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[YAK] Spelling



In the book, Letters of John Cheever, misspellings appear in nearly
every letter written by one of America’s most celebrated authors. The
important thing is that Cheever was immensely creative. Editors and
proofreaders at the publishing houses could correct the misspellings.
Orchid-digest contains many creative articles. If the reader of an
Orchid article is offended by misspellings, the reader can do a
spellcheck. If the misspelling of a word creates doubt in the meaning
perceived by the reader, the reader can write to the author for
clarification. Let’s not restrain the creative output of contributors
to Orchid.


GlacierI must admit that I too have been annoyed by misspelled words
but have had to examine my own attitudes about it lately. I have
hounded my 16 year old about his spelling since he started school and
I would get frustrated beyond belief at his inability to remember the
spellings of the most common words. Two weeks ago my son was
diagnosed with a learning disability–in spelling!!! It wasn’t
caught earlier because he’s smart enough to get by in school. I have
learned to be more tolerant,and perhaps my own humbling little lesson
here may give some insight to others. Barbara Gillis


I wish that people would not complain about other’s spelling skills.
Unless the misspelling could cause a technical error (like with
chemicals), the needless complaints might discourage someone from
posting valuable

Andrew Jackson (a crotchety old past American president) once said
"It’s a damn poor mind that can’t think of more than one way to spell
a word."

If you want to campaign for increased readability of the postings,
urge better use of paragraphs to break up some of the run on - line
of thought messages. – Just Kidding –

Chunk Kiesling


chunk - the paragraphs ARE separated when submitted, but it must be
easier for hanuman to do the impossible by running them together
online - & anything that makes it easier for hanuman is fine with me


Here here Chunk. Many of the most creative designers today are
dyslexic which is, of course an advantage in almost every way - 3
dimensional thinking being one aspect particularly relevant to
jewellery making. Personally I would rather be a divergent thinker
than a good speller any day.

Harriet, Hitchin, UK


As a relative newcomer, I want to add my support to Chuck in saying
I’m more interested in the than spelling. I admire
people whose first language may not be English, or whose strength may
not be spelling and are willing to share with us all,
risking grammar or spelling errors. I also know how to use my delete key. Eve Welts


As a writer and editor myself, I have to admit it pains me when I
read efforts that are riddled with poor spelling and grammatical
errors. Good writing makes it easier to understand what the writer
intends to say, and poor spelling can be distracting or even

On the other hand, I also realize that not all the contributors to
the list are native English speakers. Others may have learning
disabilities. Others may simply not be very good at writing. And you
know what? It doesn’t really matter. They’re all really nice,
talented, creative people, and I’m incredibly lucky to be allowed to
listen in. If the spelling and grammar are occasionally poor, the
is great, and I’m grateful there are so many people
willing to share.

I have had people say to me that they couldn’t write an article or
even a press release because they are embarassed by their writing
skills. And I always tell them to just get the ideas on paper and
leave the rest to me! That happens to be what I’m good at –
correcting spelling, making subjects agree with verbs, and putting
commas and periods in the right places. If everybody found writing
easy, I wouldn’t have a job!

And for those who think writers never make mistakes, I should note I
had to correct a half-dozen misspellings as I wrote this (oops – it’s
not “greatful” is it?), as well as repairing my punctuation and
grammar. And I do this for a living!

So please, don’t let concern about your spelling or grammar hold you
back from posting. I at least, have learned to grin and bear it, and I
think many others have as well. And we really do appreciate your


Suzanne Wade
Phone: (508) 339-7366
Fax: (520) 563-8255


Spelling on this list serve is a marvel. I urge you all to be
comforted by what Will Rogers thought about spelling. He said:

“I never could think much of a man who knew only one way to spell a

I have a learning disability–dyslexia. That means “inability to
read” although I read pretty well, (it took me lots of effort as a kid
to learn reading). I also have a hard time distinguishing left and
right, and I get lost all the time. I forget words, names,
faces…and I can’t spell worth a damn. All these disabilities are
common among dyslexics. And worse. My condition is pretty mild, so
I don’t have the terrible problems some dyslexics do.

I am on a listserve with many people who suffer from one or more of a
number of diseases associated with a particular inherited genetic
marker. There seems to be some association between that marker and
dyslexia (although research results are conflicting due to the fact
that researchers tend to use different and conflicting criteria for
dyslexia when they select subjects for their studies.) The spelling
on this listserve is a real hoot. Much worse than my worst spelling.
So I gave them the quote from Will Rogers, which they all find very

Interestingly, dyslexics tend to be above average in IQ, to be
unusually creative, to be independent, to have unusually good eye-hand
coordination, and–I think–to be more visually oriented than the
average person. A very large percentage of research scientists
exhibit some of the many characteristics of the syndrome (left-right
confusions, spelling problems, etc.). I don’t know of any published
work on dyslexia among scientists, but I’ve been doing informal
surveys all my professional life (I used to be a research scientist),
and one year I ran into a network of dyslexic biologists in Canada,
who confirmed my informal findings. I would say that about 50% of
research scientists have at least a touch of left-right distinction
problems, although most would deny it vehemently.

I’ve been noticing the spelling on Orchid, and I’m beginning to
wonder if mild dyslexia is common among jewelry people. I’m sure that
people on this list probably tend to exhibit the creativity,
independence, IQ etc that correlate with dyslexia.

dian deevey


Left brained tend to be excellent spellers. Right brained people are
creative, poor spellers and good at math. I have no problem
balancing my check book.

Martha from Long Island


Hi Ive,

Someone else pointed that out to me off list as well. I wasn’t aware
of it and I agree that anyone who has to mess with so many
messages(59 today!) out of the goodness of his heart should do it
however He wishes.

However you can also see that many maessages do have paragraphs and
some don’t.

Chunk Kiesling


Hello Dian Deevey, AT LAST a comforting appraisal of our spelling
woes. My father was a journalism professor and commented frequently
about the poor spelling among his students… and that was in the
50’s to the 70’s when he retired. I like to blame my too fast touch
typing. Have a wonderful weekend every one and a blessed Easter too.
Judy in Kansas where we will celebrate Earth Day tomorrow - 30th
anniversary of the first event.

Judy M. Willingham, R.S.
Extension Associate
221 Call Hall Kansas State Univerisity
Manhattan KS 66506
(785) 532-1213 FAX (785) 532-5681


Dian Deevey, That was a fascinating post about the dyslexia.

By way of general I wonder if you knew that some people
with that disorder do better if they turn the book sideways so the
words are read up and down instead of left to right? The reason being
that they happen to have better up/down discrimination than
left/right. Also, did you know that some people respond to wearing
colored filters over their eyes, some responding to yellow, some to
pink, some to blue et cetera and some do well with several of the

If you want to look up the info about the color filters, the key word
is Irlen Syndrome or Irlen Filter. The book turning technique requires
no special equipment and either improves reading with practice or
doesn’t, depending upon the person.

Here are two references related to dyslexia and one related to
reading theory. [For what its worth, the third reference gives further
insight into my earlier controversial stance about the use of metric
measurement, and my continued belief that it (particularly the need to
locate decimal places) in not an entirely ‘right’ system. It also
gives insight into your observation related to dyslexia among artistic

I am giving you no advice and none should be construed as I do not
have a license to practice any of the healing arts in your state. Geo.