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Spell Check, dumb generation?


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If technology can do it all for you, and the computer is always right, why not let it? Technology is obviously having both positive and negative impacts on society, mainly the United States, the laziest of countries. As everything becomes more automated and less user interactive, people become dependent on it. Being in high school, I see this as if from a sort of ground-zero and it's terrifying thinking that *this* is the next generation. From people who can't read, to people who need a calculator to perform simple addition, let alone multiplication, and what really gets at me, the people who just don't give a shit about *anything.* I'm appalled when I see foreigners speaking English as their third or fourth language with fluency and precise correctness that many U.S. citizens, who have been speaking only English since their first word, and have been studying it for about ten plus years, could never even dream of achieving. I can't imagine how the United States will be when my generation is forced to make difficult decisions that will affect others or when they'll all have to get jobs and McDonald's is *nationally* out of positions. Anyways, I'm done ranting. Here's the link posted on digg.

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I'm dyslexic, before I used a word processor I was in remedial English class, constantly achieved low scores with my written work and was failing quite badly. When I started to use MS Word and could hand in printouts, my grades drastically improved (to the point where I was often accused of cheating) and I could spend my time concentrating on what it was I had to say rather than the technical details of spelling. I've even found that a spell checker has taught me how to spell with greater accuracy as I seem to pick up on the corrections. So I don't think its a huge issue tbh.

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I knew you'd have something to say about it (I remember you having said you were dyslexic before). I'm all for using spell check as an aid, but not as a way of having the computer almost completely rewrite something because they can hardly use the English language correctly, if at all. I've even found myself misspelling words, immediately using spell check, and then misspelling it again later because I didn't even really bother to look at my mistake. I try to consciously remember my mistakes so I can learn from them and decrease the amount of mistakes I make in general.

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I always read a great deal, so I knew what I wanted to write but had problems with a: my hand writing (which looked like a drunk spider dipped in ink) and the fact that I couldn't spell what I wanted to spell. This was a huge issue as I just got frustrated and couldn't be bothered with the work, and my teachers just couldn't mark my work due to it being so poorly done.

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Well.. Without even reading anything else but the title, I can say that I fully agree that spell check is a short cut for grammatical ignorance. Myself fully included. I can type a paper all day but without spell check I would be out in the cold. I get most of it right. To be honest I guess I was the last of the generation that went through school without spell check readily available, but especially when on this site, it comes in handy more ways that I can imagine (well when I want to be grammatically correct anyway). My real downfall is run-on sentences and commas though.

Here is the clincher though. How many people have been asked how to spell a trivial word. I have seen it thousands of times. Funny thing is though, that I do not believe it's fully because of Google and spell check. It seems to me that it's more along the lines of idiots behind the wheel so to speak. Take any example from here. People post stupid crap all the time, and when they do it has more errors in it than Windows 95', but at the same time, I highly doubt that they type that much at all or write very much.

Oh, and to be honest, I did not use spell check once when typing this. But do not bitch when I get stuff wrong because I don't care anyway. If it looks like a retarded post, that is what I see it as even if it was me who posted it.

Also I wanted to say @VaKo - Your not alone. My handwriting while has progressed slightly in standard writing, has not seen progress since second grade... I never understood why. I think I am just too lazy to work on it. Especially because like it or not, it is an art form that is coming to an end.

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I don't use spell check unless I'm writing a long document. I've never used a grammer checker. As far as school goes, that was a long time ago for me, but college pretty much cured me of any grammer or spelling deficiencies. That's what it takes to learn how to read and write well. Otherwise, it takes some amount of reading and writing on your own. If a person isn't motivated to read and write and well, I don't think a spell checker of grammer checker is going to make much of a difference.

As far as basic math, I do simple things mentally. I'll never forget basic addition and mulitiplication. I only break out the calculator for more involved math. I can't imagine people so lame they can't do any math without a calculator. Writing is more of a skill so I can see where people might have trouble there.

