I probably represent the old school by saying I think spelling is really important.
If you think about it, are books published with bad spelling? Even though The Guardian was renowned for its mistakes and typos, it doesn’t conform to that misdemeanour nowadays, with spelling checks on computers there is really no excuse for getting that sort of thing wrong.
(As I type this, WordPress reminds me I’ve spelt ‘misdemeanour’ wrong, and the word ‘spelt’ too, because it is programmed to use American spelling, and being British, I refuse to change it!)
But that is not the kind of bad spelling I’m going on about, it’s the obvious examples due to poor schooling or pure misunderstanding in how the English language should be put together.
Coming back from town today I noticed a new café on our high street, decked out with brightly coloured wording on a fresh, glossy sign. But instead of rejoicing, I sighed deeply. Why is there the need to put apostrophes before every plural ‘s’? To be informed that they provide All Day Breakfast’s, Salad’s and Snack’s was just too terrible for words. I feel like being Lynne Truss and getting up there with a black marker pen and scrubbing out all those miscreant and superfluous pieces of punctuation!
Walking in the country (Berkshire is wonderful at this time of year) I came across a beautiful little cottage with roses above the door and a perfectly manicured garden. A lovingly painted sign on the gate told me to Beware of the dog’s – oh dear, just enough to burst my bubble…
OK, it’s possible to overlook the odd mishap, for example, the correct use of its or it’s, which many people get wrong (including my children’s headteacher from their primary school!), but when confronted with an article that is literally littered with mistakes, which is obvious the writer hasn’t got a clue, really does put you off reading it.
So take heed of your computer’s spelling check when writing your posts – unless it itself is wrong, and there has been plenty of times when that has been the case…