Misspelling – An Epidemic or Social Media Shorthand for the Numbing of America?

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Misspelling – An Epidemic or Social Media Shorthand for the Numbing of America?

By Bob Speyer, Web Success Team –

“C U Soon. LOL!” Common abbreviation or just plain lazy? On a smartphone it makes sense as brevity rules. But do these social habits that seep into our vernacular and consciousness make it acceptable? Like the adage, “If many people believe it to be correct, it is so!”

Is the Nation’s Spelling in “Jeopardy”

Social Media was abuzz when a schoolboy lost out on $6,000 by misspelling Emancipation Proclamation (he spelled it Emanciptation Proclamation) in Final Jeopardy. After the show he complained and of course Twitter weighed in.

My view is simple. Spelling is a reflection of our communication skills and it definitely counts. No one is immune from the spelling faux pas to the everyman, woman or kid for that matter. The famous certainly aren’t immune either. An e-mail from Defense Secretary Leon Panetta misspelled “consistant,” “personel,” “contine” and, up top in all caps, “memorandom.” Yuk.

Misspelling can make or break a job applicant or date for that matter. If a client’s email is littered with typos – its ok – duh, it’s the client; prudent not correct it. However if I send a response with typos, I may be considered “sloppy”, “unprofessional” and give off the subliminal message that I’m not attentive to details, and hence their account. Hypocritical? Maybe, but who said business or life is an equal playing field.

Language Is a Work in Progress

Language is living and evolves over time. Today is no different as new words are added and acceptable forms of language are parsed and passed on as “English”. There was an Ebonics craze years ago that was as much about culture as it was about language. The controversy died down, thank goodness, and has been relegated to a footnote in modern history.

Spelling is not life or death, but can leave permanent scars. Tongue and cheek aside, how many celebs have been publically outed for having their tattoos misspelled? Ouch.

Brain Test

The mind sees what it wants to see. Read this paragraph aloud. You’ll be surprised how your mind “sees” what’s not there!

7H15 M3554G3 53RV35 7O PR0V3 H0W 0UR M1ND5 C4N D0 4M4Z1NG 7H1NG5! 1MPR3551V3 7H1NG5! 1N 7H3 B3G1NN1NG 17 WA5 H4RD BU7 N0W, 0N 7H15 LIN3 Y0UR M1ND 1S R34D1NG 17 4U70M471C4LLY W17H 0U7 3V3N 7H1NK1NG 4B0U7 17, B3 PROUD! 0NLY C3R741N P30PL3 C4N R3AD 7H15.

In the Final Analysis

Is social media the great leveler of the playing field? Or is it a reflection on the dumbing or numbing of America? People change, habits change for better or worse. What say you?

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