There’s something somewhat personal which I think I’m going to have to address, because it just keeps coming up over and over. Quite frankly, spelling is not one of my strong points, and I’ve become rather tired having it pointed out in insulting or backhanded ways which are intended to write off the content of posts by attempting to equate poor spelling with being a complete idiot.
Let me give some background: When I was a kid I had a touch of dyslexia, which I since outgrown. I was somewhat ADD. This may have been less of a problem if not for the fact that I began grade school in a Catholic school which had only one classroom per grade and was too small to offer even the most basic of attention to such students. Also, they used a rather stupid non-phonetic spelling/reading teaching that didn’t really work well on anyone. Whether or not it’s the fact that I didn’t establish these good spelling skills early in my life or that I’m just not very gifted in the area which leaves me unable to spell to save my life I do not know.
Throughout my accademic career I did very well in english, grammar and reading areas which were not judged directly by spelling abilities. My reading comprehension was at the top of my high school, which had a class of over 600. I did consistently well in persuasive writing and scored in the 99th percentile in both the verbal and written parts of the SAT/PSAT tests. (spelling was not part of the test) I’m not saying this to try to come off as pompous, but rather simply to illustrate that my spelling abilities (or lack there of) are not really indicative of other abilities, even of the same nature. My grammar is also better than average, but that’s not really saying much.
Keeping this website well-spelled:
Because of this combined with the fact that I am not a perfect typist, and have a tendency to make the occasional typographical error, I generate a rather large number of misspelled words. Recognizing the importance of presenting a website in a manner which is professional and well edited, I do what I can to avoid these showing up in posts. Obviously, I use a spell check and do what I can to proofread my posts. However this site is basically a one-man operation and it’s not my full time job either. It might be possible for me to eradicate spelling errors, if I very carefully checked, read and re-read each post and looked up words whenever in doubt, but that would add a great deal of work to keeping up the site.
I’ve put a lot of effort into keeping this site alive with frequent posts. I’ve also attempted to avoid making this just another blog with short and meaningless posts by trying to provide well-written content which is accurate, informative and interesting. Additionally, I have tried to strike a good balance between humor and a few tongue-in-cheek “rants” while at the same time making it informative and of actual informational merit. I’ve worked toward an informal conversational style, which I hope will make for easy and enjoyable reading. Many of the posts also have a good deal of independent research and sources. The illustrations and graphics and charts which are shown in posts are often 100% original. Many of the other images have had to be edited, combined, captioned and so on. Many of the videos were also created, captured, edited, trans coded and uploaded especially for this site. And all the interface graphics are original as well.
In short, a fair amount of time and effort goes into this. Because of this, it’s just not possible for me to catch every spelling error which occurs. Obviously, a spellcheck is used, but it occasionally misses misspellings or they are just not noticed. And of course, a spellcheck is not as useful for misspellings which turn out to be other words entirely. Therefore, much as I try to keep things within reason, there will be misspellings from time to time (or a bit more often then that.) I’d simply ask that such errors be pointed out in a non-condescending way, and that the merit of the writing be judged on the content as opposed to how it is spelled. I’d like to think that the spelling is not so bad that nobody can even figure out what I am supposed to be saying.
I don’t generally gant a pass for stupidity. But I don’t think I need one either. Misspelling something is not equivalent to making a false assertion. The theme of this blog is to point out bad science, not bad spelling. If I did try to hold myself up as an example of good spelling, that would certainly be more than a bit hypocritical.
Oh and also, here’s an example of one of my worst spelling errors: � I once typed something about “OCEA regulations” completely misspelling OSHA. � And This is despite the fact that I was aware that stands for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. � But despite knowing the acronym somehow I managed to spell it like ocean.� Go figure.
This entry was posted on Sunday, November 4th, 2007 at 12:12 pm and is filed under Announcements, Education, Misc, Website. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
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