Friday, June 14, 2013

The Meaning of the Word

  While battling my latest bout of insomnia, I found myself looking through Facebook posts of some obscure pages I liked once upon a time. On these pages I found a wide variety of comments and opinions on many different topics. One thing struck me as a common thread throughout all the pages, though: The ridicule of people who can't spell. I know it's a common thing for the spelling police to swoop down on a comment on pretty much all the pages you visit, but for some reason  it really hit a nerve with me today.
  One poor man was trying to ask a question, his spelling and grammar made the post almost indiscernible, and the spelling police let him have it. Here this man was, reaching out to try to connect with people, and they couldn't see it, all they saw were the misspelled words and incorrect punctuation. It made me angry to think anyone would completely disregard the content of his question simply because he couldn't express himself in a way that met their standards. There are many possible reasons as to why this man can't spell, none of which give people the right to disregard him or his question.
   Finally, one kind soul answered his question without any mention of the errors in his asking.

  It reminded me of a dear friend I had when I was growing up. He had a learning disability. He also had a pretty tough time at home. He ended up in jail and we use to write to each other. His letters were riddled with spelling and grammatical errors. Most of the time I could barely make out what he was trying to say, but I took my time to try and decipher it because what he was saying was important to him.
  That friend died of Leukemia several years after he was released from prison. His misspelled, grammatically incorrect letters are priceless to me.

  My friend's lesson, of  looking past what you see on the outside to find the meaning on the inside, has stayed with me to this day. So, before you hit enter on your witty spelling correction comment, take a moment to consider what you're really saying ... about yourself.