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does spelling really count
Posted by: thecrowder (---.sympatico.ca)
Date: September 04, 2004 10:22AM

Can someone who cant spell or use proper grammer still become a good poet??????


I have lots of problems in both areas sometimes.

thanks for the coments


Re: does spelling really count
Posted by: JohnnySansCulo (---.dyn.optonline.net)
Date: September 04, 2004 10:27AM

spelling only counts if it's written out


Re: does spelling really count
Posted by: peternsz (---.client.comcast.net)
Date: September 04, 2004 10:43AM

There are lots of ways for a writer to counteract problems with spelling and grammar. Enroll in an evening adult ed course to pick up on grammar. Get a "speller's dictionary." Use a thesaurus to look us words you can't spell, not a regular dictionary. Keep spelling lists. English is a bastard language of much whoring through the centuris from Latin to French to German and a hundred other 'cousins', and it all shows in the spelling. Finally, depend on yourself. If you're bright enough to master the thinking that goes into good writing, with a little persistence, you can get a good handle on basic technical stuff for writing. Do not depend on something like a spell checker, which mindlessly makes mechanical substitutions. It won't take the place of careful, thorough proofreading.

Good luck,

Peter

********************
Everything counts; it's just a matter of whose measuring.


Re: does spelling really count
Posted by: Hugh Clary (---.denver-04rh16rt.co.dial-access.att.net)
Date: September 04, 2004 11:52AM

Can someone who cant spell or use proper grammer still become a good poet??????

Nope. The poet is in love with language.


Re: does spelling really count
Posted by: lg (---.ca.charter.com)
Date: September 04, 2004 12:44PM

Can someone who cant spell or use proper grammer still become a good poet??????

I think you can still write poetry. But if you ever want to go to the next level and have it published somewhere, you'll probably need a good editor.

Les



Post Edited (09-05-04 21:37)


Re: does spelling really count
Posted by: thecrowder (---.sympatico.ca)
Date: September 04, 2004 02:13PM

thanks for the advice guys I really do enjoy writing but I think your right
I should get a "speller's dictionary."


Re: does spelling really count
Posted by: lg (---.ca.charter.com)
Date: September 04, 2004 02:18PM

Spell checkers won't catch mistakes for sound alikes, such as; they're and their, here and hear, etc.

This is the online dictionary I use:

[www.onelook.com] />
It has a wild card feature which allows you to search for words that have certain letter patterns.


Les


Re: does spelling really count
Posted by: JohnnySansCulo (---.dyn.optonline.net)
Date: September 04, 2004 02:25PM

That explains it then...I'm not in love with language, only having an affair with it


Re: does spelling really count
Posted by: peternsz (---.client.comcast.net)
Date: September 04, 2004 03:35PM

I guess that makes me promiscuous.


Re: does spelling really count
Posted by: JohnnySansCulo (---.dyn.optonline.net)
Date: September 04, 2004 04:02PM

playing around with it....toying with it......effing with it....making it do things it doesnt want to.......seeing other languages on the side


Re: does spelling really count
Posted by: peternsz (---.client.comcast.net)
Date: September 04, 2004 06:15PM

taking up tith another, holding tight to, coming back to, engaging a language


Re: does spelling really count
Posted by: IanB (---.tnt11.mel1.da.uu.net)
Date: September 04, 2004 07:58PM

Johnny's original comment wasn't just facetious. You can compose poetry for oral performance without being fussed about spelling. But if you want your poetry appreciated by readers, unintended misspellings are a spoiler. Most readers who are interested in poetry recognize words by their shape (made up of component letters) as well as their mentally associated sounds.

This is not to deny that some great poetry has been written in times and dialects lacking standardised spelling (e.g. Shakespeare and his forerunners; and Scottish poets), or that misspellings can occasionally charm. I vaguely recall an anecdote about Sir John Masefield having afternoon tea at some houseparty where there were four children running about playing: three girls who each happened to be named Ann or Anne, and a precocious little boy aged about 6. The boy, encouraged to compose a verse for the great poet laureate visitor, wrote:

Orl the Ans
Went to wosh ther hans
Sose to be
Nice and clene for tea.

which Masefield praised as an example of 'pure poetry'.