Handwriting has always been my weak point. My script is terrible so I usually print. I'm from the pre-word processor generation so I was quick to adopt it as soon as it became widely available. I'm very dependent on my computer for writing documents. I'll even write simple notes on the computer. As a result, my typing is pretty good. That typing class I took in high school was the most useful class of any.

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The spell checker isn't always right, though, sometimes it will wrongly guess what you're trying to write and insert the wrong word for you. The region your spell check is set to also makes a difference, a misconfigured spellcheck in the UK might mean you miss a lot of letters or end up with Zs where Zs shouldn't be.

As for accusations of cheating, VaKo, I know what that one's like, one of the final straws for me in English class was an accusation of cheating when I wrote a huge essay on the history of Microsoft Windows, apparently I would've had to have been 20-odd to have written it and clearly copied it from a magazine. I promptly exploded, it was the first instance for some considerable time that I'd made that much of an effort in any form of school work and was told it was inadmissable because I clearly wasn't capable of such work. Fucking teachers. Can you tell I hold a grudge?

Back to the topic, though, I think it depends on the person. I don't use spell check if I can help it and I generally ignore automatic highlights. I don't actually use Word (or really any other text editor beyond Wordpad) so I don't get all that fun spelling and grammar checking, if I get really stuck I'll google a word (and sticking "define:" before it will give you inspiration for synonyms too). I can see how it might be easy to rely on but I always strive to learn how to spell as many words as I possibly can, and to keep my grammar in check as much as possible (sometimes it's easy to let it slide online). Semi-related, if you want lazy and stupid, just look anywhere online. Contracting of words to single letters, complete disregard for spelling or grammar, general abuse and misuse of the English (and American) language. Sure, language evolves, but I'm not about to adopt "u" and "cuz" into my everyday online lexicon.

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Same thing with text messaging. It's such an annoyance when you're reading something like, "ay u gon 2 skol 2maro????," or "wut wuz da asinemant 4 inglish???!" Half (most) the time I feel like reaching through the screen and punching whoever in the damn face. I've even seen people write actually fuckin schoolwork with "txt spk," which is complete idiocy. And the insane acronyms that could have hundreds of different meanings. I remember seeing "lmao" for the first time. I had no idea what it was and was almost convinced that they were trying to spell "llama." Now, don't get me wrong, I use acronyms like "lol, lmao, and idk," but that's about it, and nothing like that is ever seen in anything I write that has any remote importance.

Also, my handwriting isn't so great either. My hand gets cramps within 10 minutes because I write with my fingers and tend to press down quite forcefully. I'd almost always rather type something than write it because I can type faster than I can write and pressing "Backspace" is faster than erasing and much cleaner as well. That's not the point though. It's just that so many people have become dependent on the computer and automation to complete tasks for them. Yes, I use spell check, but it's to refine what I've already tried my best to write properly. It also catches simple mistakes like pressing 't' instead of 'r' or similar, which I am thankful. Correct grammar, word usage, punctuation, and spelling should be something we all know (at least here in the U.S.), though, when most don't.

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Why dont Americans make their own language called American, and why are we still using english?

People get to uptight on grammer and puncuation sometimes.. if you can understand what they are saying thats the main thing. I guess the better they speak the language makes them more valuable, thats with any language that someone has mastered and can teach

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I'm in school and I've seen some peoples work where they are completely dependent on spell check, and what they will do is when something is spelled wrong they will choose the first option in spell check and the sentence doesn't make any sense. For example: "My hippopotamus for the science exterminate was...", now you'll probably never see something that bad, but you get the idea.

And another thing about the cheating, I go to a gifted school (130+ IQ only), so my school always is in the top 5 schools in my province, and we do these things called PATs (Provincial Achievement Tests) to test the different schools compared to each other, and my History teacher does marking for the essays, and he says that very often papers from my school get accused of cheating and their essay tossed out because they thought it was too good for a teenager to do.

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