Saturday, January 31, 2009

Just call me Queen Bee...

My daughter is participating in a district-wide spelling bee today. In the past she has done really well, but today she is nervous as heck. I think she feels unprepared. Hey, we're just happy she's participating.

I think correct spelling is very important. Especially in this day and age where everyone is communicating through some form of electronic medium as opposed to face to face. My grandmother was a teacher, and I guess a bit of that rubbed off on me. Let me give you an example of why I feel it's important to communicate properly.

Several years ago, I was on a chat board for jewelry makers, doing my thing when this new guy came in. He asked "I'm having trouble melting down some metal fillings and was wondering if there's any way to tell what they're made of?" This kind of question wasn't unusual in itself, until someone read his profile and found out that his day job was at a mortuary. There was this huge uproar, claiming the guy was desecrating the dead, etc.

Turns out he'd misspelled the word "filings" (as in what jewelers get when they file down wire ends and rough edges). One little letter out of place, and it caused this huge uproar in a community. Seriously... people were starting to ask how they could call the cops on this poor guy.

Generally I don't like to correct/point out people's bad spelling, punctuation, or grammar unless I A) Think they're in a position to be embarrased by the misspelling, such as when they're representing themselves as an expert in their field or B) When its so atrocious I can't even figure out what they just said.

On those occasions where I have pointed it out, there's always one joker who calls me a spelling nazi, which, since my father was jewish is really offensive to me. There are lots of people who just don't *care* if they're terrible spellers. That doesn't bother me... what bothers me are the people who will so *vehemently* defend their right to misspell that they will start long, argumentative threads about how wrong it is to correct someone (oh, the irony).

Taking the time to complain about people who complain is just the biggest waste of time. Although... I suppose that's what I'm doing now, eh? Heh, it's a vicious cycle.

Anyway, wish Mini-Til good luck today. If there's a trophy, there will be pictures. :D

EDITED TO ADD: She took 3rd place out of twenty entrants.... way to go! Picture tomorrow.

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