Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A bad spell

I have on my desk a stack of essays my first-year students wrote on the first day of class, and two of them stand out:

One is written in beautifully lyrical language, with effective use of alliteration, parallel structure, and sentence variety--but every third word is spelled incorrectly.

Another is constructed from correctly-spelled words piled up like bricks in a workmanlike manner--but it says nothing.

Which student would you rather have in class, the one who can't spell or the one who won't think?

1 comment:

MC alum said...

I've had both types ... including a really smart, funny great writer but nonspeller who turned out to have dyslexia (he got diagnosed during the course of the semester). And including the author of an incredibly boring essay who wanted to know why she didn't make an A because she "didn't make any mistakes." I'd take the one who can't spell, hands down ...