a year, two sessions a day, trying to memorise the alphabet. Not one

      letter would stick. Unable to learn through her eyes but possessed of curiously sensible fingers, she cracked it eventually by feeling for wooden letters in a

      velvet bag, making their shapes then saying them aloud.

      However, if you do confuse spellings and drop your letters in the litter box you are in good company! Albert Einstein, the German-born genius was sacked from

      two teaching jobs for terrible spellings, and once said: ‘If I can’t picture it. I can’t understand it.’ The Renaissance polymath, Leonardo da Vinci, who painted the

      Mona Lisa and designed machinery, had erratic spellings, and scribbled notes backwards from the right to the left. Thomas Edison, the inventor behind the light

      bulb and phonograph, was rather dim in spellings and grammar. He also had learning problems. ‘I almost decided I must be a dunce,’ he said once.

      Dyslexia was first branded as ‘word-blindness’. Some even thought it was downright laziness on the part of the learner. Punished at school, Lord Rogers, the

      architect, says his teachers thought he was just lazy. But as every dyslexic is not a genius, not all those who are lazy spellers are dyslexics.

      I remember a smart proof-reader who—in his innocent zeal to ‘improve’ the text—had ‘corrected’ and changed the character of a scientific article.

      Painstakingly he had changed all reference to ‘nuclear technology’ to ‘unclear technology’. Needless to say, the article went down very well—in the litter bin.

      They say the proof of pudding is in eating. Extending the analogy one could say the proof of reading is in writing. If finding ‘mistakes’ is easy writing out texts must be ‘easier’! Roald Dahl in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory highlights the necessity of books and bookshelves in every home.

      So please, oh please, we beg, we pray,

      Go throw your TV set away,

      And in its place you can install,

      A lovely bookshelf on the wall