Written to the song: Blades — FARR

“When our spelling is perfect, it’s invisible. But when it’s flawed, it prompts strong negative associations” — Marilyn vos Savant

San Pedro de Atacama, Chile

While learning Spanish, one thing that I absolutely loved about the language is how simple it is to spell in Spanish — everything is spelled phonetically, exactly how it is heard. No double letters when not necessary (ex: my name Anna becomes “Ana” in Spanish), no silent letters, and no special pronunciations.

Every single day in schools, I see children getting frustrated over not knowing how to spell a word. Is it time to modify our spelling system to match Spanish’s phonetic spelling? Comparable to issues experienced by speakers of African American Vernacular English, misspelling causes a distraction for both teachers and students. Students lose their creative thoughts and ideas because they are fixated on spelling. Teachers spend their time correcting spelling mistakes, rather than assessing creative content. When a non-native English speaker misspells something, the reader automatically loses some respect or judges the credibility of the individual’s writing. The same thing is experienced by individuals with language exceptionalities such as dyslexia experience. Spellcheck can correct spelling, but not context-dependent spelling (ex: hear vs. here). Creating a language which is more leniant on spelling will help bilingual language learners adapt into society more quickly. Language is linked to ancient history, a culture’s habits and experiences, but language is also something which is continuously modernizing. Slang words for example are continuously modernizing. Words that are used today weren’t used in the 1800s (even in 1990s) the same way that we use them today. Kud changing our speling bee considerd as anothr modernization?

A great TedTalk on this subject is presented in Spanish with English subtitles. How do you feel about this subject?

Author of “Q & A a Day for Travelers”. https://www.linkedin.com/in/anna-frenkel/