Monday, August 5, 2013

Gud speling isnt nesesary

Oh great. A Newcastle University (U.K.) professor has stated that students no longer need to learn spelling "because children can correct mistakes on their mobile phone or computer."

"Sugata Mitra, professor of educational technology at Newcastle University, said that good grammar was necessary 'maybe 100 years ago' but 'not right now,'" says this article.

I read this out loud to the girls, and both groaned. "Why are people so stupid?" mused Younger Daughter. "Oh wait -- it's because they're not teaching things in school."

Or, as a commenter at the end of the article said, "Eye thinks its thyme this per fesser gets hiss self better hearing form the pee pull. Spelling just b not as impotent as it was used too bee. Looks at me. I talk n spill real good. Eyes no so cousin my calm pewter did nun red let hers."

Personally, eye just no that if eye tryd two spel however eye wanted as a riter, my editers wood kil me. And my reeders woodnt bee two happy eether.

This professor also said that youngsters should be encouraged to communicate in other ways, such as via text messaging. For the record, I call such children "texting monkeys" since they appear unable to adequately communicate either in the written or the spoken word.

To be fair, the British organization National Association for the Teaching of English defended teaching correct grammar in schools.

Thank God.


  1. It's just another example of dumbing everyone down to the lowest common denominator rather than setting reasonable standards of ability.

    A few years ago I challenged some teachers at a local inner city high school I was tutoring at (voluntarily) to take a test I found online that was required circa 1914 for a student to graduate high school. The challenge arose during a complaint hearing alleging that students I worked with -- assigned to me randomly by the school -- were receiving an unfair advantage over students assigned to other volunteer tutors or teachers putting in extra time.

    I replied to the complaint by positing that the education system has been so dumbed down to the lowest denominator that students were no longer challenged and accepted that they would be passed onward and upward in life without trying. I asserted that I was successful because I challenged the students to actually earn self esteem through accomplishment rather than accepting the faux self esteem slathered all over them by society in general. Although no "decision" was reached at the end of the kvetching session, I wasn't invited back the next year after 5 years of having every one of my students scholastically turn around, stay in school and graduate. (It should be noted that every year they complained that they couldn't get enough volunteers from the community to help troubled students!)

    Oh, as far as the ~1914 graduation exam: 14 jumped at the chance to prove me wrong; 8 got up and left after a few minutes -- taking their (I assume) uncompleted test with them; and, of the 6 who completed and submitted the test the highest score was 46%.

    A testament to the modern indoctrination system we have allowed to become the public educational system in this country. Students are not taught how to think, but rather, what to think.

    1. Fantastic reply and I so agree!

      And Patrice, you didn't have to spell bad to make your point. I am always finding small errors in my brother's posts because he relies on the computer spell check. And it doesn't work, because the computer can't tell if you want a made to clean your room, or a maid to do it.

      I refuse to have anything to do with twitter.

      This country will eventually fall to socialism because no one will know any better and the government will be there to step in and tell them how to live and what they will do with their lives...

  2. Call me old-fashioned, but it hurt to read this. We live in a "texting monkey" society as it is, and that makes me sad. Somebody take the Professor's right to teach away, please.

  3. One of my favorite topics. I despise poor spelling and grammar. It makes one look like an "id-jit."

    If schools are no longer teaching English, or math, or Civics, or grammar, or spelling, or history, or writing, (cursive writing is out now, too, ya' know because apparently printing and texting are good enough) what the heck is left? Why are kids even there?

    Just Me

  4. And if they don't know how to spell the word, how are they going to know which word has the correct spelling? That's as bad as not teaching cursive handwriting in school anymore. The reasoning being that everything is digital now. Really? Have you signed any legal papers lately? You need a signature. Or are we going back to just making our mark?

    1. Why should we bother to teach cursive these days? Aside from signing papers, which anyone can do, I have not written in cursive since we wasted a ton of time on it in elementary school. That time would have been far better used learning a useful skill for the modern world.

  5. Wow.....Imagine what it will be like if they don't have those "machines" to auto correct their mistakes. Scary....

  6. Patrice, I just found your blog, but I knew you "sounded" familiar. I've read you before in my favorite magazine, Backwoods Home.
    Anyway,I've been through your canning section and now I'm off to read everything else.
    Completely LOVE your writing and your willingness to share.

  7. Think back to the plantation, it was illegal to teach slaves as they were easier to handle if they couldn't read and write. Can you imagine our government getting away with the stuff they are doing now if everyone was educated to the same level as the 1940s? It is easier to control uneducated slaves who are dependent on the plantation/government for food and housing.

  8. Auto-correct mistakes lead to some pretty hilarious results that in a formal business environment could land you in pretty hot water. Auto-correct does not understand word usage. It's fairly easy to see if somebody has just let auto-correct dictate their paper.

    I honestly had trouble even coming up with an argument. Literacy, including spelling, is just such a basic part of your life I can't imagine people not being taught it. It just IS. How dare they cheat a child out of something so important and essential to their life.

  9. From the article

    Professor Mitra, "Firstly, my phone corrects my spelling so I don't really need to think about it and, secondly, because I often skip grammar and write in a cryptic way."

    Somebody please pull that professors teaching license.

    The definition of cryptic:

    1. Having a meaning that is mysterious or obscure.
    2. Having difficult clues that indicate the solutions indirectly."

    She actually refuted her own argument in her statements.

  10. "For the record, I call such children "texting monkeys" since they appear unable to adequately communicate either in the written or the spoken word."

    Ta me hit dont seam like hit make nary a nevermine to em how them thum twiddlerz talks an rites.

    And they mosley dont got no grammer neether.

    A. McSp

  11. I Know you're a "wimp" fan. I found this a while back and fell in love. Seems fitting here. Hope you don't mind a link. I won't get upset if you don't feel you should publish.

  12. The UK used to have two tiers of tertiary education 'universities' and 'polytechnics'. Many years ago the UK Government made them all universities but we all still know which are really 'polytechnics' at heart. Can you guess what Newcastle was (and still is under the skin)?
    I'm sure it's a great place to learn woodworking or plumbing, but Englis... not so much.

  13. My daughter's 5th grade teacher once sent a spelling list home for parents to help their children study. It had 2 words misspelled! I wrote a note to the teacher gently suggesting she might want to correct the list so the kids wouldn't get confused. She wrote a nasty letter back informing me that teachers aren't perfect - they're human, too! She totally missed what I was trying to do and took it as a personal attack. And this was a teacher who was also a member of my church! Completely blew me away!

  14. Two of my good friends are Special Ed teachers, and this weekend we had a long talk about how the overuse of technology makes children functionally autistic; unable to communicate face to face with their peers, let alone strangers! Put down the smart phones!!!

  15. Calculators can do arithmetic. Spellcheck for spelling. Typing instead of cursive. And if you follow the thinking to its logical end you find that because all information is at our fingertips via the Internet, learning is no longer necessary.

  16. This doesn't even count that the so-called professor doesn't seem to understand the difference between orthography and grammar and the problems created by homonyms. Calling this professor's idea moronic is an insult to morons everywhere.

  17. Illiterate sheep are exactly what government wants (and produces).

    Homeschoolers are the benchmark for quality year after year. I have the upmost respect for parents who homeschool their children and protect them from government indoctrination and the fruit of poor parents. There is hope for New American and it lies with these children.
    Montana Guy