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updated tue 30 sep 97


Sandra Dwiggins on thu 25 sep 97

Dear Clayarters---
As an ex-editor of many different types of pubs, with a degree in English
and an avid reader, IMHO reading and writing is going down the tubes. I
recommend Theodore Roczak's book on this subject, as well as Neil
Postman's superb "Amusing Ourselves to Death" which has a wonderful
illustration of a family all dressed up without heads on the cover of the
paperback version.

I still value learning to spell correctly, since I think it has to do with
reading correctly and making meaning correctly. Many people don't
share this opinion. People depend on spellcheckers to do the job. The
problem with spellcheck is that spellcheckers only check spelling, they
do not check meaning. Therefore, if a person were to use advise when
the word should be advice, the spellchecker would not pick up the error,
because the word advise is spelled correctly.

In the context of clayart, this is not a big deal. But as someone pointed
out, what if this were in a job application or a grant application. Of
course, the person looking over the application may not know the
difference either, but why take that chance? When I was a librarian, I
worked in a small town in SouthWest Pennsylvania where one of the
regionalisms is to leave out the "to be" verb in all sentences--i.e. this
needs fixed instead of this needs to be fixed. It drove me crazy to hear
every kid AND every adult native to the place speak this way. I couldn't
change that practice in a million years...well--given a million...perhaps.

Having respect for the language and the correct use of language gets
my vote. So, Paul, you get my vote.

However, there is another issue. Typos are a standard problem on
e-mail, especially when people write--type, actually--in haste. It doesn't
matter if one is a good speller or not, typos have nothing to do with the
ability to spell, they are a coordination problem. So, folks, spelling may
not be the problem, it may be that potters just aren't coordinated when
typing.....or they may not want to bother with punctuation or
capitalization, like mel---who has by now evolved into a stylist....or they
just don't want to bother correcting their mistakes....after all, e-mail is not
a formal written least it isn't on this list.

Pointing out a mistake should not be something we spend our precious
time discussing nor should we say disparaging things to each other, just
for pointing out small mistakes...Dannon gets my vote, too. Learning to
take criticism is one of the most important components of an artist's

Let's just get on with ours....
Sandy in Maryland, and I don't care who knows it...