Spelling and Grammar

I would use spell checker and Google to get 100%. That is using modern tools to accomplish the task today whereas memorization was the only tool available then. Does my lack of memorization skills make me less intelligent than a 1912 eight grader. I think not. They were intelligent back then but had rudimentary tools.
An eighth grader today really doesn’t need to spell correctly because of spell checkers, does need to know how to make an arrow head because dinner is placed on the table for him.

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I see and agree. It seems that the cart and horse are in proper order, unless they are backing up.

So then, they must also have an increased neuron count and synapse connections, right? This would be right in line with evolutionary expectations. This would have been an excellent response to @Agauger 's article to start with!

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YES!! By all means. Wait until your grade is posted, young man.

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Actually, I downloaded the test. I could get an A on it without google but it would take me at least an hour to complete. But in today’s world, decisions have to be made in much shorter time. I don’t know if you noticed it yet, but you have to make decisions lightning fact today as nobody is waiting for you to analyze everything. What do you want for dinner? How are you going to get from here to there. When do you want your doctors appointment for? You got to go faster and faster to thrive in the modern world.

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I have noticed for sure. I surely don’t feel that I’m, cognitively speaking, better at handling it all, though!! :slight_smile:

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False. I’m a professional editor as well as a university teacher, and I deal with spell checkers and grammar checkers all the time. The spell and grammar checkers on the market routinely produce false positives (“errors” that aren’t errors at all) and false negatives (i.e., they miss real errors). I never rely on them. I always proofread the books and articles I’m assigned without using the spell or grammar check functions – which forces me to pay attention and therefore not to miss things – and only at the end run the spell and grammar checkers, in case I missed some little things. I miss very, very few real errors, and those I miss are usually things like “the the”, mistypings of “of” as “or” and the like. And because I don’t trust the software, I catch errors that a lazier editor would never catch, relying wholly on the software. But I can do this only because I have a non-mechanical understanding of language inside of me – as at one point in time, all university graduates and even all high school graduates did. (Understanding of language used to be the core of all education, even scientific education. Darwin wrote better English than most Ph.D.s in science can write today, because of the Classics-based educational system he went through.)

Also, it is not the case that the degeneracy of spelling and grammatical powers came about because people thought they could now rely on spelling and grammar checkers. As someone who has been grading university papers since long before spelling and grammar checkers became common, I can say that student writing ability (of high school graduates, I mean) had been plunging steadily over the decades, and this was due directly to changes in educational policy, which said that it was evil, bad, repressive, fascist etc. to insist on correct spelling and grammar from students. Many school systems abolished the systematic teaching of spelling, which was standard in my day, and in my own local school system, the local administrators actively discouraged the systematic teaching of grammar in English class.

In one extreme case, an English teacher was instructing his class in grammar (as a result of their abominable writing on their latest set of essays), and his Principal walked by the room, heard him teaching formal grammar, and ordered him to stop the lesson immediately, as the systematic teaching of grammar was forbidden by Board policy! The teacher challenged the Principal’s unprofessional impertinence before the Board, and the teacher won, because the actual Board policy was that grammar was not to be taught systematically, but could be taught piecemeal in response to identified errors in student writing – which is what the teacher was doing, before the ideologically motivated Principal blundered in to throw his weight around. Of course, even that Board policy was idiotic: it’s like saying it’s OK for health authorities to issue antibiotics when half the town has bacterial infections, but illegal for health authorities to purify the filthy town water so they don’t contract the infections in the first place! Failing to realize that an ounce of prevention is more efficient than a pound of cure – that’s what happens when an education system is run by people with Ph.D.s in Education Theory, instead of people with common sense.

If you are going to recommend that people rely on machines to substitute for their incompetence in their own native language, why not recommend that people rely on machines to substitute for their incompetence in mathematics, science, etc.? If one day hand-held calculators are able to correct the proofs written up by students for their high school math tests and homework assignments (e.g., prove that cos x / sin x = tan x), are you going to cheer them on when they all get 100 on their tests and homework assignments, even though they don’t all have equal understanding of the mathematical principles, and some of them would fail the assignment without the computer’s help?

Absolute dependency on machines is unhealthy. I have nothing against students using calculators for advanced mathematical work, to save time, but no student should be allowed a calculator in the classroom before high school. They should be capable of doing the arithmetic themselves. Then later, when they use the machine in high school, it’s not to compensate for their arithmetical incompetence, but purely to save time, and that is a legitimate use for a machine. But they should in principle be able to do all calculations with their naked minds, aided by pencil and paper – and know that they are doing them correctly.

