I teach high school English. I love my job. One of the best parts of it is helping students learn and grow as writers. It is fascinating to read their stories and encourage them to develop their writing voices.
It is also, sometimes, really really funny.
Today I'm reading stories that my students wrote. These are juniors and seniors in high school, 17-18 years old. I spent some time trying to figure out the following sentence, which one of the boys wrote about going fishing on the Columbia River:
"On a tip, pickle day all you have to use for lead is 8-ounce weights..."
I read the sentence 3 or 4 times before I figured out that it was a spell check error. What he meant to say ways, "On a typical day..."
Recently the Oregon Department of Education decided to allow high school writers to use spell check on the state writing test. They've been catching lots of flak about making the test too easy, with people griping about "spelling isn't important anymore" and blah blah blah.
In my opinion, these people who object to kids using spell check are missing the point.
This is the 21st century, after all. The kids will be using spell check constantly in their work lives; why not use it as a tool on the writing test, too?
Besides, as my students are constantly reminding me...
On a tip, pickle day, it's still easy to spell it / write it wrong.