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Last updated at 12:14 BST, Thursday, 31 May 2012

Can you spell?


4 June 2012

A new website designed to help people with spelling has been unveiled by a British disability charity. Mencap says there is a growing problem with a new generation of people who have been brought up on the computer function which automatically corrects misspelt words.


John McManus

A child writing

Despite a decline in ability, the survey has shown that British people are over-confident about spelling success.


Click to hear the report


Mencap designed the site because they believe that standards of spelling are falling in Britain, with serious consequences for people's ability to weather the global downturn. A survey commissioned for the charity revealed that 65% of people were unable to spell the word 'necessary' correctly, and only one-in-five people successfully completed a short spelling test.

Despite the results, three-quarters of those questioned thought they were good spellers, and agreed that it was an important skill to have.

Grant Morgan is the Creative Director for the Mencap Spellathon. He says the 'autocorrect' function on computer software is the main culprit for the decline in standards.

Mr Morgan says those who can't spell are at an immediate disadvantage in the workplace, and could lose out to competitors if, for example, they misspell words on their CV. In an increasingly tough international market, the problem could damage Britain as a whole. Mencap is holding an online spellathon championship, where age may well trump youth.


Click to hear the vocabulary




to weather

to deal with a difficult situation

global downturn

the current crisis affecting the world economy


paid to be completed

Creative Director

person in charge of the design of a product


spelling competition


computer function which automatically checks and corrects spelling


guilty person or thing


write a word using the wrong letters


to have a higher value than