Friday, February 18, 2005

Spelling, a dying art

I do a lot reading as part of my job. Actually, I do a lot of reading in my leisure time, too.

I continue to be amazed that so many people got out of college (not to mention high school, junior high school and elementary school) without being able to spell. Notice that I called it "elementary school" in my parenthetical phrase, as opposed to "grammar school". Grammar is yet another topic of concern, and that certainly is beyond the grasp of many. The same can be said of punctuation. The fact that I stopped for a moment when typing "grammar school" to decide if the period should go inside the closing quotation mark (it shouldn't, but that's too much to explain here) would baffle so many people.

Now, back to our regularly scheduled rant. I was reading an employee's file today. I needed to review the employee's work history. This particular employee was noted by her supervisor to be a "consciousness" employee. I might think this was to distinguish her from her prior behavior, but a perusal of her prior reviews showed no problem with sleeping on the job.

I suppose the supervisor might have meant "conscientious," but could the supervisor not be able to spell that word? I know the supervisor has a college degree. In fact, she may have her Master's Degree. So how is someone graduated from elementary school, junior high school, high school, college and, perhaps, graduate school without knowing how to SPELL?!

I can understand having trouble remembering if there is a "c" or a "t" or any other letter in a particular word. In fact, I can understand having spelling trouble with words. Sometimes I forget and have to check, but I sure know the difference between "consciousness" and "conscientious". If I'm having trouble remembering what letter goes where, I grab a dictionary. I don't substitute the wrong word!

When I think that this was once the most literate nation in the world, I want to cry. How far we have fallen!


Greg said...

What's even scarier is that sometimes, they become Vice Presidents.... Remember the POTATOE scandal with VP Quayle?

didn't he attend a private school?

Tuna Girl said...

I was going to leave a comment about how you could blame it on spellchecker. But I was too afraid to make a spelling mistake. And you know these coment things don't have spellchecker.