Is spellchecker destroying our spelling and literacy skills?

An article popped up online the other day that focused on how technology could be at fault for a lack of skills within the recent generations. For instance: spelling skills. Because of spellcheck, many young people do not take the time to learn how to spell properly. This fact concerns me as it concerns many others.

However, the other day, as I was discussing this issue with a friend, he claimed that there’s no longer a need for spelling skills in this day and age.

No longer a need for spelling skills?

I couldn’t even believe what I was hearing. For one thing, spellcheck isn’t flawless. Secondly, what if you don’t have access to spellcheck? What if you’re writing a note or a letter that needs to be handwritten? If you ever plan on a getting a job in the business world, everyone knows that handwritten “thanks for reading my resume” notes is one of the best ways to be considered for a position. No need for spelling?

What about writing a love note to your wife or girlfriend (or significant other)? Are you going to word process it first? Not only have spelling skills decreased over the years, but also handwriting skills. I’ve seen terrible, terrible handwriting from my generation over the years and it’s pathetic. Completely pathetic.

People also have to remember that spelling, grammar, and vocabulary are all linked. When students are taught to spell, they learn new words. When students learn new words, they learn how to spell them. When students have poor sentences, they are taught to find alternate, more effective words to communicate what they’re trying to say. And, in doing so, they also learn how to spell those words.

The problem is that all three of those key elements of basic verbal and written communication have been decreasing with each generation. Technology isn’t necessarily at fault, but it certainly isn’t helping matters. People who instant message online or text message on their phones always look for the simplest, shortest way to say what they want. Due to that, teachers no longer receive essays from their students with well-thought-out sentences or a descent structure.

There’s even proof of these issues directly from the source. I’ve had discussions with many of my teachers during my years of formal education and even they claim that the quality of their student’s work consistently decreases with every year.

I want to take this opportunity to say that this is a very big problem. I know I don’t have any scientific evidence, but I can see it happening everyday with my own two eyes. I believe we need to be aware of what’s happening. Again, technology isn’t necessarily at fault, it just makes being lazy much easier. Instead of simply allowing spellcheck to fix the error you made, try again to spell it right. That way, you’ll not only know the right way to spell it, but you’ll also know why it’s spelled that way.

Technorati Tags: Spelling, Spell, Check, Spellcheck, Computer, Writing, Handwritten, Word