Why can’t people spell?

Originally posted by
The Dyslexia Project and Decoding Dyslexia – AR

When Leann sent this to me, I decided to post it. I hope someone might hold their head a little higher today, and that someone else might learn to look at the world in a different way.  

Leann Hammett wrote:

From time to time, I see people post ramblings saying things like, “Why can’t people spell?” “Learn the difference between your and you’re, or between to, too and two.” These ramblings initially made me angry, but not anymore. I am here to educate you.


Have you stopped to think that if someone could spell correctly, that they would? Use spell check you say. That is easy for you, isn’t it? You see, there is a reason people don’t “just get it,” spell poorly, and don’t use correct grammar. It’s called dyslexia. For someone with dyslexia, it isn’t easy at all. Their brains are wired differently than yours.

If you read something that someone wrote with poor spelling, let it go. This person has communicated their thoughts in writing. You got the meaning. Love them for that. Accept them for that. How brave of them to put themselves out there knowing it probably isn’t spelled correctly.

If you are in a professional environment, offer to proofread and help out. Build them up. Give them confidence. And don’t complain about it. They can read what you say when you post your ramblings. Your words are hurtful. And quite frankly, make you look bad.

These people are the greatest inventors, actors, musicians, authors. (Google famous dyslexics. I dare you.) Like you, (You know, the ones who are complaining) I am left-brained. What do I have to offer? I can proofread your work and spell. Oh man, can I spell! And I LOVE grammar! It excites me!

What do they have to offer? They make the world go around. They think outside of the box. They invent, create, entertain, and run businesses. What a boring world it would be if we were all left-brained. We could sit around and proofread each other’s writing. But instead, we have brilliant people who use their magnificent brains for things that we couldn’t possibly come up with.

Instead of criticizing them, you should be thankful for them.

I am thankful for a father-in-law who is a poor speller because he can fix anything.

I am thankful for a husband who is a poor speller because he can imagine a project in the beginning phase as it will look completely finished.

I am thankful for a son who is a poor speller because he can help me hear a song made by the rain drops and who can write poetry in a snap.

I am thankful for them because they have erased my ignorance. I know how brilliant they are and that it does not matter how they spell or how slowly they read.

Spelling and grammar is NOT a sign of intelligence. But your judgment of their spelling and grammar is a sign of your ignorance.


8 responses

  1. This was one of my pet peeves but after reading, I am the one who is near stupid. I sure did not know it could really be a problem with some people. Forgive me for assuming some do not have education or just plain laz[y and just do not want to learn the difference. There has been several comments lately about the words their/there and several other words that sound alike but spelled different.. no one is perfect but I am guilty of thinking they should know the difference. Puts my OCD in overdrive had no idea.

    1. Billie, this was something I learned too. I married a man that was dyslexic and was never diagnosed in high school. I currently have 2 high school sons that are dyslexic. (I say currently, because I’m still trying to figure out my Kindergarten son and thinking he too might be dyslexic; however, my 8yo daughter is not.) I used to think that everyone could spell. How can a person not spell? My husband was meant for me, as well as my children. They have taught me so much about this ‘hot topic’. I’m still learning, but I understand much, much better now.

  2. I know a young lady that is Dyslexic, she is smart, caring, lovable, talented in so many ways and has the biggest heart of anyone I know. Before knowing for sure she was dyslexic some of the things she said or wrote, and read I thought was just part of her personality. She’s funny and quirky and we all have our own idiosyncrasies right? Through the years before being tested she had learned to modify her reading, writing and so on so well it was hard to detect. A teacher asked her a few questions about it and offered to read the story for her before answering any questions. Needless to say the rest is history. She did decide to take the GED instead of finishing her senior year at school which was a personal decision she made. When I saw this article I realized that (even though she excels in whatever she does) she still deals with this on a daily basis and I just want to say how proud I am of her. I’m sure she occasionally gets teased still but it is all in fun……or is it? Does she go along with it to hide the fact that she DOES deal with this in her own way or does it hurt every time and keeps it to herself? I do know that she shouldn’t have to go through any kind of discomfort because she is who she is and is loved for just that. But It doesn’t hurt to tell that young lady from time to time how amazing she is and that she can be recognized for that little extra work she does deal with everyday. I love you honey with all my heart.

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  5. I also came across this issue, but still did not find an answer to it, it was interesting to read your opinion

  6. Having had a life long friend who struggled valiantly with dyslexia, I believe that not everyone who is a lousy speller is blessed with that. Sometimes it’s just laziness. Many people cannot spell because they think it’s irrelevant–which it isn’t. Much good spelling comes from good reading, and the dumbing down of education has worsened the problem, ie; clever spelling in advertising especially, political correctness, which is “uglifying” grammar with nouns and verbs that don’t match, for example: “A person knows that THEY, etc” terror of using pronouns correctly, eg: “He/she was afraid of everything etc.” How can even a non-dyslexic child learn to speak or write with that going on?
    Surely no decent person will assume that those who struggle with the language are evil, stupid or worse. Human behavior has nothing to do with spelling. Good teachers know that. But these days, it’s necessary to find a bete noire, that is, something to be wounded/offended by. Why not give thanks that we’re all different and leave it at that?

  7. I cannot spell, do math, sing or dance. Those who look down at me, embarrass me, are not always the brightest. I have made it to age 66 without knowing how to do these things always wishing that I could. Feeling stupid.

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