Thursday, September 04, 2014

The Father of Medicine and Two-Faced People?

The judge and the lawyers who were my bosses at various times during my career in the legal field were all good spellers. I can't say the same for most of my bosses in the corporate world. The latter group relied on me to correct their errors and make their written correspondence look better, and I learned from them that the ability--or inability--to spell may not always correlate with the level of one's intelligence.

While I'm still troubled by spelling errors I see in books (that's what editors are for), my work experience has made me more tolerant of misspellings in casual correspondence--Facebook messages, for instance. If some folks seem to have been writing hurriedly and just giving a word or two their best shot, what does it really matter as long as they get their points across?

Spellcheck is helpful for some people, I suppose, but its effectiveness is only as reliable as the ability of a self-aware non-speller to choose the correct word from a list of options. I saw a perfect example of a wrong choice the other day and have been chuckling about it ever since:

A member of an online forum for a reality TV show posted a complaint about the hypocritical response of some viewers to an incident that had occurred on the previous night's show. She wrote (paraphrasing here): "I don't think they'd be so quick to judge if these were their own family members. Hippocrates!!!"

I cannot wait for the next friendly debate with friends or family. As sure as I'm sitting here, I will call some of them Hippocrates, and I'll do it in an exasperated tone that implies at least three exclamation points.

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