UBC – Day 15
I am quite sure that those of us who are over 50 years of age, especially those involved in education or writing, will talk of the decline of spelling. What is happening to our language?
Learning to Spell
We who were educated the “old” way, learned to spell, often by rote, and had continual spelling tests along the way. In fact, I can recall that every morning of school, in the primary grades, we would start the day with “mental arithmetic” and a “spelling test”.
Our teacher would speak slowly and give us 10 mathematic calculations to do. No calculators in those days, we just had to work it out ourselves. We got used to it – and did our best to get high marks. Our results were marked by the student who sat beside us. It was quick and simple and one in only a few minutes. Then the 10 words of the spelling exercise. The teacher would say the words, and we would write them as best we could in our little exercise book. No dictionary. No time to use the dictionary anyway.
These teaching methods are not well regarded in education these days, and I often wonder if our “old” methods were much better. Most older folk can do quick calculations – and shopping we can usually work out how much we have to pay for our purchases, and/or how much change we should get. We are usually faster than the fancy machines they use in the shops too! But I guess soon we will be a cashless society and it won’t matter.
You need to know how to spell to effectively use a Spellcheck
Once upon a time, you would barely see a spelling error in a newspaper – but these days, despite the sophisticated spellcheck programs, there are many errors. You see errors everywhere – in shops, on signage, etc. One that annoys me is “dinning” – “fine dinning”. Would you go there to eat?
I had a row with a rower
Twice recently I have heard “row” used incorrectly. You can “row” a boat with oars. Or you can have a row or an argument with someone. Sadly, once on television and once on radio, different presenters and different stories, where the reader spoke about two people having a “row” over something – in one case leading to a stabbing. But it was the pronunciation of the “row” a boat that was used. Not having a row or argument.
Spelling and Writing
Not only do young people not know how to spell, they can’t use a pen to write and can not read handwriting.
I could go on but won’t right now. I need a drink. It makes me angry!