Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Cacography – Wordplay Wednesday™ 06/19/2019

A Word about Sloppy Spelling and Bad Writing 

We could arguably blame it on underfunded public schools (for decades now). Or fad songwriting. ♪ “It Don’t Matter to Me …” ♪ Or texting. “How R U?” Or Social Media in general. Or just too busy to care.
Whatever the reason, our spelling skills have become deplorable. Except in spelling contests. Even Words With Friends allows “fixt” as an alternative spelling to past-tense, “fixed.” Deplorable.

And then there is our penmanship … best left these days for keyboard fonts. Even “writers” are more accurately, “creative typists.” The art of flowery prose written with flamboyant flair suffers from archaic degradation. Studies show “writing by hand improves brain function.”

Does our poor spelling go hand-in-hand with illegible writing? One who employs this word (and spells it correctly), might think so …

CACOGRAPHY (kɘ kägʹrɘ fē) n. 1) bad handwriting; 2) incorrect spelling (cacographic; cacographical).  [WW #221]  

In this age of keyboards and audible writing programs, and in my humble but oddly arrogant opinion (yes I admit it) about the sad state of our writing skills in general, bad handwriting may be forgiven. However, some teachers are adamantly striving to retain cursive in schools. 7 Reasons Why Handwriting Matters.

Poor spelling, on the other hand, is inexcusable, given all the aids our smartphones and spellcheck programs offer, in every manner and device for writing. Of course, context often plays a role in misspellings, but again, that is no excuse for not actually knowing the correct spelling and context. What is being taught in school?

If this keeps up, by the twenty-fifth century, who will transcribe our “ancient writings” discovered in notebooks from the twentieth century and earlier? If we can’t write it, we can’t read it.

Word Challenge: CACOGRAPHY. Dig out (or, gasp! buy) a notebook and write something meaningful. Yes, you’ll need to enter it in your computer later, but that also offers a second opportunity to truly read what you wrote (and revise or correct), as you slip cacography into your week of perfectly thoughtful writings.

Learning knows no prejudices or boundaries, and it isn’t fattening! Expanding your mind is a no-cost, simple joy. Do you feel that way too? What’s your inspiration? Share your creative genius and Wordplay Wednesday comments below.

Write first for yourself … only then can you write for others. (L.Rochelle) 


[LinDee Rochelle is a writer and editor by trade, and an author by way of Rock & Roll. She has published two books (of three) in her Blast from Your Past series about pioneering R&R Radio DJs. True behind-the-mic tales make GREAT Holiday Gifts available on Amazon (eBook and print): Book 1Rock & Roll Radio DJs: The First Five Years 1954-1959; and Book 2Rock & Roll Radio DJs: The Swinging Sixties. Coming soon … The Psychedelic Seventies!]

Note: Dictionary definitions are quoted from Webster’s New World College Dictionary.


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