The Ethics of Spelling

Recently on Facebook I saw a post for a controversial issue.  I don’t want to post the issue here, but rather a part of it: namely, that the post was spelled wrong.  (Like the above image)

Some people commented about how great the message was.  Others commented that they agreed with the message, but they would not re-post because it was spelled wrong.  There were subsequent comments about how the spelling is irrelevant and the message is all that matters.

I personally wouldn’t re-post something that was spelled wrong.  (The misspelling was “your” instead of “you’re”).  It doesn’t seem that difficult to properly edit your post for proper spelling.  In my opinion, posting something that is spelled incorrectly gives an impression of ignorance.  If you’re dealing with a controversial issue, chances are that your “opponents” have enough of an argument already.  By misspelling your argument, the other side can say (legitimately?) “Look, the other side can’t even spell!  They obviously are wrong!”

What do you think is more important?  The general gist of the message, or the particulars of spelling?  Is it better to post a misspelled post or nothing at all?

(*The Facebook post was brought to my attention by my lovely wife.  Thanks Honey!)

Posted in Thoughtful Thursday
  • Shadow Valance

    I think that the message should be appropriately presented. Clerical mistakes, in general, will tend to divert the attention of the readers and the heart message may end up lost. If the message is worth posting, it's worth performing due diligence; it only takes a little bit of extra time clean up a post and give it that professional 'pizazz' (we're not talking thesis work here – most blogs tend to have fewer than 500 characters). A few extra minutes of work before posting may save larger amounts of time and energy spent trying to defend the post against the pedantic antagonist.

    Regarding re-posting: If the message is important enough, I may re-write the post in my own words and tag the original 'poster' (when using Facebook). I've even corrected posts that I've 're-tweeted'.

    That being said, I recently read somewhere that nearly 50% of high school graduates can be considered 'illiterate'. Add that to the nearly 33% of students who drop out and we've got quite a recipe for long term disaster…

  • Aaron

    Clearly the solution is to take two hours out of your day and design a properly spelled graphic…