In Frayed Connections on August 20, 2013 at 6:19 pm




 With the advent of Facebook, Twitter, texting and e-mail comes a terrible plague that exposes a dark underbelly of our society. It’s not adultery, money scams, id theft or even foodie instagrams.

It’s about spelling. It’s about how few people can actually spell the basics, words used everyday.  I’m sure it connects somehow to the demise of books and bookstores, and the general dumbing down of our culture, but I’m no anthropologist.  I’m also no librarian, English major or former spelling bee champion.

In fact I’m an aspiring, unpublished writer who writes about teenagers smoking pot in the woods and the trouble they get into  (Lofty I’m not.)

I’m not a person who would ever publicly correct a person’s misspellings either. Not even (or maybe: especially) people I am close to. For years I misspelled the word ‘course’ with an ‘a’….and I use that word a LOT!

 Maybe that’s part of the problem- no one wants to call anyone out and humiliate them.  I am (for all intents and purposes) only marginally educated (public high school, some community college) so if I’m noticing theses errors, it’s bad.

    I don’t want to embarrass anyone, or start a fight. I’m simply stating that before we get on the front lines to argue about women’s rights or gay marriage -so as not to have to discuss the economy and politician’s salaries, we should take a good, hard look at the way we are exposing our ignorance every single day.

  Again,  I am talking the basics. Stuff you should know  fifth, sixth grade, tops. I can’t tell you how many times I see college educated people (good schools!) misspell the simplest things! It’s jarring. Correspondence from large companies, billboards, hand-written signs in public places- spelling has gone into the ditch.

   The incredibly obvious ‘Your’ and ‘You’re’ lead the pack. I have not experienced a single day (since the advent of the internet) where I don’t see this mistake. “Your coming over today, right?”-wrong! ‘You’re coming over- as in ‘You Are!’ Next in line: Their, they’re and there. ‘They’re sure that their students know how to spell, and so they now attend the middle school over there.’ And guess what? “We’re, where and were’ are not interchangeable! 

   Rather than bore you to tears with a lecture I’m going to write a few sentences, using actual spelling from Facebook posts in composite sentences.  I am avoiding any that may have been typos: 

   Last night, we grilled stake out on the deck. The whether was nice, and a gental breeze blue. I new it wood be good. I was afraid I’d loose the spatular, so I kept an eye on it. ( me: Vampires hate stakes!)

   I don’t know weather you know that I bread dogs? (me: Panko bread-crumbs are best on dogs!)

   Kids have no manors these days! (me: It’s the economy!)

   My friend, the genious that she is, left the door unlocked and someone stold the cell-phone! It cost more then mine! (me: Alrighty, than!)

   We have three cat’s. (Are they kitten’s?)

   Did you loose your mind, man? (I’m trying to tighten it, actually!)

   Are we aloud to go to the beach after sundown? (Only if we whisper)

   Now- we’re not even going to go into your post-worthy life, and ask why you think we care about the fact that you’re grilling and bragging about it like the cave-man  who first discovered fire,  but shouldn’t you’ NO’ how basic words are spelled?

Awww! Don't we all?

Awww! Don’t we all?


   On the other hand, who am I to talk?  I have no smarts when it comes to punctuation regardless of how many instructional books I read.  No one is perfect, but I think if we all read more books, it might help!

Reading doesn’t  always help me spell words correctly, but I often recognize when something’s not right, bringing attention where it’s needed. I’m not a spelling Nazi, but I do wince when I see intelligent people making horrendous spelling mistakes. Unless they’re bragging, or being bullies. Then I just laugh. Because I love my whore family, too!


  1. Thank you!
    Let us not forget the oh-so-helpful advent of Twitter’s 140 characters and the contribution to spelling. And texting of course.


    • R U 4 real = texting! (I refuse to cave- I spell every word properly!) Twitter is like letting everyone TRY their hand at editing (which is incredibly difficult, that’s why it’s a profession) I would think poets would be good at Twitter. Everything edited down to its bones. But who would understand them? haha.

      Question: (ut-oh!) Do you have a Q & A area on your site? I have some questions about blogging in general. And about ‘prompts’, certain writing contests, etc. Or: Can you recommend a good site that might answer blogging etiquette questions? Some of these things are probably obvious- I just don’t see them addressed on WordPress. I’d like to interact more (with fellow bloggers) while I write, but I don’t want to step on any toes!


      • Haha! I also spell everything out but it does NOTHING to deter my friends, who continue to make me translate their messages. I simply end up sending zillion-part texts because I cannot allow myself to do all that “abbreviation.” As far as Twitter is concerned, I do my best to flout their rules and use posting sites like TwitLonger that allow me to go way over the 140. I’m a rebel…

        As far as sites that offer blogging tips/etiquette, (and yes, this is a shameless plug) I recommend Flash Fiction Chronicles (http://www.everydayfiction.com/flashfictionblog/). I am a contributor over there for primarily book reviews and the rare article (now I’m convicted…I need to get my non-fiction writing on for a couple sites…) but folks like Jim, whose article on building an author platform is up top right now, are brilliant.

        I would think that WordPress’ Daily Post folks, who put up the Daily Prompt and Weekly Writing Challenge, might have some good information on blogging etiquette.

        Lastly, check the Today’s Author (http://todaysauthor.wordpress.com/) archives/search area also. They offer the twice-weekly Write Now! prompt and there are some brilliant comments there about writing/blogging.

        Also, if you are feeling brave one day, you might want to start a reverse “Ask Miss (Blog) Matters” post! Instead of giving advice from your loyal minions, you are asking for advice! And by moderating comments, you avoid the inadvertent strange or inappropriate answer being revealed to the masses 😉

        Hope that helps!


      • It helps so much! I have much to go on-and I appreciate the time you took to write it all down! Thanks so much! I will begin my quest first thing in the morning!


      • Enjoy! I think you will find a bounty of good info. Also, Today’s Author folks like Rob and Flas Fiction Chronicles folks like Jim are very responsible about responding to questions.


      • Haha! There goes the universe! That should be “Flash!”


      • Again- thanks so much! This is so helpful- ( and ps: I would’ve just assumed ‘flas’ was yet another blogging term I was unaware of!)


  2. Lol..my pet peeve too..coarse is gritty..course is the of course. On another note…i was explaining to a college age counselor that a kid in his group will be difficult because he is oppositional etc…etc… This Dartmouth..the Dartmouth..top 10 ivy schools said..wait,stop,whats oppositional mean? So, yeah vocab is a tough one too nowadays!

    A Kick


    • It’s one of those things (like my right and left) that is always a problem despite knowing to ‘stay away from the A!’…I think one of the greatest things about going to a good school is that you are automatically deemed smart, until proven not. (Unfortunately, it’s just the opposite for those who didn’t….)


  3. Im obsessive about this..I think it was my Catholic schooling, but, dang it..we spell GOOD! I never mentioned you spelling “coarse” for “of course” because I found it to be endearing to you and I thought you were sort of ‘trademarking” your writing with it.


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