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I've just read the strangest story in the Mail:

"Faced with a flood of basic spelling mistakes, you might expect a university lecturer to demand his students pay more attention to the dictionary.

But one don is so fed up with having to correct his undergraduates' errors that he is calling for something rather more unorthodox - a spelling amnesty.

Dr Ken Smith is urging colleagues to turn a blind eye to the 20 most common slips - such as 'Febuary', 'ignor' and 'speach' - and view them instead as variants of standard spellings."

This Bloke must be mad, one of the words has really got me wound up:

'There' instead of 'Their', how he can consider this an 'alternate spelling' is beyond me, it's a different WORD for pete's sake.

Your opinions please.
asked in spelling, grammar, English language

jacquesdor answers:

Dr Ken Smith is taking the idle way out - can´t be bothered to correct the errors so make them legitimate.
I am reminded of some of the statutory crimes that have been degraded - the police can´t solve them, so they just stop them being illegal.
Thin end of the wedge, I say ............ not good enough.

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wrestlingfan420 answers:

I would say that Dr. Ken Smith is contributing to the 'dumbing down' of his students. First it starts off by letting slight grammatical variances slip through the cracks. Pretty soon, we are ignoring the history books and making our own history up as we go. A little extreme? Perhaps. But where does the line get drawn? If we do not adhere to the grammatical standards that have been set and that everyone currently goes by, why are they taught? Just let everyone speak in their own dialect and use whatever they deem as appropriate words and be done with it. I am being facetious obviously. They are teachers/professors for a reason. Personally, I judge a person's intellect based upon how they articulate themselves through their words be it spoken, written, or typed. They say they are fed up...I say they are lazy and are trying to take the easy way out. Considering the age of the students and actually being in college, they should be ashamed to be making these grammatical errors at this stage of their educational lives. But the teachers sweeping it under rug and trying to accomodate these 'new' versions of established words, is doing nothing to help these students.

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beeper_spryte answers:

*head explodes*

Supplement from 08/08/2008 12:50am:

utter nonsense of the highest (lowest?) order. teachers are there to set a definable standard upon which the students can base their education - if the teachers are lax, the students will become lazy and the next generation of teachers will have lower standards to which the next generation of students may not even deign to approach... and that way madness lies.

i have my idiosyncrasies which may drive people up the wall - i use l33t emotes (lol, lmao) and i rarely use capital letters... but for the love o'mike at least i can SPELL!

were i that lecturer i would automatically fail a paper presented to me which did not pass the minimum standards of the english language. they used to fail your exams if your handwriting was illegible - how is this that much different?!

i would rant something along the lines of "no child of mine..." but that's not a path i'm destined for... suffice to say that no child whose welfare i am even remotely interested in will ever get to college or university and not know the difference between there/they're/their.

*fizzes away in the corner*

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Theminxy1 answers:

You know ... One upon a time, having a degree meant something.

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xoloriib answers:

I think that their should be a spelling reform or an alternate spelling system introduced but to just accept incorrect spellings is just lazy.

I understand that education professionals want to progress with the teaching of their subject but some things should just not be available to variance.

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moonzero2 answers:

I have found that some of the worst spellers have attended university.

with the attitude of this don I can now see why.

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wumpus answers:

Let's look at this from the position of the owner of a small business, employing maybe half-a-dozen people.

You need somebody to put together letters for clients and potential clients. So you employ somebody freshly graduated in (e.g.) typing, but they can't spell and use "txt spk" in all your letters.

How are you going to build a professional image around the spelling mistakes that this person introduces?

You can't make them redundant, because the position is still there and that would be illegal.

So you sack the new employee, and then get taken to tribunal and it costs you lots of time off work when you could be earning, plus the costs when you lose (which you certainly will). It might drive your business to the wall; it's certainly going to hurt.

Who in their right mind thinks this is reasonable and acceptable?

As minxy says.... A degree should mean something.

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lordhagakure answers:

Whilst I agree with what has been said we seem to allow our American cousins to get away with it. Also one has to accept that some now accepted derivations of spelling are now acceptable. I noticed a local charity shop is wrestling with debate over Maternity Ware/Wear. Which is it? We should be told. I personally favour the former. There are many other examples of where people are not so much lazy but ignorant. How many people infer when they are infact implying.... and for God's sake to reiterate is to say for a third time not repeat... Oh no i've started. I must leave it there before I really start ranting. You were all right. And another one.... disinteresetd and uninterested are not not the same flaming thing. And practice and practise................

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