Sometimes spelling is extra important

I’m usually not one to get too twisted up over language errors and typos and such. English is hard, and mistakes will happen. I might have even made some myself in the past, though I can’t remember when.

At any rate, most of the time, I’m a live-and-let-live kind of person and don’t take great pleasure in pointing out the deficiencies of others. But context is important. When you’re a teacher, for instance, involved in a high-profile strike in a high-profile city, you might want your protest sign to be error-free.

Wonder if there’s a market for sign proofreading.

But how is this different from the president’s lapse I wrote about the other day? Good question. Shouldn’t the president be held to high language standards, too? Of course. I guess, to me, there are a couple of differences: First, the medium is different. This is a sign created for the public to see. Obama, on the other hand, was having a conversation that, while publicly visible, was essentially the same as speech. In the Reddit forum, the manner of communication can be less formal and more forgiving. Second, this sign is at a public demonstration of teachers. So while it might not be any different in substance, its perception is certainly more important than a typo on a topic unrelated to teaching or education.

Or maybe this is just some kind of anti-education bias. Who knows. I used to always worry about misspelling a word or getting something wrong when I edited an education or spelling bee story. It seemed better to make a mistake on some other kind of story than on one about language. But again, like I said earlier: Mistakes will happen.

Photo by emily_quirk

 

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