Critiques on social and education issues
It’s Monday, and the first day back at school. Both teachers and students are most likely exhausted from the day, and may want to go onto 9gag, Damnlol, and other humour sites. Recently, the Autocorrect phenomenon has been taking the world by storm, transcending age barriers. More can be seen here.
Aside from Autocorrect abominations, Spell Check (SC) also proves to be quite a hassle for teachers and students everywhere. For example, Microsoft Word suggests my last name should be “Fungi”.
Teachers and students alike are both suffering from SC.
SC is still a faulty system that may overreact in unnecessary situations, and sometimes ignores others altogether, especially for homonyms (ex. “You should fulfill your roll in the group”). After having typed the aforementioned sentence in MS Word, it has not detected any error. However, WordPress’s SC did detect it, and suggested “role”, which was the correct word.
SC encourages us to be lazy with our words. “Spell check will get it”, but sometimes it may not. It’s frightening when a seventh grader does not know how to spell “frightening”, or when a high school graduate does not know the difference between “there”, “their”, and “they’re”. Common homonyms go amiss when we use SC.
I don’t want to harp on the evils of technology, but when students rely on SC as a life saviour instead of a safety net, as it was originally designed to be, there’s a problem:
Students aren’t thinking.
Being a good writer isn’t only about the content. Coherence, grammar, conventions, and use of space are merely some of the aspects a writer needs to think about before publishing a piece, whether online or in print. The purpose of proofreading is not only so that your piece may “look pretty”, but so that it makes it easier on the reader to savour your piece for what it is worth, not for the format. When a reader is too occupied trying to fight through the thorny formatting, how can he or she enjoy your piece?
Communication is not solely the message, but also the medium.
When students learn how to write words on their own without always relying on training wheels, they will learn that writing can come smoothly and still retain its creativeness without destroying the conventions.
I am not asking for a ban on Spell Check. It is a wonderful tool to check quickly what you’ve written, especially when you’re in a rush. However, like all technology, it is a human product, and it is designed by humans, so there will definitely be mistakes.
Autocorrect, however… that is a different
cast cash case altogether.