Saturday, December 24, 2005
These days we rarely to have to circle a word on a student's paper and mark "sp" for "spelling." More frequently now, we circle a word and write "wrong word." Computer spellchecking hasn't eliminated spelling errors, it's only changed the type of proofreading errors that writers make.
By way of example, I recently graded 43 legal memos about whether a teenager who was detained on suspicion of shoplifting might have a cause of action for false imprisonment. Several papers located the teen in the candy "isle." It was hard not to picture palm trees made of chocolate.
Segueing from paper grading to vacation reading, I started reading Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, J.K. Rowling's 6th book in the famous series. On page 10, I reached for my correcting pen: "The site, therefore, of Fudge stepping out of the fire once more, ... was about the worst thing that had happened ...." (emphasis added)
Seems even a book full of spells has spelling errors these days. (spl)