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Eddie

In which I despair for English spelling

Posted on 2011.03.12 at 09:45
Current Music: Kristina - Kým t'a mám | Powered by Last.fm
[It's been quiet recently due to computer issues, which may be sorted out soon enough]

In the last few weeks, two major news outlets and one of my colleagues at the bank have demonstrated that spelling is apparently no longer compulsory.

At the bank, we offer customers "keywords" to help the ID process over the phone. Best practice is, understandably, to get them to spell the word if it's one we couldn't catch or one which could be spelled differently. Thus, you can imagine my dismay when speaking with a very heavily-accented South African customer whose keyword was meant to be "Mandela" but had somehow been spelled as "Modella". Admittedly, the accent can be quite strong and that may have explained it, but I had to mark the correct keyword as wrong and then ID him another way. Thankfully, I could do that and then re-set the keyword.

Channel 9 recently ran a report about waiting times to see specialist doctors in Queensland. Specialist doctors always have very complicated job titles, and most of these were spelled correctly - apart from "ophthalmologist", which was both spelled and pronounced as "opthamologist" in the report. Given what I know about the reporter in question, perhaps this isn't too surprising.

Channel 7 ran a report just yesterday about a "grissly find", presumably meaning a dead body or something. If this were the case, the find is in fact "grisly". In the unlikely case that the find was covered in or made up of gristle from meat, it would have been "gristly".

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