Wot Standards ?

If you’ve been following links from Photomatt’s page, and other conversations both in the WP forums and elsewhere, you’ll have noticed a focus on web standards. There is talk of XHTML, RSS, Atom, CSS and various other bits and bobs. Some people – I count myself among them – like pages to validate. Some people – I do not count myself here – like to have nice graphics on their pages. There are people who will also say that although a site may have great design, it has bad content (Bad being a subjective thing here).
So there are all these people pushing forward the boundaries, creating the new while not totally abandoning the old, but it would seem that some blog authors – who want to use the latest and greatest and have it work perfectly all the time thankyouverymuch – either cannot use their spell-checker, or cannot use a dictionary. Why ask for programs to use when you are going to abuse them ?

Poor spelling is bad, very bad. I’m not talking about the odd typo here (which should be corrected as soon as you notice it) I’m talking about really poor spellings repeatedly scattered through a blog. I don’t then care if your page validates, if you’ve got some fantastic CSS techniques, if you supply feeds in every flavour – it puts me straight off. It makes you look stupid.

I saw a link to a place this morning. The link had the name of the place in it, yet when this person added the link text, they spelt it wrong. Why ?? It was there, just to the left of you typing it, did you not see ??

There are people calling for a spellchecker for WordPress. I’d not be installing it, but unless you have a real difficulty with words, can’t you just learn to spell ? If you have trouble with certain words, then learn them. You’d expect your kids to wouldn’t you ? You do expect your taxes to be spent correctly in schools ? If you have spent time crafting your blog to look the way you want, can you not treat what you say with equal reverence ?

Just to be clear, I’m not directing this at someone who has real problems, or someone who writes in AOL-speak (as bad as that is). Abbreviations (text-speak) are okay too – up to a point. Equally this is not directed at people who are maintaining blogs in different languages – this is about your native language, your ‘mother tongue’. I’m talking about people who are just too damn lazy to be bothered to read their drafts and correct any errors, or to do so if they see one in a post.

Spelling is important, really important. If you can’t be bothered to spell correctly, or to rectify an error, then what else are you too lazy to do ? It’s partly a reflection of your personality.
Bad spelling also detracts hugely from any point you are trying to make. If you want to come across as intelligent, well-read and insightful, then you do yourself no favours if you repeatedly mis-spell words. Again, it makes you look stupid – stupid for not learning how to spell it, stupid for not bothering to find out how to spell it and stupid for not correcting it.

If you don’t want to look stupid and lazy, then learn to spell.

8 thoughts on “Wot Standards ?

  1. Im glad too see someone who aggrees with me about bad spelling. what kind off mesage are we giving others about ourselfs if we cant evan be bothered to lern to construc words of are own langage correcly?

  2. I agree Mark. I was going through my old files today and came across this one. It just seems appropriate somehow. Sorry if it is too big. Have a gander on my site when you get the chance – I am cleaning out and adding stuff like mad as I find pieces like this. [Only if they interest you of course] 🙄

    Spell Checker Poem Version

    Eye halve a spelling chequer
    It came with my pea sea
    It plainly marques four my revue
    Miss steaks eye kin knot sea

    Eye strike a key and type a word
    And weight four it two say
    Weather eye am wrong oar write
    It shows me strait a weigh

    As soon as a mist ache is maid
    I nose bee fore two long
    And eye can put the error rite
    Its rare lea ever wrong

    Eye have run this poem threw it
    I am shore your pleased two no
    Its letter perfect awl the weigh
    My chequer tolled me sew

  3. Agreed. There was recently a post on the Sheffield Forum by a 16 year old lad asking peoples opinions on the best age to start having sex (thread can be found at http://www.sheffieldforum.co.uk/showthread.php?s=&threadid=12519 ) Heres the lads reply after numerous people had posted their opinions:

    thank you all for your ideas on the subject i am 16 and my girlfreind and i are in what some people whould call a hevey relationship and i lover her more than i love anything else and i dont know what to say we are thinking about a sexural relationship we are bouth going to seprat docters to talk to some one in comfadance ech talk ing about our concernc shuch as sti aids etc but thank you all for your help

    Now in my opinion, anyone who spells like that shouldnt even be allowed to contemplate breeding.

  4. Absolutely. But even worse – people who care about these things are labelled as snobs, or elitists, or old fashioned. In the UK even basic spelling has long ago been abandoned in schools in favour of “inclusivity”; whatever that might be.

  5. I agree that people should make an effort to learn to spell, and that they should give their posts a good careful reading over before publishing them, spelling errors can still creep in.

    I try the best I can to learn to spell words. I try as hard as I can to make sure my posts are spelled correctly before I publish them. And, just as a further step to make sure I haven’t missed anything, I run the post through a spell-checker that is integrated into my browser. Usually, it doesn’t catch anything.

    Sometimes though it does because I have problems with certain words.

    You see, with those words, it doesn’t matter how hard I look for the errors, I won’t see them because my brain doesn’t see them as an error. But the spell checker does.

    And that is the reason I would like to see an integrated spell checker.

    (This comment is not a flame.)

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