Friday, September 19, 2008

Spell Checker Poem

This cartoon is one that Alden Smith would have drawn if he had any talent, but because he doesn't he nicked it off the internet

(This poem was given to me by Helen at my place of work, who produced it (found it on the internet I think) after a discussion about spell checkers, Americanisims, spelling abilities in general and our respective ones in particular and the mild suspicion that using spell checkers was somehow eroding the imperative to spell correctly first time round)

Eye halve a spelling chequer
It came with my pea sea
It plainly marques four my revue
Miss steaks eye kin knot sea.
Eye strike a key and type a word
And weight four it two say
Weather eye am wrong oar write
It shows me strait a weigh.
As soon as a mist ache is maid
It nose bee fore two long
And eye can put the error write
Its rare lea ever wrong.
Eye have run this poem threw it
I am shore your pleased two no
Its letter perfect awl the weigh
My chequer tolled me sew.
(Copy and paste this poem into a Word Document [you will have to highlight the text once pasted and change the text colour to black] then run the spell checker. You will find that it finds no spelling mistakes except the word "marques" - it offers a capitalisation [Marques] as a correction option) - what does it prove? nothing of world shattering import except to show that spelling does in fact matter because there are a lot of words in the English language which have the same pronunciation but different meanings and spellings - I, eye, aye // weigh, way, wey, whey // so, sew, sow, // write, wright, rite, right. It also shows how sophisticated readers use the skills of context, meaning, syntax and visual cues to gain meaning from the written text - which may or may not be of interest to anyone except philologists and Reading Recovery Teachers and maybe to you good reader who has read this far :-)

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