I know that being able to spell is not the main thing in life. But, for those of us who attempt to communicate our hearts through writing, spelling is an essential piece to the effectiveness of that communication.
I learned to type in high school a few decades back. That was when the keys were designed for big fingers. I still managed to lock the keys on the manual typewriter, so I was never allowed to attempt the only electric typewriter we had in the classroom.
Now we have these things called keyboards that are designed for the Japanese female, and I really have a rough time! Thankfully they don’t lock, but you ought to see some of the words I come up with. Added to that is a severe case of typing dyslexia–the ability to type words backwards from the known spelling.
For instance, ‘the’ usually comes out as ‘teh;’ ‘of” almost always arrives on the page as ‘fo;’ and ‘and’ is almost always ‘adn.’ And that is just the small words! You should see what I do with the bigger words.
But, I try to catch all that before it gets to your eyes. (Just then there was a ‘d’ at the end of ‘before.’ How? I dunno.)
I usually go back and read all that I’ve written to look for the mistakes. But, we’ve all learned that the eye sees what it wants to see; and since I wrote it, it must be okay. I read what I thought I wrote.
I tried teaching re-writing and editing to the middle school students, but that was an exercise in futility. “Done” was their goal and that was it. “Do-overs” are not allowed in the classroom–only on the playground.
Going back over something is tedious and time consuming, but it must be done if we want excellence in our work. E-mail and posting to our blogs have taken away some of that drive for excellence. In the name of speed and efficiency, effectiveness takes the far back row.
So, I’ve tried to use a spell checker, but to no avail until this morning. One of my sons would read my posts and go in and correct the typos, and then tell me what he had done. He kept telling me that they would show up as red-lined words in his editor; but that wasn’t happening for me. So, he told me to try using FireFox as my browser, because that may be the ticket.
I did. It wasn’t. Spent most of yesterday just trying to learn my way around the new format of FireFox.
I tried to use the spell-check that WordPress supplies on the toolbar for posting, but all I could get was language choice. That was because I was hitting the drop-down arrow. Finally figured out that I should just hit the ABC box–the one with the checkmark in it.
The upshot of all this is that now I can find the misspellings and the typos. It won’t make the distinction between sense, since, and cents, but that is for the writers among us–not necessarily those who are simply trying to share their heart.
So, after you type a post, before you hit the publish button, try to do a spell check of your document. It will help a little toward a more excellent product.
Is that not what we want?