April 14, 2014 0 comments

Spelling – variants

Spelling – will ‘variants’ become accepted?

Common spelling mistakes should be accepted into everyday use, not corrected, a lecturer has said. Ken Smith of Bucks New University says the most common mistakes should be accepted as ‘variant spellings’.

He lists the 10 most commonly misspelt words, which include ‘arguement’ (argument) and ‘twelth’ (twelfth).

Mr Smith says his proposal, outlined in an article in the Times Higher Education Supplement, follows years of correcting the same mistakes.

Mr Smith, a criminology lecturer, said: “Instead of complaining about the state of the education system as we correct the same mistakes year after year, I’ve got a better idea. University teachers should simply accept as variant spellings those words our students most commonly misspell. The spelling of the word ‘judgement’, for example, is now widely accepted as a variant of ‘judgment’, so why can’t ‘truely’ be accepted as a variant spelling of ‘truly’?”

Mr Smith also suggested adding all those that break the ‘i before e’ rule – weird, seize, neighbour and foreign. He said he was not asking people to learn to spell words differently. “All I am suggesting is that we might well put 20 or so of the most commonly misspelt words in the English language on the same footing as those other words that have a widely accepted variant spelling,” he added.

Credit: BBC website

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