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Richard Nordquist

Spelling Matters

By August 24, 2009

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For the orthographically inclined, a roundup of (mis)spelling-related items in the news.

  • Where's the Beach?
    According to The Week magazine (Aug. 7, 2009), a pair of Swedish tourists headed for the Italian resort of Capri misspelled the name in their GPS device and ended up in the industrial town of Carpi, 400 miles away. "It's hard to understand how they managed it," said a Carpi official. "I mean, Capri is an island."

  • Spell Check
    MONROE, La. -- If you're going to buy something with a forged cashier's check, don't misspell "cashier's" or use an FBI office as your shipping address.

    Police in Monroe, La., say they arrested a 44-year-old man from Memphis, Tenn., after he did both. He was held Friday on two counts of forgery and as a fugitive from justice in Georgia, where he is accused of a similar scheme.

    The FBI called police Thursday after a Minnesota cell phone distributor called the bureau.

    The company had sent 50 phones to the address for the FBI office Monroe, only to discover its $2,359.45 payment was a "cahier's check."

    FBI agents saw the suspect wave down a delivery truck driver outside the bureau later Thursday, stopped the transaction, and waited for police.
    (Associated Press, May 11, 2009)

  • Fed Chair Is a Champ
    At 12 years old, [Ben] Bernanke won the South Carolina state spelling bee, despite being initially told that he had misspelled a word. Bernanke, certain he was right, left the stage anyway. "He came back on stage and said he had spelled it correctly," his mother recalled to the Washington Post. "And he was right." Bernanke was later eliminated at the national bee when he misspelled the word edelweiss.
    (Frances Romero, "Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke," Time magazine, March 16, 2009)

  • A Nuisance Candidate
    MANILA, Philippines -- If you can’t spell “independent,” you can be declared a nuisance candidate. As if there aren’t enough annoyances elected to office already.

    The Commission on Elections has declared a congressional bet a nuisance candidate--the first election case to be resolved in Metro Manila since the local campaign began.

    Several reasons were cited, including a misspelled word in the bet’s certificate of candidacy (COC): “It is telling that the respondent misspelled ‘independent’ as ‘indipendent’ if indeed respondent were an accomplished businessman,” Second Division presiding commissioner Florentino Tuason Jr. said in his decision.
    (Edson C. Tandoc, Jr., "Candidate Can’t Spell, Is Declared a Nuisance," Philippine Daily Inquirer, May 6, 2007)

  • Sign of a Loser
    Even if the Nationals don’t lose more than the ’62 Mets, they still might craft a legacy for their unique pairing of ghastly baseball and darkly comedic sideshows. Plenty of teams lose bundles of games. Only the 2009 Washington Nationals saw their bombastic general manager resign during spring training, played part of one game not televised locally, and sent their franchise player on to the field wearing a uniform with the team name misspelled.
    (Adam Kilgore, "Biggest Losers?" The Boston Globe, June 23, 2009)

  • Not a G'day
    Aussie adults have been left red-faced after a survey showed more than two-thirds of them have trouble spelling the word "embarrass."

    The Galaxy survey asked 400 people in Sydney and Melbourne aged over 16 years to spell eight commonly misspelled words.

    About 70 per cent couldn't spell "accommodation," one in two people spelled "accessory" wrong, and a quarter had trouble with "February."

    Other tricky words included "guarantee," "opportunity," "eighth," and "receipt."
    (Australian Associated Press, June 29, 2009)

  • Another Bad Sign
    Rothschild Village President Neal Torney says he's used to people misspelling his first name, but on Friday, such carelessness left him baffled. . . .

    The state just erected a new sign on Interstate 39, and the only word spelled correctly on the giant, green billboard is "exit," a fact that has local officials and residents dumbfounded.

    "How do I politely say it shows some incompetence on someone's part?" Torney said in between laughs over the sign, which reads "Exit 185 Buisness 51 Rothschield Schofeild."
    (Brian Reisinger, "Errors Mar New Rothschild/Schofield Sign," Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune, July 25, 2009)

More About Spelling:

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August 24, 2009 at 7:16 pm
(1) Louise Huebner says:

Once again, Pro. Richard Nordquist has triggered my need to communicate with his Fans; this time with his telling about how SPELLING MATTERS

I could ignore it. But I can’t. I’m compulsive.

I also suffer from a need to be ‘Perfect’.

Actually, I don’t need to be ~ I believe I am; and so errors haunt me. In particular I feel spelling errors are the worst as they are within my power to control. Therefore I am doubly haunted. They are the water boarding of my life.

I try to be attentive. As I write on the computer, I always use a spell check. Not for checking my spelling errors. I ahve another problem. (I’m leaving evidence of it so you will see what I mean. Note: “ahve”.)

No doubt needing to be perfect is considered a form of disrespectful competition with God.

A Contractor once told me that the Navajos always weave a mistake into their beautiful rugs so God won’t suspect that they think they are equal to him. My Contractor told me this as I always found a 1/8 of an inch error in much of his work. He told me that ALL Contractors believe an 1/8 of an inch error does not mar perfection. It was human perfection. Oh dear. He was not an Native American Indian, but his belief allowed him to think he could be admitted into Heaven.

The Cosmos knowing I thoughr I was pretty hot stuff, awarded me wih Dyslexia. Just a touch.
I’m sometimes 1/16 of an inch off center. Not perfect but at least a bit better than 1/8.

No Spell Check can help me. As my ‘about’ can pass as ‘abut’ and ‘they’ think it’s OK.

The faster I type the more errors I make and sometimes I leave out important letters. Rght in the middle of the word. And worse yet, sometimes I leave out a word.

I feel abdly though. When my ‘from’ is
‘form’ and my ‘cat’ is ‘act’ I go a bit crazy.
It’s worse yet when I sign my name Louse or Lousie.

Ok, OK, I’m getting the massage. I’m not Perfect.

I give up!

Thanks a lot Pro Nordqist. Tanks for bringing it to my attention…again. I had tried to not think about it.

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