It's also interesting to contemplate that about a quarter of the world's literate population doesn't have to worry about spelling. How does that affect their thinking? Maybe it's an advantage. We can't presume that they don't love language. They must however be held back by their inability to create acronyms!



Post Edited (09-05-04 16:53)


Re: does spelling really count
Posted by: J.H.SUMMERS (---.chartertn.net)
Date: September 05, 2004 05:06AM

I believe that it all counts. When you put yourself out there for all to see, you want it to be the best that it can. Your desire to improve your work is most commendable. Good luck.

john


Re: does spelling really count
Posted by: thecrowder (---.sympatico.ca)
Date: September 05, 2004 07:07AM

thanks john


Re: does spelling really count
Posted by: Toi23 (---.range81-152.btcentralplus.com)
Date: September 05, 2004 11:27AM


As a child I achieved high grades for every piece of creative and discursive writing I submitted. I even had some poems published. At the time, ideas and content were considered to be more important than spelling and grammar. My writing has deteriorated since leaving education.

Educational policy changes and "you only get one bite of the apple".

This thread makes me feel like Frankenstein's monster, I would be happy to accept Hugh's judgement, however, there is still a part of me that feels the need to question it.

"It is not a crime to be a product of your time"--Polly Binns (Moderator)

Toi23


Re: does spelling really count
Posted by: northcountrywoman (---.client.comcast.net)
Date: September 05, 2004 01:16PM

Part of poetry is craftsmanship: spelling and grammar are tools. Does a carpenter need a hammer and level? Poetry is often used as a kind of dumping ground for personal emotional outpourings, which may or may not be poems. If the intent of the piece is just to get some raw or painful feeling out in the open, spelling and grammar donít matter, as the writer will quickly tell you if you are cold and uncaring enough to mention them!


Re: does spelling really count
Posted by: Toi23 (---.range81-152.btcentralplus.com)
Date: September 05, 2004 02:04PM



"Poetry is a competition", discuss. smiling smiley

Toi23


Re: does spelling really count
Posted by: JohnnySansCulo (---.dyn.optonline.net)
Date: September 05, 2004 02:14PM

A gorilla's on the golf course, and hits the ball 300 yards riight onto the green, about a foot away from the hole.

everyone's amazed.......the gorilla goes onto the green to make his next shot, and again hits the ball 300 yards


Re: does spelling really count
Posted by: peternsz (---.client.comcast.net)
Date: September 05, 2004 03:00PM

The gorilla's your boss, and expects your praise for his puting and his syllygn. What do you say?


Re: does spelling really count
Posted by: Toi23 (---.range81-152.btcentralplus.com)
Date: September 05, 2004 03:16PM

"Poetry is an immaculate conception", discuss. smiling smiley

Toi23


Re: does spelling really count
Posted by: Toi23 (---.range81-152.btcentralplus.com)
Date: September 05, 2004 03:45PM


"Ideas, fall from the sky like manna from heaven", discuss.

Toi23


Re: does spelling really count
Posted by: JohnnySansCulo (---.dyn.optonline.net)
Date: September 05, 2004 03:47PM

the creation didn't end on the 6th day


Re: does spelling really count
Posted by: JohnnySansCulo (---.dyn.optonline.net)
Date: September 05, 2004 03:47PM

i never praise my bosses putts
sorry i don't swing that way


Re: does spelling really count
Posted by: Toi23 (---.range81-152.btcentralplus.com)
Date: September 05, 2004 04:53PM


Your boss is a gay monkey, charming, and your discursive point was what exactly? Degeneracy perhaps? Sorry, if this is poetry you can keep it. I'm outta here!

Toi23


Re: does spelling really count
Posted by: Toi23 (---.range81-152.btcentralplus.com)
Date: September 05, 2004 04:55PM


Maybe you would like to discuss the embellishment of truth in threads, sometime.

Toi23


Re: does spelling really count
Posted by: Toi23 (---.range81-152.btcentralplus.com)
Date: September 05, 2004 05:10PM



I am female, straight and young enough to be your daughter!!!
You can find some other sucker to feed off!

