A British professor has suggested that spelling lessons are no longer necessary for students thanks to technology — because he’s not like other dads, he’s a cool dad.
Sugata Mitra is a professor of, believe it or not, educational technology at Newcastle University and he is pretty sure that good grammar used to be necessary but is “not right now,” The Daily Mail reports.
Instead of relying on pesky linguistic rules, the prof feels students should “try and express themselves in new ways such as using mobile phone text messaging,” the Mail reports, because they don’t do enough of that in their free time. Besides, ignoring the rules of grammar enables you to totally sound like a spy or something, he insists:
“Firstly, my phone corrects my spelling so I don’t really need to think about it and, secondly, because I often skip grammar and write in a cryptic way.”
If the second half of that sentence doesn’t make sense to you, don’t worry — that’s called “expressing oneself.”
If his hypothesis were right and our phones really could handle grammar and spelling for us, there wouldn’t be tons of websites compiling idiotic Facebook statuses and mistake-ridden tweets. Yes, mobile devices and computers now place squiggly red underscores beneath spelling errors as soon as we type them, but that doesn’t mean people know how to correct them.
How would people learn the differences among there, their and they’re or to, too and two? Even with spell check, some people can’t tell the difference between the words “vicariously” and “bicuriously.” Still, it’s great that someone like Mr. Mitra has created a language-arts equivalent of our old math class refrain: “Why do we need to learn this stuff when we have calculators?”