As a victim of the phonic ITA teaching at primary school, I still have difficulties spelling today. So I should, perhaps, be rejoicing at the news that a lecturer of Bucks New University is calling for lecturers and teachers to accept common misspellings. Somehow, however, I feel uncomfortable with it. Ken Smith, a criminology lecturer, remarks; “Instead of complaining about the state of the education system as we correct the same mistakes year after year, I’ve got a better idea. University teachers should simply accept as variant spellings those words our students most commonly misspell.” Perhaps not a surprising comment from a University that has a web page called ‘Be Coz U Can’ to attract 16-19 year olds to join their educational establishment. I simply do not feel comfortable with the arguement, sorry argument, of ‘they are going to do it anyway, so let’s just ignore it’. Should we do the same about drug taking and binge drinking? Oh, sorry, I forgot, we already do.

Mr Smith, may I suggest that you point your students in the direction of a very useful tool for those who find it hard to spell? A bit old fashioned, perhaps, but the dictionary has worked wonders for me.