Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Importance of Spelling?

The Importance of Spelling

This is a great essay from the NYT blogs on typos and spelling, and I have to recommend it heartily.

"Some readers like to see portraits of authors they admire, study their personal histories or hear them read aloud. I like to know whether an author can spell. Nabokov spelled beautifully. Fitzgerald was crummy at spelling, bedeviled by entry-level traps like “definate.” Bad spellers, of course, can be sublime writers and good spellers punctilious duds. But it’s still intriguing that Fitzgerald, for all his gifts, didn’t perceive the word “finite” in definite, the way good spellers automatically do. Did this oversight color his impression of infinity? Infinaty?"

Lots of great comments and debate happening, and well worth reading.

Best comment ever: GO BUY A COMMA! Amen.

I'm on the fence about this, because I do see the English language as a fluid, evolving thing. On the other hand, I know that even the tiniest typo can niggle at the mind and distract a reader from a great story.

Your thoughts? Do you feel that the digital age and the expansion of platforms that use limited characters (twitter, texts, etc.) are a natural evolution of the language or a sign of the End Times.