I got the sense of my students’ rebelliousness, not from what they said nor from what they wore, but rather from what they wrote. Nary would I come across an essay in which a student hadn’t written the word defiantly over and over again. Dissent was obviously brewing deep inside of these young men and women.
I soon discovered that it wasn’t actually dissent that was brewing; it was poor spelling skills. You see, my students would misspell definitely as definately, and then Auto Correct would change it to defiantly.
After I realized that their “defiance” was a matter of spelling rather than principle, I began my own little campaign: the If You Are Going to Learn to Spell One Word Correctly, Make It Be Definitely campaign.
However, thanks to Microsoft Word 2010, I can finally put that campaign to rest. Microsoft Word 2010’s Auto Correct changes definately to definitely.
My next campaign: Stop the iPhone’s Auto Correct feature from changing hell to he’ll. Sometimes I do actually intend to reference Satan’s lair. If you’ve ever had to grade a stack of research papers, you’d understand why.