Making the Future Female

Posts tagged “blogging

SPELLCHECKER OR LANGUAGE WRECKER?


SPELLCHECKER OR LANGUAGE WRECKER?

I really love blogging as I greatly enjoy both communicating my ideas with others and hearing what they’ve got to say. As bloggers will all be aware, WordPress has an onboard Spellchecker that lets the writer know if they make mistakes when authoring their posts.

Now I’m writing this in MS Word and will copy the text across to my blog New Post window. When I write the posts directly in WordPress I’ve noticed a common and regular issue with spellings that the Spellchecker flags up as incorrect. I’m talking about the difference between American and British English.

So when I write words such as ‘theatre’, ‘centre’, ‘harbour’, or a whole group of words that end ‘-ise’ the spellchecker underlines the words as incorrect. The checker likes ‘–ize’ rather than ‘-ise’ and the US versions of many common words. I’m sure British English writers can think of more examples.

Now although an English graduate and postgraduate and sometime teacher of language and literature, I’m not one of those that believes in a fixed, static language and do not worry if folk subvert or evolve what is sometimes anachronistically known as the Queen’s English. But I don’t know if I want to give up all my English English spellings simply because of a spellchecker.

I know some other British bloggers feel strongly about this as our language is very much part of our identity and it can feel like an attack on our history and culture when a dumb spellchecker says it is wrong.

Sometimes it’s nice to show my geographical background by the way I write and spell certain words, although I don’t know how readers respond to this, be they Americans, Canadians, Australians, Europeans or Asians. And English is the second language for most people, so this is something that affects most of the world in one way or another.

So my questions to readers are these;

  • Should we just give up on British spellings as old-fashioned and obsolete and adopt US versions en masse?
  • Should we continue with traditional spellings and try to keep them current, even though it’s fairly obvious US versions will one day become dominant and ubiquitous?
  • Should we use English forms when writing to British folks and use US variants when writing for an international or mainly US audience?
  • Not bother either way and just do what feels right in an ad hoc manner?
  • Something else?

I’d like to hear what others think, wherever you live and whatever version of English you usually use.

Please comment…


GOT MY FIRST CHINESE READER!


I’ve been asking bloggers about where their viewers originate  recently and although between us we’ve had folk from most of the world stop by, none had seen anyone from China

“They’re no doubt blocking their citizens…” we mumbled to each other. “Same as with Facebook,” my erudite Pink mate suggested  and I assumed he was right without checking.

But this week I had my first person from the world’s most populous nation come to this blog.

And it set me thinking: who writes about Chinese issues? I certainly haven’t, and to be fair I don’t go to Chinese sites. So why should they come to me? I’ve always followed US people, politics and news because it affects all the world. Well now I’m going to read more and learn more about Chinese culture because pretty soon they’ll be vying with the US for top dog status.

So bloggers, why not consider how to attract folks from other cultures and language groups? English speakers are very fortunate in that much of the world has to learn our native tongue – perhaps we should show more respect to them and write something of interest to other cultures more often 🙂


SOCIAL MEDIA BIGGER THAN PORN (and a lot of other things)


This may be old hat to many people, but I know many folks weren’t aware of these stats.

Check out this short film for some amazing facts about what you’re doing right now.  No, not that – using social media of course. Now wash your hands and watch…

http://mashable.com/2010/05/07/social-media-stats-video/