Poor spelling of 'auto-correct generation' revealed

 
Keyboard Two-thirds of people said they used spellcheckers

Related Stories

Spellcheckers and other technology have created an "auto-correct generation" unable to spell many common words, a survey suggests.

The poll of more than 2,000 adults for learning disability charity Mencap claims a third could not spell the word "definitely".

Some two-thirds picked a wrong spelling for "necessary".

And 96% said spelling was important, but two-thirds use spellcheckers all or most of the time.

Fewer than one in 10 (9%) said they never use a spellcheck.

'False impression'

The survey was commissioned to mark Mencap's Spellathon Championships which take place this week.

Mencap chief executive Mark Goldring said: "With over two-thirds of Britons now having to rely on spellcheck, we are heading towards an auto-correct generation.

"This survey has highlighted that many Britons have a false impression about their spelling ability.

"Today's tough economic climate means that poor spelling on a CV is fatal, as it says that an individual cannot produce work to a given standard, no matter how highly qualified they might be.

"Language used by a company or person is a reflection of their attitude, capabilities and skill."

Ian McNeilly, director of the National Association for the Teaching of English, said: "I think it's an easy, knee-jerk reaction - though an entirely understandable one - to blame technology for perceived declines in a whole variety of areas.

"This probably doesn't do justice to the subtleties at play.

"In saying that, if people are blindly writing things and expecting automated programs to address all of their inaccurate spellings, that's a concern - because they won't. It's the linguistic equivalent of indiscriminate sat nav users driving into canals."

 

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

Comments

This entry is now closed for comments

Jump to comments pagination
 
  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 119.

    Maybe I am not normal, but I usually learn to spell better by seeing the spell checker correct me and get it right the next time.

    Regardless, for most other problems, if people find something hard, we make it easier. Put in slops for wheelchairs and gates for fences. I don't see the problem with spellcheckers doing the same. We could also change all words to use phonetic spelling.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 118.

    There is no spell check when I post on HYS. Am I using the wrong program?

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 117.

    95.Anglerfish

    Oh, OK, maybe I don't understand it correctly, I just remember being told in School you could get three extra 3 marks for spelling, punctuation and grammar

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 116.

    Illiteracy in this country is at chronic levels despite the fact that apparently we have educational achivements skyrocketing year on year. The whole spellchecker debate is just a smokescreen for the fact that our education system has been tampered with by successive governments that is is now pitifully poor.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 115.

    Why blame the food soldiers?

    Is a teacher employed to check a child’s work? Is not checking their spelling apart of this process? If you didn’t train your subordinates at work properly, would you face the sack?

    And, yes I should have stated without a strong accent. But “cah” for “car” and ahhhwful for “awful” and “herrr” for “hair” is a repugnant way of speaking.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 114.

    Spell checks are not reliable, for example try coming from wales, yes wales, with a small “w” as unlike England or Scotland with a capital “E” or “S” MS Word does not seem to recognise the 3rd country of the UK, or even the English translations of our place names that have existed for over 900 year that’s over 4 times the age of the US, Microsoft you have a lot answer for.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 113.

    "Supervisor/managerial/good roles require people to have excellent communication skills, which means one must be able to speak effectively (without an accent)."
    ----------
    Even a lack of a regional accent is an accent. Everyone has an accent!

    Even identikit managers with "Made in England" stamped on their elbows.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 112.

    The French court scribes who accompanied the Norman invasion in 1066 based the spelling of English words on the spelling rules of their own language so we now have a whole host of words ending in "e" such as "centre" instead of "center" and "middle" instead of "middel."
    Anglo Saxons spoke English whereas the French tried to codify its written form hence the erratic spelling.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 111.

    @110 MikvV7


    Although everyone speaking in this mythical non-accent would lead to that in itself being an accent. Putting a plum in your mouth and a book on your crown doesn't make you any smarter or any more correct.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 110.

    With regards to English and Social mobility – if one cannot spell properly,, then clearly they are unable to break a word up into the correct syllables, and thus they would not be able to present properly. Supervisor/managerial/good roles require people to have excellent communication skills, which means one must be able to speak effectively (without an accent).

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 109.

    I just wish they would stop calling them 'spellcheckers'. Whilst Harry Potter might need a spell checker from time to time, surely the rest of us would find more use for a spelling checker?

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 108.

    MikvV7, you're right about never getting a good job, and your post is spelt correctly and has no grammatical errors.

    But why blame the foot soldiers? There is no point saying something very eloquently if it is wrong.

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 107.

    nuffink wrong wit my smelling

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 106.

    My 17 yr old grandson is bright lad in the sixth and doing well. His dad and I were discussing the appalling standards of job applications he is receiving when the lad said "nobody has ever shown us how to write a letter to say thank you, never mind a business letter". He will get good results but a job? If it is not in the English curriculum, someone should be shot.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 105.

    Clearly the education system has failed to pick up on this trend, and thus teachers should face severe penalties for not doing their job properly.

    Students must be taught elocution, in order to ensure they can communicate effectively, along with excellent spelling and grammar skills. Those which use English poorly shall never get a good job.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 104.

    Of course the problem with spell checkers is as long as it's spelt correctly, it doesn't matter if it's the wrong word. It's borne out of sloppy speech. That's why people say "should of" instead of "should have" (for example)

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 103.

    Most of my spelling mistakes are in fact typos, and I correct all of them manually. That the spell checker underlines most of them for me does not in any way prevent me from learning the correct spelling - it actually assist me in learning the correct spelling, which is why I make far fewer mistakes these days than I used to. It's progress folks - don't knock it!

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 102.

    A bit OT but maybe a pedagogue could remind me of the word that describes the situation of an un-truth being commonly accepted and perpetrated by the general public e.g. giving a child a toy Police car and happily sounding out NeeNah-NeeNah: Police cars don't make that sound.

    What is that word? I've been trying to remember it for months!

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 101.

    The chavs have risen.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 100.

    What surprises me is the fact that once someone mis-spells a word it seems to proliferate. The current trend to use the word "loose" for "lose" is a case in point. I think the bigger issue is the fact that people feel they are such a hurry that they don't bother to read-back what they've written before committing the text.

 

Page 3 of 8

 

More Education & Family stories

RSS

Features

  • OrangemanPunctured pride?

    How would N Ireland's Orangemen feel if Scotland left the union?


  • MarchionessThames tragedy

    Survivors and victims' families remember Marchioness disaster


  • Sheep on Achill IslandMass exodus

    Why hundreds of thousands of people have left Ireland


  • A teenaged mother in the Zaatari campUntold misery

    The plight of Syria's refugee child brides


  • Michael MosleyMeat feast?

    Which is the best eco option - eating beef, chicken or mussels?


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.