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Speling (with one l)

Good news for bad spellers?! Freespeling.com (with one l) "promotes the World Vote to stimulate a consensus for simpler, easier spelings which will become a new set of Standard Spelings for the future." O, year?

According to this site, only 17% of native English speakers can spell the following six words correctly:
Height, necessary, accommodation, seperate, sincerely, business

Have you noticed that one of them is spelled wrong? Yeah? In those words, I should say "necessary" is my arch-rival.

I was amused to read these words:

"Four" "forty" ? ridiculous. Who can justify it to a child?

Aha, indeed I sometimes have trouble explaining to my students why they shouldn't write like "Wenzday, Febuary nineth." Among the typical misspellings my students often make are: tha (the), ar (are), meny (many), tenis (tennis), frend (friend), boll (ball), hav (have), whoes (whose), dose (does), it's (its), your (you're), house (horse)... . I too made a mistake in class the other day writing "excercise". Come on, why not "c"! My dear students are keen on finding my misspellings.

Before starting this blog, I used to think I was a fairly good speller. Yes, I say "before". Now, I'm using IeSpell, a spell checker that Jennifer (Jen) recommended (spelled right?) in one of her entries, and that tatroyer also mentioned in his blog recently. (Oh, I haven't upgraded it yet!) Trouble is, I often forget to use it! So it scares me to think that one day I'll write "Conglaturations!"

While I think Freespeling.com's attempt is interesting, I at the same time feel the "flavo(u)r" of traditional English spellings is also facsinating, oh, fascinating, especially after seeing the substitutes listed on the website. I'd rather write "you" than "u".

Are you a good speller?

-- via 100SHIKI (Japanese)

Comments

I can?t spell to save my life. Really. I think the greatest invention in modern history is the Spell Checker. I would not be able to function without it. I can?t spell phonetically at all. The problem started back in elementary school. My dad moved do to work, and so over the summer between my 2nd and 3rd grade we were in a new town. No big deal. I made a bunch of new friends and like Pella, Iowa a bunch. The problem was in the new school, you learned how to spell words phonetically in 2nd grade, and at my old school they did not teach that until 3rd grade. Long story short, I missed a whole year on how to spell by sounding words out. All my spelling comes from memorizing words. Sad really. Oh well. :-) So the anwser to the question in one word: No.

Oh, learning "Phonics" is an important part at elementary school in the US, isn't it?
Anyhow, I know how you feel. I now think I should have learned "kanji" (Chinese characters; just like words from Latin or Greek in the English language) more seriously at elementary school. ;)

My bad spelling is probably something you've already noticed. It's one of my worries for the coming year...

Kiyo, do you know the phonetic alphabet?

I won my school spelling bee in 5th grade. I only mention this because, despite that fact, I still don't know how to spell seperate...separete...sep...okay, whatever!

Did I mention that I work as a proofreader?

Darren,

Yes, I know the phonetic alphabet. In every English textbooks for junior & senior high school, phonetic signs are attached along with new words. But the fact is, it is completely up to teachers to decide whether or not they teach how to pronounce each phonetic alphabet to their students. I don't think many teachers actually do.

Jennifer,

Oh, yeah? No, I didn't know you are a proofreader. Wow!

Hee! I didn't write that to impress you. I wrote it so that you could laugh at me or the company that I somehow tricked into hiring a woman who can't spell seper...sepa...oh, hell.

So I'd aprreciate it if you coud proofreed my entries evry now and den.

I consider myself an excellent speller... although I have no clue how to read the phonetics alphabet in the dictionary. I remember learning about the schwa(sp?)/upside-down "e" in elementary school though...

I like your blog design...

Hi, CC! Thanks for a comment. I'm glad you like my blog design. :)

You may be surprised, but the schwa is, in fact, one of the difficult sounds for Japanese learners of English to pronounce.

Yes,I've also noticed that most native English speakers are pretty lousy spellers.The worst thing is that they don't even care.Foreigners usually spell better than native speakers,because we live in the world where we have to be good at spoken and written English if we want to get a good job.So most of us try really hard to learn English well,and of course there is no way that we couldn't spell our own language.But native English speakers,especially Americans,don't take spelling seriously enough and that's why they are so bad at it.

