introduction and discussion Title of text, capitalized, in quotation marks Author’s name , correctly spelled author’s thesis statement
A misspelled tweet describing a crush as adorable is changed to say she is “affordable.” The text message “I like himm” is changed to “I like Himmler.” Damn you, autocorrect! By now most of us have had unfortunate experiences with autocorrection software—innocuous messages turned anatomical or lunch plans morphed into love notes. (Pro tip: Don’t ever abbreviate Wednesday.) Damn You Autocorrect! is even the name of a popular website that collates hilariously obtuse examples of texts perverted by software assistants.
Our supposedly helpful correction software isn’t doing us any favors, and not just because it routinely turns easily decipherable errors into bizarre non sequiturs. And definitely not for any of the reasons your third-grade English teacher might cite: that it makes us lazy or robs us of our ability to spell. No, autocorrect and spellcheckers are wrongheaded because they reinforce a traditional spelling standard. Consistent spelling was a great way to ensure clarity in the print era. But with new technologies, the way that we write and read (and search and data-mine) is changing, and so must spelling.
English spelling is a terrible mess anyway, full of arbitrary contrivances and exceptions that outnumber rules. Why receipt but deceit? Water but daughter? Daughter but laughter? What is the logic behind the ough in through, dough, and cough? Instead of trying to get the letters right with imperfect tools, it would be far better to loosen our idea of correct spelling.
The notion that words can and should be spelled only one way is a fairly recent invention. “The phrase ‘bad speller’ rarely appears in English-language books before the 1770s,” Jack Lynch notes in his book The Lexicographer’s Dilemma. Until William Caxton used a printing press in 1475, English words were reproduced by scribes in scriptoria. There were no dictionaries (or Google) to check for “proper” spelling. Most words were spelled several different ways—there were at least 114 variants of through. (Even the spelling of something as personal as a name was inconsistent; there are six surviving instances of Shakespeare’s signature, and they’re all spelled differently.) Even after the advent of print, variant spellings were the rule. Typesetters would alter spellings to help them justify type (perhaps this is how deceit lost its p?).
And it’s not like things are set in stone—in fact, advocating for a more sensible English spelling system is a noble American tradition. In 1768, Benjamin Franklin published “A Scheme for a New Alphabet and Reformed Mode of Spelling,” a treatise that laid out a detailed plan for making spelling sensible. He invented three new vowels and removed c, j, q, w, x, and y from our alphabet. Noah Webster (of Webster’s Dictionary) agreed with many of Franklin’s suggestions and came up with more of his own, some of which were accepted: Webster is why the American spelling of color has no u. Mark Twain placed the blame for spelling errors on “this present silly alphabet, which I fancy was invented by a drunken thief,” and proposed a “sane, determinate” alternative with “a system of accents, giving to each vowel its own soul and value.”
So who shud tell us how to spel? Ourselves. Language is not static—or constantly degenerating, as many claim. It is ever evolving, and spelling evolves, too, as we create new words, styles, and guidelines (rules governing use of the semicolon date to the 18th century, meaning they’re a more recent innovation than the steam engine). The most widely used American word in the world, OK, was invented during the age of the telegraph because it was concise. No one considers it, or abbreviations like ASAP and IOU, a sign of corruption. More recent textisms signal a similarly creative, bottom-up play with language: “won” becomes “1,” “later” becomes “l8r.” After all, new technology creates new inertia for change: The apostrophe requires an additional step on an iPhone, so we send text messages using “your” (or “UR”) instead of “you’re.” And it doesn’t matter—the messagee will still understand our message.
Standardized spelling enables readers to understand writing, to aid communication and ensure clarity. Period. There is no additional reason, other than snobbery, for spelling rules. Computers, smartphones, and tablets are speeding the adoption of more casual forms of communication—texting is closer to speech than letter writing. But the distinction between the oral and the written is only going to become more blurry, and the future isn’t autocorrect, it’s Siri. We need a new set of tools that recognize more variations instead of rigidly enforcing outdated dogma. Let’s make our own rules. It’s not like the English language has many good ones anyway.
Topic introduction and discussion Title of text, capitalized, in quotation marks Author’s name , correctly spelled author’s thesis statement
Provide overview of the text briefly explain the author’s message and argument (summary, paraphrase)
Identify main points.
Explain the author’s organizational plan Discuss main points in detail Show how the author supports each main point. Use specific, concrete examples from the text (quotes, paraphrases)
show an understanding of the topic and text write your own thesis statement:
• Do you agree or disagree with author?
• How do you relate to the topic?
Share two important, detailed examples from your life or observations to support your thesis statement.
Restate your thesis and the author’s thesis.
compare / contrast your thesis with the author’s thesis .Tie the essay together
leave the thinking about your essay .
Style and Organization :
Student’s name ,date ,and essay title 5-7 sentences per paragraph
Times new roman ,size 12 font, double-spaced
Grammar and Mechanics:
Proofread your essay carefully:
• Sentence structure
• Grammar and spelling
• Mechanics and punctuation
One point will be deducted for each occurrence of an error
essay title 5-7 sentences per paragraph