Do you think that today's society places less value on spelling skills?'s Teacher Poll of the Week
Do you think that today's society places less value on spelling skills?

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The majority of teachers polled believe that today's society places less value on spelling skills, although the results weren't overwhelming. There are two sides to the story, of course, and both must be examined before making a decision.

With the advent of word processing software spelling has become much easier because the computer does it for you. The incorrect word is either corrected automatically or it is highlighted and then different corrected options are offered so that you can select the right one. Looking words up in the dictionary is time consuming so it was in your best interest 30 years ago to try to remember how to spell. Nowadays, there is no such incentive. Does necessary have one 'c' or two? Who cares, the computer will correct it automatically.

The emphasis we used to place on spelling skills seems to be almost a mockery now. How many business signs do you see with a cutesy spelling error that was incorporated on purpose? Backwards 'r's, the use of 'n' instead of 'and', or incorrect capitalization are found in many common business names. If we didn't place less value on spelling, these names would be sources of ridicule, not admiration.

On the other hand, spelling does still count. Even if your job is mostly computer related or based on physical labour there will be times when you have to write something. No matter how articulate you are when speaking, or how well you can type a business letter if your spelling skills are bad when you need to write a quick handwritten note, it does reflect badly on you. Imagine a high level official or CEO writing a note to their secretary that contains multiple spelling errors. Wouldn't you wonder why you were taking orders from that person, and not the other way around?

As the majority of teachers believe, spelling skills seem to have been downgraded in today's society. But don't fool yourself into thinking they don't matter at all. If you can't be bothered to get out the dictionary the next time you're typing, then at least pay attention when the computer supplies you with the correct answer.