Foreigners usually spell better than native English speakers because we condiser spelling much more important than native speakers do.For instance,if someone misspells a word in his own language,we say he's illiterate and uneducated. If someone misspells a word in English,we say he doesn't know English.On the other hand,native speakers usually think that spelling doesn't matter and they just don't care if their spelling is bad.To them it's perfectly normal that some people aren't good at it and they don't even see that as a deficiency.

Native English speakers always complain that their language is the hardest to spell,but French is even worse for logical spelling than English is and French people are still much better spellers than English people are.How do you explain that?
There are many difficulties and inconsistencies in almost every language,but those people can spell their own languages because they learn it from experience.You can't use the same words 20 years and still not be able to spell your own language,that's what I think.But native English speakers are really bad at spelling and as far as I noticed,that's a strictly English phenomenon.
Even foreigners write better English than native speakers do.Really,why are they so bad at spelling?

I agree. I am a native english speaker from Canada and I can't spell that good - well, good, but not some words. Actually pretty good. Most people I know can spell really relly good. Actually, for me, its learning vocab. because the teachers say "ok learn this" and don't test us, so hardly anyone learns it, so reading the word and tring to know what it means is my problem actually. Anyways, I don't understand why a lot can't spell good - well, I kinda do - teachers, the parents and the kids will. Spelling should come easy. I remember in gr. 2 + in my new school after I moved, they would give a list of what words to learn and give a week or two to learn the 40 - 80 words. Give a test two times and thats it. I think lazyness in gr.8 + is the problem too. Lazy - don't care -probably because we are use to it (language) and think its ok. In elementary, kids are young and do learn, but aftr that, maybe way later, they someone don't care.. whatever it is... a change must be made.

English spelling is not that hard, but native speakers are too lazy to learn even the simpliest rules. For instance, many of them don't know if it is "finally" or "finaly", "nicely" or "nicelly", "completely" or "completly", "exactly" or "exactely" etc., and actually the rule is very simple: you just add
-ly to a word, like exact+ly=exactly, complete+ly=
completely etc. Same case with "to and "too", "than" and "then", "there" and "their" etc... Those things are not hard to understand, but most native speakers don't know them.
As a matter of fact, I have noticed that most web-pages in English written by non-native speakers are quite well written, I even dare to say they are perfect, whereas pages written by native speakers always have a lot of spelling and grammar mistakes. I was very surprised to see that many educated Americans couldn't spell very common words like "sensitive", "invisible", "disappear", "sacrifice" etc., whereas almost everyone in my school could spell those words.

There is NO excuse for bad spelling. If the whole world can learn to write English, why can't native speakers, who use it every day?

Your right. Are language is not easy but I think spelling and grammer are important and people should stat caring more about them.

What I think we need to start doing is removing the discrimination against Me and Myself.

They never get to *do* anything. When I get kicked around, at least I can fight back. But when someone kicks me, can me do anything? No, *I* is still the one to fight, and me sort of cowers in the background, waiting for another accusative case. Myself is in an even worse situation: *I* can hurt myself, making it even harder for Myself to gain any power.

Some teenagers are making rapid strides toward ending this pattern of prejudice and abuse by using such sentences as "Me and her went out." See, not only is Me becoming more assertive, but Me is bonding with other typically oppressed pronouns like Her!

The problem seems to me to be that teachers don't care anymore about spelling. There are mistakes in handouts they give us in class. They say that we can learn spelling later or become writers who will simplify English spelling. Maybe this is so, but I think poor spelling would damage my credibility in that kind of effort,

I am Italian and my spelling is almost perfect. Foreigners usually write better than native speakers because their first approach to the language is written. Native speakers learn English orally first and then they find it difficult to give words their correct spelling. I could justify some mistakes because of the hundreds ways of spelling the same sound but I don't absolutely accept mistakes such as "too" instead of "to"; their instead of there;In these cases The difference between the two words is most importantly grammatical, then orthographical.

I am Kady and i am very good at spelling but there are a few words that i get stumped on.... and i never knew that i was such a great speller until in second grade i got to join the school bee and i was two rounds away from winning but i didn't know i was going to be in the bee and i did better than anyone else who was in second grade and joined!!! and i have been in the bee ever since and in fourth grade i won the school bee!!