Exectly when ded I farget how to spel?

Ain’t technology grand! We have so many new tools at our disposal that it’s a wonder that we were able to survive in years past without all the electronics and computers and all the various software programs that save us from ourselves.

There was a time that I knew how to type – on a manual typewriter nonetheless – and was a reasonably competent speller and I didn’t need a bunch of help with my grammar.

Today, I take photographs with an instrument that is far more advanced than any camera I have ever used and is far more advanced than even the computers I used in years past.

I used to be a fairly decent photographer with my Minolta X-700 and an array of lenses and I could develop and print my work in the darkroom.

Today, I use a recently purchased Canon EOS 7D that can auto-adjust, auto-focus, auto-expose, film video with audio and do flips and tricks that took me years to learn  with my previous cameras. I can print professional quality photos with my Photoshop software and my eight color Canon Pixma Pro 9000 Mark II printer right here in my little office. I have a “smart” light meter, a “smart” strobe lighting system and a “smart” remote. I can even send photos from my “smart” camera to my “smart” phone.

All of my toys are smarter than me.

So, exactly when did I forget how to spell?

I am so old that I actually have a real dictionary lying around here somewhere – probably packed away in one of the boxes of old stuff that I don’t need but won’t throw away.

These days, I just type away, waiting for the red underline to appear and tell me that I misspelled a word. Then, right click and the popup gives me the correct spelling, provided that I didn’t screw up so badly that even the computer has no idea what I meant.

Ain’t technology grand?

Or is it?

William Stephenson Clark


Filed under Ageism, Technology

8 responses to “Exectly when ded I farget how to spel?

  1. Yes, technology is grand, but is more grand when utilized with the foundation of the tools we grew up with. I have three dictionaries (two specialized) within arm’s reach as the spell checker doesn’t understand that certain words, e.g., “stirpes” are fine words, correctly spelled (in this case), but I do not want to add it to the dictionary just in case someone (me?) errs typographically and transposes the ‘r’ and the ‘i’ in “stripes” (which, BTW, is how a past employee overlooked her error in typing “per stripes” for “per stirpes”). Much as calculators, IMHO, should not be made available in math until Algebra, spell checkers should be turned off until high school.

    Just call me Mr. Curmudgeon; the title fits today.

  2. tosmarttobegop

    I have four dictionaries on the computer desk in arms reach oddly it is the one for elementary school level that actually has the majority of words I misspell!

    In computer programming school I wrote a program that gave the error message of :

    Yes I depend on spell checker heavily, my mind can grasp the out worlds of the imagination but often does not have a clue how to spell words. Like has been said it is often I just type what I think I am saying then let the red line to tell me what I misspelled.

    It is kind of one of the odd lessons I learned when I first started writing and letting other read it.

    Even the worst English student in school can see like they are spelled out with neon lights misspelling and grammar errors. Even if they write like they talk they see in others writing the mistakes.

  3. WSClark

    I ran into my 23 year old son at the grocery today. We were just chatting – don’t know how we got around to the subject – but he told me with his ‘Droid phone, he could download e-books and use GPS and MapQuest with his phone.

    I told him that I had learned how to text.

    • wicked


      Sounds like me, except I don’t text. I don’t plan to text. I don’t pay extra so I CAN text. I sit at a computer most of the day. Most of my friends are not texters. My children are. If they want to talk to me, they have me on speed dial.

      Speaking of speed dial, one of my daughter’s old boyfriends had his bailbondsman on speed dial. Believe me, I’m not bragging.

  4. itolduso

    I am the worst typist on here. My apologies.

  5. Even with the red dotted line trying to help me, I manage to make too many mistakes!

    I like 6176’s suggestions of no spell checkers or calculators until later in school after a student has had the opportunity to learn without those aids.

    My youngest daughter writes well, knows grammar and punctuation, but she can’t spell. She didn’t have any appreciation for the usual admonition of, “look it up.” She always asked how she was to look up a word she didn’t know how to spell. 😉

    I notice mistakes such as “I seen,” “It is broke,” “I set down.” We were quickly corrected when I was growing up and speaking poorly wasn’t tolerated or accepted. It would earn you extra chores.

    • wicked

      A couple of my offspring need brush-up courses on grammar. I have always corrected them when needed and still do. They don’t always appreciate it.

      But what really irks ms is the poor grammar I hear on TV, especially news people, not to mention the horrid writing I see in the newspaper on a daily basis…by reporters who have no excuse.

    • wicked

      Back in the 90’s when my kids were in school, I attended one of the bi-annual parent/teacher conferences. As I stood in line, one of the fathers of a boy in one of my girls’ classes was bragging loudly about how his boy didn’t need to know how to spell, because he had spellcheck on the computer! I seriously doubt ‘dad’ had a clue how to spell some of the simplest of words. He tended to think a lot of himself and never made it to my list of people I could tolerate with a smile.

      The sad thing is, I see so much hype (deserved) about pushing math and science in school, but I don’t see the same for English. These days, the number of functionally literate high school and college grads is near the level of unbelievable. Part of the problem lies in the fact that even the teachers don’t have a clue anymore.