Why we should no how to spell

Please note: “No” in the headline was spelled wrong on purpose.

Oh to be a spelling bee/Ryn Gargulinski

Oh to be a spelling bee/Ryn Gargulinski

Regardless of how advanced or reliant on computers our society may get, some fundamental skills will always matter.

These include chopping onions, standing on our heads and knowing how to spell.

Four kids in Marana proved they could master the latter by nabbing the top slots in the recent Marana Unified School District’s spelling bee.

First place went to Alec Kuehnle of Tortolita Middle School, followed by Tortolita’s John Reynolds in second place and Marana Middle School’s Will Rochester and Hayden Price in third and forth, respectively, as announced in a news release.

Kuehnle may have had an advantage because of his last name. Wonder how many times he’s correcting that spelling.

These four will go on to the Pima County Spelling Bee on Feb. 13 at Berger Performing Arts Center at the Arizona Schools for the Deaf and Blind campus.

The Marana bee’s winning word was “summoned,” which at least the Kuehnle got right. The other three just better hope they never get a letter that tells them to go to court.

Spelling bees are helpful, fun and, at the very least, make sure you will forever remember how to spell the word that got you kicked out of the contest.

My word was “mannequin.”

Spelling bees could have also helped correct spelling errors we see around town.

One that comes immediately to mind is a sign at the Home Depot on Broadway that warns large vehicles not to hang around out front.


Ooops/Ryn Gargulinski

The sign reads: No Truck Idiling Allowed.

On at least one of the signs, someone tried to paint over the incorrect middle “I.”

Misspelling things can make us look like idiots, not to mention forever ingraining themselves in our brains.

One of my friends recalled the perfect spelling test he turned in back in elementary school. Every word on his test had its letters in perfect order. Except he wrote at the top of the paper: Sepling Test. He did not get 100.

A college professor, a native of India, was giving us the lowdown on the Middle Ages. He wrote on the board: Mideval Period.

At least he quickly realized his mistake and asked the class to help him. We have to give some leeway to those who speak English as a second language – and to Chinese restaurant menus – as our fair lingo is full of strange letter combinations and homonyms.

Why isn’t “phone” spelled as “fone?” And what’s with the silent “w” in front of wrong, wry and wrist?

Homonyms provide their own set of spelling problems.

The band was banned from the party and the bard was barred from the band.

Sure, we have spell check, texting slang and emoticons can that can portray a whole paragraph without needing to spell a word, but we should not let spelling go out the window.

After awl, even spell cheque kin steel get things wrong.


wb-logolilWhat do you think?

Have you ever been in a spelling bee? Did you win?

What words always give you spelling problems?

Have you seen horrible misspellings around town? Where?


About Rynski

Writer, artist, performer who specializes in the weird, wacky and sometimes creepy. Learn more at ryngargulinski.com.
This entry was posted in danger, life and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

33 Responses to Why we should no how to spell

  1. leapingleon says:

    Ryn, Have you been to: Grammar Girl http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com It’s subtitled \Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing\ and this site has been a personal favorite of mine for a few years.

    • Rynski says:

      thanks, leapingleon – i shall check it out.
      i went for a quick peek and it seemed i was automatically taken to a survey i could not escape. is this site for real or spammish?

    • leapingleon says:

      Let’s try this again. I’ve not had a problem getting there and the site isn’t a scam or anything, nor do I ever get pop up ads. Not sure why you may be getting redirected. If this doesn’t work, try Grammar Girl through Google. Works for me also. Hope you get there; it really is a resourceful site.

      • Rynski says:

        ok, i’ll try again – perhaps from different computer – maybe the mac is unhappy with site as even google search did same thing…will let you know – thanks!

      • Rynski says:

        hey leapingleon – the site comes up fine on my PC – and what a cool site! has tons of fun and helpful tips – thanks!
        guess my mac just likes to block certain things – like grammar sites – the mac won’t let me on facebook, either. thanks again it’s way cool!

  2. radmax says:

    Haha! Mornin’ Rinsky! Forin langwiges giv me al kinds uv trubul and ar a pane in the but. It must b xtremly hard for foks to lern english kumming frum another kuntry. So glad I hav it mastered. 🙂 Actually, it is painful to see how some folks spell…typos?…forgivable…reading some stuff makes me wonder what kids are really getting out of our education system.

    • Rynski says:

      mornin’ radmax!
      yessss – spelling errors can be VERY painful. i, too, wonder where some people learned the art of spelling. i also note that misspellings are very acceptable in e-mails and texting – i, myself, have used shortened versions of words (i.e. thru, rather than ‘through’). we must wonder if that’s where our language is heading.
      or what about people spelling things how they say them -i axe if this is a good thing.

  3. Andrew Ulanowski says:

    Morning Ryn! Morning Radmax!
    The word ‘business’ is one I have to have mnemonic for or I cannot spell it correctly.
    Ryn, I noticed you used the word ‘misspellings’ which is one of the most commonly, er, misspelled words in the language. And I went and used ‘mnemonic’ just to be a smarty-pants!
    🙂 the Captcha: ‘was crosse’ (hey is that a Dan Quale spelling of ‘cross’?