My kids, the product of our “great” modern educational system, are stunned that I can instantly calculate the product 3 x 17, or the like. That was normal performance in the schools of my day. They have no idea how I can magically correct their sentences for semi-colons, commas, grammar, etc. They act as if I have some arcane knowledge, instead of basic elementary and early high school training that used to be given in all schools, until the idiot educators of the hippie '60s took over the school system and turned students from competent possessors of useful skills into useless whiners about alleged social injustices and “creative” thinkers who never could create a single worthwhile thing because they hadn’t the mental skills needed for truly creative work. A great creative pencil artist, painter, etc., no matter what novelties he may produce, still learns the rules of perspective taught centuries ago by the great Masters, and subjects like English, math, etc. should not be taught any differently, at the elementary level. Basic training should come first. Creativity and social rebellion can come later, after the students have achieved literacy and numeracy.

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Eddie, most communications today between humans is via text and twitter. We have a President who governs a nation via 4 am 140 character tweets. Haven’t you noticed this? Even email is too slow. Forget telephone conversations. And letter writing is gone. People don’t read beyond the first paragraph on most things. Contracts are never read. Terms of use are checked without reading. Even communicating with your doctor is going to be via texting. We may not like it, but it is the way the world has gone. Human to human interactions is being replaced by machine to machine interactions.

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Very true.

All of this could be entirely true, but I stand by my correction. You said that students didn’t need to know how to spell any more because of spell checkers. That implied that the spell checker would correct all errors, and that their documents would make them look as if they were perfect spellers. But in fact spell checkers often provide false positives and false negatives, so if a poor speller relies on them, he or she will still get caught out in errors. And the same applies to grammar checkers.

What you have written here is not really about pedagogy in numeracy and literacy, which is what I was talking about, but about the impatience of modern people. I agree that you have given a correct characterization. But modern impatience will inevitably lead to sloppiness and error, sometimes costly error. If someone doesn’t have the patience to read past the first paragraph of instructions on how to assemble a costly machine, he may miss an important warning in the second paragraph, and destroy the machine. In that case, will his boss accept as an excuse, “Aw, but boss, who has the attention span to read more than a paragraph of instructions in these fast-moving days?” I think the boss will answer, “The next occupant of your position will!”

I said that children and adults don’t need to spell correctly because in today’s world spelling correctly or incorrectly gives one no advantage nor no penalty. At one times, expressing oneself in writing or speaking was considered that you were an educated, reasoned, person. You need to write well to get ahead. You needed to speak well to get ahead. No longer. You can be elected President of the United States without any ability to write a single coherent sentence and without the ability to give a meaningful speech. That’s my point. Sure, not writing well or expressing one thoughts may not get you through your course but hey, you can be elected President without even taking a course.

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Eddie, I am guessing that you don’t have a twitter account? And don’t tweet?

That is why humans are being replace by AI, robots and machine learning. Nobody makes anything anymore, robots do. With self driving cars around the corner, there will only be a few jobs that require good writing and speaking skills.

Wasn’t that Eddie’s point? This is the man whose staff have to remind him that the US has troops abraod to prevent World War III.

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To be honest, since Trump’s election, I fall asleep every night fearful of waking up to a nuclear war. To be fair, I’m by no means fan of Clinton but this guy is a complete amoral lunatic.

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Spelling, Grammar and Politics??!! Everyone has been really civil, but maybe the politics should be left for another board?

I’d like to say that I agree with @Eddie regarding the spelling and grammar. There’s still so much business communication that needs to occur and spell-checkers and grammar-checkers cannot keep up. We are in the business of pre-employment testing for skills and abilities. One day, one of my employees inadvertently told a client that it was “time to validate their testes.” Spell-checker never caught that embarrassing error.

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Well aren’t you in the business of validating testes? :rofl:

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That’s, fortunately, about as far out of our scope as can be. :slight_smile:

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You’re right, that was completely unnecessary. Whenever it comes to that guy I go mad but this is not the place to talk about that. I apologize.

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It’s kind of you to say so, but I don’t believe that you were really out of bounds at all. It’s just one of those topics that can get out of control quickly!! :slight_smile: Again, thanks!!!

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But the point is that (accidentally triggering nuclear war notwithstanding) nobody is going to study the tweets that changed western civilization in years to come.

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