On spelling and grammar

I am not a good speller.

I know it’s a weakness in my writing and something I have to be eternally vigilant about. I think this weakness comes from three sources:

  1. Lack of confidence at spelling as a child. A classic example: in my final year of primary (elementary) schooling, I had a total mental blank during a test as to how to spell “who.” (Stop laughing; this is serious.) I ended up having a go: “hoo.” I was mortified. What if I was having a very early onset of Alzheimer’s? At age 12?
  2. A fear of making mistakes. That goes for many aspects of my life.
  3. Correcting so many pieces of writing over my many years as a teacher of emerging writers in my classes at school – to the point where I sometimes wondered just how some words were actually spelled.

A dictionary is my constant companion. I work hard at getting the correct spelling. I know I make mistakes, but I try to spell correctly.
I struggle with correct grammar.

Another weakness.

I would like to say that this is also the result of so many years of hearing and reading the woeful attempts at the use of the English language made by the young students in my classes. If language abuse was a reportable crime I’d have hundreds of names of potential candidates on my Word Crimes list.

I work hard at getting my writing as grammatically correct as possible. I know I make mistakes, but I try to write correctly.

Many Bloggers cannot use the English Language

I am astounded by the vast numbers of bloggers who cannot seem to spell basic words, nor can they string together more than two words in constructing a comprehensible sentence. Most, with a little effort, could make their writing far more accessible and interesting by following a few basic rules.
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For an excellent, comprehensive article about correct grammar check out


3 Responses to “On spelling and grammar”

  1. Rick Cockrum says:

    Writing my blog has finally conditioned me to use the correct form of its/it’s, usually. It only took half a century.

    In other ways, my writing is an ungrammatical an that of anyone else. Sometimes it’s on purpose, because correct forms, such as not ending a sentence with a prepositon, sound too stilted and formal. Other times, it’s purely ignorance.

    One interesting point in your reference is e-mail. I used to use it, but saw everyone else using email, so I gave up and went with the popular usage.

  2. Trevor says:

    Having to teach many aspects of spelling and grammar over the years and also correcting students’ writing has helped to keep me accountable. Writing more or less full time over the last 2 years has also helped hone the skills.

    I must admit that I vacillate between e-mail and email. Must make up my mind and be consistent – nah – it is probably not all that important.

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