    • Rynski says:

      hiya andrew!
      hahah – did i misspell misspellings? or is my spelling of misspellings not misspelled? eek!
      i know what you  mean about certain words being problematic. i am always having trouble with ‘occasion’ and even one of my fave places: ‘cemetery.’
      good captcha for topic – la crosse would make it spelled correctly, no? i’ll think it over while i eat a potatoe.

      • Andrew Ulanowski says:

        ‘occur’, ‘misspell’, ‘separate’ and ‘receive’ are my bane
        and no, you did not misspell ‘misspellings’
        cemetery is a good one!

      • Rynski says:

        oooohhh, ‘occur’ always gets me, too. or what about his cousin ‘occurrence’ = blech!
        ‘separate’ used to get me, but i must have mnemonic-ized it – yes, that was smarty-pants on your end using ‘mnemonic,’ meant to mention!

  4. Jennatoolz says:

    Hey Ryn! I like to think I’m pretty good with spelling things in the English language…it’s those darn foreign words that get me! I try to avoid them whenever I can, haha.

    I play an MMORPG, and I always find it funny when the other players start correcting everyone’s grammar and spelling. It’s just a game with a “chat room” so there’s really no need to be formal…yet some people need to find ways to be better than everyone else. In my opinion, there’s a time and place for grammar/spelling correctness, and in-game is definitely NOT the place for that, haha.

    • Rynski says:

      hiya jenna!
      yeah, foreign phrases are def. tricky. i studied french for a million years, so i have an advantage on those borrowed from french, at least. but others – ugh! – can be trouble.
      good we have a lot of borrowed french phrases – although they HATE borrowing phrases from other languages so they rarely return the favor – haha.
      how funny people would take time out during a game to sit around correcting spelling and grammar. bet they are the ones with low scores. i agree, fast paced chat rooms and the like are not a place to write a thesis or quibble about spelling and grammar.

  5. azmouse says:

    When my daughter was in elementary school, which is quite a few years back, she brought home a spelling test that she was very proud of because she had a perfect score. I looked it over and noticed many words spelled incorrectly.
    I went to talk to her teacher about it and was shocked to discover it was common practice to teach what she called ‘creative spelling’. In other words, as long as the word sounded out right, it was marked correct. (fair could be fare or phare and be right) I couldn’t believe it, but it may be why spelling is going down the tubes.

    Off topic, but just as surprising to me…when my youngest son (now 17) was 15 and we got his learners permit, he had to sign his name on something. I noticed he ‘printed’ his name. I was telling him he needed to sign his name in cursive and he informed he didn’t know how! I was flabbergasted! They don’t teach cursive in school any more!! I had no idea! I had to teach him myself. (this is a kid on honor roll who is super smart and I thought he knew everything)

    I think we’d all be surprised by what the schools now see as unimportant.

    • leftfield says:

      Creative spelling?  I’m glad they didn’t teach that when I was in school.  Then again, I could have been a whiz at “creative math”, “creative chemistry” and especially “creative typing”.   

    • Jennatoolz says:

      Wow! That’s surprising to me too! “Creative spelling” doesn’t teach kids anything except that they can misspell things and get away with it. Luckily,  I was taught to spell correctly, and not to get away with “creatively spelled’ words, haha. As for cursive, damn right I was taught that too! Although, I never use it these days…so I’m very out of practice, and my signature just looks like a cursive ‘J’ with some scribbles after it. Sometimes it kind of resembles my name…lol. (You guys better not go forging my name on things now…I’m trying to build up my credit score!) 😉

    • Andrew Ulanowski says:

      Hi Azmouse,
      I would have a real issue with someone teaching my child habits like that.
      The fact that they didn’t teach your son cursive is again, alarming to me. Glad you got that sorted out.

    • Rynski says:

      creative spelling is TOTAL BS!
      give me a break. if this is sanctioned by school, why not take it to other disciplines, as pointed out by leftfield.
      better yet, let’s take it to other levels for those of us who have since graduated, such as
      creative tax returns
      creative driving (if speed limit is 45, we could argue we creatively added 4 + 5 and added a ZERO to give us a speed limit of 90)
      creative filling out of gov’t forms
      creative insurance reimbursements….
      i heard murmurs of cursive no longer being taught in school, but didn’t think much of it – but you’ve brought up one of its importances. if everyone signed their name in block letters, there would be more identity theft than their already is. anyone can forge block letters.
      geesh. i’m going back to bed (haha).

      • azmouse says:

        What I believe is this ‘creative spelling’ and other allowances our children now get in school, also supports the theory of our twenty-somethings who expect everything for nothing. This all goes together.

        For some reason our children are being raised to NOT feel bad or guilty and NOT be accountable, even for their spelling words. The teacher told me the creative spelling idea keeps them interested without hurting the child’s feelings or discouraging them. I think it’s to much coddling. ‘Johnny didn’t mean to hit you, Billy’. Well, all Johnny learns is that he can hit whoever he wants and doesn’t have to have any guilt or accountability for hitting.
        A little guilt and humility can go a long way in having a kid who grows up knowing what’s right and wrong and feels bad about hurting others and can spell!

