Do Spelling Mistakes Matter? - Stephen Fry on Language Nazis

Do you get annoyed when you see spelling or punctuation errors? Do you go round correcting misspellings with a red pen? Or do you just tut? Do you write comments on blogs and in forums about people's misspellings?

People assume that I do because I'm interested in spelling, but I don't. Really, I don't! True, it makes me angry if I receive a sloppy letter from someone who is meant to be providing a service for me - like an estate agent or bank  - because it makes me think they may be sloppy in other ways too. Oh, and I do think teachers should edit their writing carefully too.

We all make mistakes sometimes and we don't always see them when editing. Yes, yes, we should use a spell-check but, hey, sometimes life's a bit short for that. And, really, there are worse crimes in the world than misspelling a word that seem to get a lot less aggressive criticism. It really is pitiful to read vicious attacks on other people's spelling - attacks so badly written that they are full of spelling mistakes of the aggressor's own.

Anyway, this is a preamble to this wonderful video I have just come across of Stephen Fry agreeing with me! And it's a beautiful example of 'kinetic typography' by Matthew Rogers.

As Fry says, sometimes people DO need to spell and grammar (there, I've verbified a noun!) properly and that's why I do what I do. If you lack spelling knowledge or strategies and this creates an obstacle in job applications or exams then something needs to be done.

So watch, enjoy and comment below! Do you agree with Stephen Fry? And me?

Stephen Fry Kinetic Typography - Language from Matthew Rogers on Vimeo.
I originally found this here.


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The Language Show - Full-Body Spelling Workout

For a Full-Body Spelling Workout, come along to The Language Show in London on Sunday 17th October 2010.

Details about The Language Show.

So what is a Full-Body Spelling Workout? The Spelling Blog regulars will know that I favour multi-sensory methods of improving spelling. This session will be wall-to-wall multi-sensory activities for all ages. It will include:
  • Ways to help students write similar-sounding words
  • Ways to help weaker spellers visualise words (as good spellers seem to do naturally)
  • Things to do with your hands (that help to remember spellings)
  • Things to do with your brain (that help you to remember too)
  • A spelling gym  - been meaning to do some exercise? Learn spelling at the same time!
  • A chance for your feet to get in on the act too.
In fact, participants will go away with a brainful of short, fun, effective spelling activities that are great for warmers and energisers.

My session, (whole title: Hands-On, Eyes-On Feet-On! Full-Body Spelling Workout) is on at 13.15 (till 14.00) on Sunday 17th Oct.

By the way, volunteers will be invited to participate in a great game that you need to take your shoes off for, so make sure there are no embarrassing holes in your socks ;-)

Hope to see you there.