Writing

Sable samovar
1/16/2009 4:13:39 PM by: Elsi

Elk Creek Elementary School's oral spelling bee was yesterday. I drove down there (it's about an hour south of here, in the foothills), starting in fog but ending in bright sunshine. We began with children from all grade levels, working through phonetically regular words. But before long we'd moved into words from the Dutch (rabbit, caboose, furlough) and Spanish (vigilante, filibuster). By the end, words from Slavic languages winnowed the crowd down to three, then two finalists. A well-fought contest ... an excellent morning! Is this necessary? people ask me. Does spelling matter anymore, what with spellcheck available and all? Oh, let me tell you! I've been reading a series of fantasy books (you'll pardon my not mentioning the title or author), and asked the author's permission to proofread his next manuscript before it goes to print. Using spellcheck, he has managed to find every wrong choice of homonyms, plus some unique errors to boot. In isolation, they're funny; in context, they do a good job of hiding what is an excellent story. Example: The soldiers are wearing amour as they fight with furry. They become tired from the excursion and shutter with fear. (Translation: The soldiers are wearing armor as they fight with fury. They become tired from the exertion and shudder with fear.) Yes, Virginia ... spelling matters!



Comments

1/30/2009 5:10:16 AM
   
  Yes, indeed, you guys gave me those books! And it says something about your spelling that you didn't notice—I found them almost unreadable! In fact, I only kept reading because you all recommended them. And the story is WONDERFUL!
   
  Elsi,  
   

1/25/2009 4:36:12 PM
   
  hahaha! That was actually in the book? Those are the books that we gave you, arn't they? haha! Sorry...hahaha! oh dear. Well, I'm sure that it would definitley help his career as a writer (and help us enjoy his the next one more) if you did proofread his manuscript.
   
  Danielle Van Roekel,  
   
 

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