Thursday, June 21, 2007

Need input 

“You know, I’m getting worried about my spelling” a colleague remarked to me the other day.

“How much do you read?” I asked her.

“Not a lot these days. I used to read loads; I’d get through a book a week, but these days it takes months just to finish one.”

“Same here” I said. “I’ve had the same book by my bed for two or three months now, and I’m still only half way through.”

I used to pride myself on my spelling, and scorned the use of spellcheckers, but I have to admit I was probably better at spelling thirty years ago than I am now. Not only that, but I suspect my operating vocabulary has shrunk also. More and more I find myself using the synonyms lookup in MS Word or referring to dictionary.com.

We came to the conclusion that – at least in our cases – it’s the visual appearance of a word that tells us whether it’s spelled correctly or not. Wrong spelling just looks wrong. But if the visual memory of the correct spelling – gained, like so much learning, through simple repetition – is not constantly reinforced, over time it fades.

Half a book in three months, when at one time I was reading twenty times that or more. Not good. Need input

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