When we were children, we were taught how to spell words. (Personally, I was never fantastic at this.) I see the value of spelling, and look scornfully on documents wrought with spelling errors. You may say, “Lucky for us, we live in the land of spell-checkers, and we don’t have to worry about that.” Ah yes. And this brings me to my point.
Spell-checking is a valuable tool. I couldn’t possibly write without it. This post is a commentary not on spell checking, but on its cousin, auto-correct. Auto-correct is the tool that changes “teh” to “the” and “freindly” to “friendly.” I used to think that this was a fantastic utility. These days I have a different take.
Auto-correct takes away the punishment for misspelling and mistyping words. As a result, you being the clever person you are, adapt and start to exhibit more careless behaviors. After years of training myself in this way, I realized that I could barely type an intelligible sentence when left to my own devices. I was constantly on backspace, and messed up certain words habitually.
As an experiment, about six months ago, I decided to go on an auto-correct hiatus. I disabled it in all programs. Furthermore, I made a promise to myself not to right-click misspelled words to get the correct spelling. Now, if I type a word wrong, I fix it. If I don’t know how to spell a word, I look it up. The results are fantastic.
My typing accuracy has improved dramatically, and I am learning to spell again! Words that I noticed I never *ever* spelled right such as “available” (I always did “avaliable” and auto-correct fixed it) have come back into the fold. Maybe its not necessary. Maybe I’m just a purist. But I like that I can type again.