Wednesday, August 31, 2011

They're Not Gonna Take It

When I first started teaching, I was really excited about the potential of my students’ generation. These young adults showed a propensity to stand up for what they believed in. They weren’t afraid to declare their willingness to object to the status quo. This generation, I thought to myself, is the one that is going to make change happen.

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.

17 comments:

Bethany Elizabeth said...

This is hilarious. I've caught the exact same mistake in my old work, but thankfully I've learned how to spell since then. :)

Janet Johnson said...

LOL! I HATE auto-correct. Hate it.

Okay, it's out. Now I feel better.

And smart move by Microsoft!

Shelly said...

Someday there will be a grammar heaven, and autocorrect will not be in it.

Jessi Haish said...

Haha this is great. It drives me insane when people spell that word wrong!

Crystal Pistol said...

Most days I definitely feel defiant.

How do you manage to stay sane among all those grammar mistakes when you are ... well... you? It must be maddening! :)

traci's mixed bag said...

It's really funny that your students are having trouble with that word because I definitely have trouble with it too. When I'm typing all quick like, I tend to leave out the second i. I actually drive my self more crazy because I hate having to go correct a word I KNOW how to spell.

Kelly said...

Ha ha! I was defiantly not defiant in high school.

James Garcia Jr said...

Hello, my captain. *playfully salutes*
I have a love/hate relationship with the whole autocorrect function. Sometimes it is a life-saver and other times it can (and has been) terribly embarrassing. I'm not elaborating, but suffice it to say that a G-rated Tweet once came out quite the polar opposite. *lowers head in shame at recollection*

-Jimmy

Theresa Milstein said...

I see definitely spelled incorrectly all the time.

Hell to he'll? The program was obviously not written for teachers.

Dylan Fitzgerald said...

My phone changed the word "slurpee" the other day to "Siobhan." I do not know anyone by the name. Apparently, though, my phone does.

Rachael said...

Oh my gosh, this is the exact reason I banned "definitely" from my students' papers. We brainstormed better options, as most of them were using it as fluff anyway. Also, my phone recently changed my "your" to "you're," which elicited an actual gasp from me. Thanks anyway, phone, but I actually know which one to use when, and you don't.

my day in a sentence said...

I don't get this. English isn't my mother tongue. Yet, I know it's "definitely".

Also, did you know that there is actually a site devoted to solving this problem?
Check it out.

http://www.d-e-f-i-n-i-t-e-l-y.com/

Talli Roland said...

Ha! Love the defiance! :)That error really annoys me, too.

Misha said...

Lol my hatred of auto-correct started with the fact that my name can (and has) on occasion correct to Mishap. Yes. With a capital M. mishagericke (from my e-mail address) can (and has) corrected to miscarriage. At least no capital on that one.

Point is, lesser people would have a complex by now... ;-P

cestlavie22 said...

Lol I have to say auto correct on my phone is the one thing that drives me crazy about texting! I actually mean some of the words I write and auto correct takes it upon itself to correct for me! Stop butting in auto correct!!!!

Glynis said...

Brilliant! This post made me smile. :D

tracirz said...

haha, that's one word that took me a while... definitely. I still have to consciously spell it right. :P