Linguistic experts say spelling still matters

Posted on June 3, 2015


In an interview with USA Today, Geoffrey Nunberg, a linguist at the school of information at UC Berkeley, and Sandra Disner, associate professor of linguistics at the University of Southern California, claimed that correct spelling was more vital than ever in the age of autocorrect.

While many people rely on software to catch typos and misspellings, Nunberg and Disner maintained that it is no substitute for spelling ability. They explained that while autocorrect can be useful, it does not help with situations like homophones, such as ‘where’ and ‘wear’, let alone apostrophe use and other grammatical errors.

Nunberg added that autocorrect is actually hindering people’s day-to-day communications by making “off-the-wall suggestions” that no human being would use. Disner backed this up by saying that the statistically determined word is often not the one the user intended.

In other comments, Nunberg said that spelling errors have not increased, but they are just easier to see now that writing is just a click away from the Internet. When it comes to how people perceive spelling mistakes, the linguist added that people still make snap judgements. This underlines the importance of spelling and grammar on a website news feed.

Even if someone knows their field well, they still need to express their knowledge clearly with the correct spelling and grammar. Using a news writing service can free professionals from writing regular news updates. Not only can this get them content that is screened for spelling and grammatical errors, it will also follow the ever changing rules of search engine optimisation.

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