TED Conversations

Ecaterina Sanalatii

Consultant, MooD International


This conversation is closed.

Does punctuation and spelling still matter?

Punctuation marks are symbols that indicate structure and organisation. Spelling is the action of writing symbols so that these constitute meaningful structure (words) that in turn create longer structures (sentences, paragraphs, etc.) that convey meaning.

But in the current world where technology is used more and more for communication purposes, what is the importance of correct spelling and punctuation? Isn't spelling reform a good idea? Do we still need punctuation?

Candidate for a Pullet Surprise
by Mark Eckman and Jerrold H. Zar

I have a spelling checker,
It came with my PC.
It plane lee marks four my revue
Miss steaks aye can knot sea.

Eye ran this poem threw it,
Your sure reel glad two no.
Its vary polished in it's weigh.
My checker tolled me sew.

A checker is a bless sing,
It freeze yew lodes of thyme.
It helps me right awl stiles two reed,
And aides me when eye rime.

Each frays come posed up on my screen
Eye trussed too bee a joule.
The checker pours o'er every word
To cheque sum spelling rule.

Bee fore a veiling checker's
Hour spelling mite decline,
And if we're lacks oar have a laps,
We wood bee maid too wine.

Butt now bee cause my spelling
Is checked with such grate flare,
Their are know fault's with in my cite,
Of nun eye am a wear.

Now spelling does knot phase me,
It does knot bring a tier.
My pay purrs awl due glad den
With wrapped word's fare as hear.

To rite with care is quite a feet
Of witch won should bee proud,
And wee mussed dew the best wee can,
Sew flaw's are knot aloud.
Sow ewe can sea why aye dew prays
Such soft wear four pea seas,
And why eye brake in two averse
Buy righting want too pleas.


Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Jan 13 2012: Being able to communicate well has never gone out of style.
    • thumb
      Jan 13 2012: Especially when that well is of the Artesian variety!

      Oh, wait... :-)

      /In re: the topic at hand:/

      Spelling and punctuation are definitely still important. One's choice of words may hold in its grasp the difference between life and death, though I doubt such severity is commonplace. More often than not, it will merely provide some err in communication, some confusion, some humor, some forgivable comma splicing.

      Technology is changing the world around us with rapidity, in how we communicate our thoughts and intents. In the online world, most are probably familiar with the tongue-in-cheek proclamation that the internet is SRS BZNS. Perhaps as more history is realized, the tongue will depart from its place ever so delicately.

      Take, for example, the Cuban Missile Crisis. Up until this time, there was no direct telephonic exchange between Moscow and Washington. A relayed message could take upwards of 20 hours to translate, and more to compose a response. Tensions were high, and a lack of real-time communication threatened to hasten our mutual demise. In response, then, the now-fabled Red Phone was developed, to provide near-instant communication between the relevant parties. While such communication was verbal, and still necessitated the use of translators, the sheer quantity of time for such transmission was reduced by a significant value, so much so that tensions were palpably eased.

      How many wars might be averted if heed is paid to proper spelling and punctuation?

      Moreover, grammar is still of the utmost essence.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.