      • Rynski says:

        right on, AZMouse.
        tooooo much – “didn’t want to hurt their feelings by telling them they spelled the words wrong” – i don’t know if i should guffaw or weep.

      • azmouse says:

        I’m with you. We should love our children enough to teach them empathy and to be a harda$$ with them when they need it.  LOL
        That’s love, baby.

      • Rynski says:

        yep. constant coddling just makes for spineless wormy creatures that have little character and even less ambition.

      • radmax says:

        This has been troubling me for ages Rynski…is it yep?…or yup? Oh goddess o’ good grammar…yep sounds like something a toothless 90 year old miner or a small cartoon animal would say… 😉

      • Rynski says:

        YEP is the norm on the eastern seaboard.
        YUP is southern.
        yechsiree – is the toothless miner.
        YEPPERS – is the cartoon character.

  6. JusticeAvenger says:

    Interesting….. no illegals placed in the spelling challenge.
    All last names seem to be of a different ethnic background. 

  7. tiponeill says:

    Cursive is obsolete – keyboarding is a much more valuable skill.
    As for “proper” spelling – I’m qute satisfied with the current state of affairs – you can tell a person’s IQ from just a few sentences. Just look at moppy 🙂
    Here is my favorite example

  8. leftfield says:

    It may be different for the younger generation of employers, but when I was in the business of hiring employees (before I came to my senses), if I received a resume and the spelling was unacceptable, I round-filed it without much of a look.  I called it “creative hiring”.

    As an employer, I often had to deal with the sense of entitlement that azmouse refers to ( I have been told that ending with a preposition is OK now).  Often, I had the feeling that I was the one being interviewed rather than the other way around.  I think what some young people lack these days is real honest communist values.   

  9. Dr. Gabe says:

    Help me CHANGE society… one letter at a time by visiting the following page & referring it to others !

    Google the Facebook page called “Teach-kids-CURSIVE-to-build-empathy-yes-REALLY”

    With the way society is… schools no longer teaching cursive (and other countries (of which are in the top most violent) that stopped teaching cursive approximately 25 years ago)… we have a whole society who is UNempathetic as both children & adults which is directly correlated to the increase in violent crime. In fact one the above *new* page shows this is very graphic detail. I thoroughly believe that together we can help change the world.

    Please allow me to introduce myself… For over 22 years I have been featured on many radio and television talk shows as well as in the written media. In fact I helped write the “Higher Power” episode for the popular CBS show Criminal Minds. I have completed casework for many public and private agencies. My most memorable cases include warning a woman that her husband could brutally murder her – a year later he did. Another when I stated a sheriff deputy was dangerous – he later killed his girlfriend. Another when I stated a Homicide Investigator was dangerous and should not be trusted with children – he was later convicted of six counts of Child Battery. I also enjoyed assisting in famous cases such as Michael Jackson & Darlie Routier.

    In 2006 I lead the successful Texas Juvenile Probation Commission research project that was aimed at reducing juvenile crime recidivism rates via the Handwriting Formation Therapy (HFT) program that I created in 1987. The juveniles that were chosen to participate remained 100% anonymous during the entire 6 month program. All juveniles improved social skills, grades, and gained self confidence but most importantly to-date NONE have reoffended. I am the first analyst in history to introduce a program like this. For over 20 years many private children, teens and adults around the world have changed their lives permanently with HFT. I hold traditional forensic psychology degrees but, while working in the traditional field, I did not notice traditional methods providing many long-term benefits. I then changed my focus to Metaphysical Psychology which has allowed me to assist people with a more holistic approach. IN THIS PROGRAM I started these juvenile with writing CURSIVE (among other significant changes) and that also shows the direct correlation between “cursive writing STOPPING juvenile crime”. However, you know as well as I do, that we need to get to these kids when they are small.

    I am a member of the Find Me group, National Scholar’s Honor Society, CHAI, APA among others and is an Alpha Beta Kappa graduate, certified teacher, and on the Advisory Board of The Pearl Foundation. I have published many books and offer many services including custody evaluations, employment & tenant screening, detecting lies & drugs, violence assessments, suicide, sexual abuse, forgeries, and more.

    My books include: “No Doc, No Drugs”, “Written Violence – the Personality Behind the Pen”, “Case Files of a Forensic Handwriting Analyst”, “Answers”, “The Only Handwriting Analysis Book You Will Ever Need”, “Dangerous Ink”, “Finding Mr. & Mrs. Write”, “What’s Going On Upstairs?” and “The Creative Cook” with a 30+ metaphysical book series in the works.

    My services include: custody evaluations, employment & tenant screening, jury selection, pre-parole evaluations, detecting lies & drugs, pre-termination violence assessments, compatibility, progression of suicide, sexual abuse, forgeries, anonymous notes, and much more.

    Therefore I would like your assistance in reposting this site and information EVERYWHERE and emailing it to EVERYONE to helping society & proactively save lives.

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