Toi23


Re: does spelling really count
Posted by: Linda (---.cache.pol.co.uk)
Date: September 05, 2004 06:13PM

Gorillas are apes, not monkeys and I thought we were discussing styles of playing golf, not personal habits.

By the way, Johnny, other than being old enough to be married, you've never actually told us how old you are.


Re: does spelling really count
Posted by: thecrowder (---.sympatico.ca)
Date: September 05, 2004 06:53PM

thanks every body fro the advice I see that poetry comes from inside but people can understand great work even with bad grammer and spelling .
Altough it does help make it more understandable.


Re: does spelling really count
Posted by: lg (---.ca.charter.com)
Date: September 05, 2004 10:40PM

people can understand great work even with bad grammer and spelling

Roger, I don't think anyone here said that poetry with bad grammar and spelling was "great", only that it "is" poetry.


Les


Re: does spelling really count
Posted by: JohnnySansCulo (---.dyn.optonline.net)
Date: September 06, 2004 08:35AM

Linda, even though I act as if I'm 12 sometimes, I'll be 45 on October 3rd

Actually, my gorilla example was to illustrate that "raw talent" does not make you a good golfer, or poet for that matter.


Re: does spelling really count
Posted by: JohnnySansCulo (---.dyn.optonline.net)
Date: September 06, 2004 09:03AM

I'd be MORE than happy to discuss the embellishment of truths in threads !


Re: does spelling really count
Posted by: ilza (---.162.246.36.user.ajato.com.br)
Date: September 06, 2004 10:46AM

grammer instead of grammar
your instead of you're

be honest, people, whenever you find a misspelled word,
doesn't that bother you somehow ?

it bothers me, and I don't even speak English well enough to dare to write a poem ...

if writing is one's craft, at least it has to be done well,
grammar and all

my opinion ...


Re: does spelling really count
Posted by: IanB (---.tnt11.mel1.da.uu.net)
Date: September 06, 2004 08:49PM

Well said Ilza ! ("there" for "their" is another common blot).

And good point made by northcountrywoman.

Splitting hairs in this debate, on the issue of grammar I would say that in poetry - especially lyric poetry - expression can be compressed in ways that would appear erroneous in prose. The power of a poem can come from such compression, and from excluding unnecessary verbiage. So, while I am put off by an error such as "its" confused with "it's", or a singular verb matched to a plural subject, I don't mind a writer who knows what he or she is doing foregoing adherence to continuous syntax and, for example, paring some conjunctions and some definite and indefinite articles in the interests of verbal economy, without losing the sense.



Post Edited (09-06-04 22:31)


Re: does spelling really count
Posted by: Toi23 (---.range81-155.btcentralplus.com)
Date: September 07, 2004 04:09AM


Correct me if I am wrong, discursive language is not painterly, it is factual.
Good craftspeople explain their ideas to the best of their ability, discursively.
I don't think poetry is a competition, although for some people it could be.
I do not appreciate vague quotes being dumped on me in a discussion room with no explanation. I have done so on occaission because I did not want to stand out from everyone else. I am happy to admit that my poetry is not perfect, I think your quote aimed to humiliate becuase you thought you knew me and you got it wrong.

Toi23


Re: does spelling really count
Posted by: Desi (---.grecian.net)
Date: September 07, 2004 08:34AM

If someone writes poetry just for fun, and does not intend to have others read it, no problem.

But, if I read a poem and it has spelling mistakes, I usually stop reading, since I see it as an offence. The writer did apperently not care enough for his audience to make the effort of correcting his/her poem. Of course there is a lot more to poetry than spelling, but spelling is the base. How can you play with language, make your point well if you don't know the basics of the language?

And of course there are famous poets that wrote before the spelling was regularized. But the audience that read those were not irritated by it, because they were a) mainly illiterate b) if they could read, they were used to different spellings. Nowadays that's just different. I am used to see a word spelled in a certain way, and get annoyed with mistakes.


Re: does spelling really count
Posted by: peternsz (---.client.comcast.net)
Date: September 07, 2004 09:44AM

Also, the typos someone like myself make without being corrected are annoying, both to the readers and the writerr, because they are, at least, a correctable distraction. Typos are often mistaken for misspellings, and the effect is the same: a reader who feels short changed.

Peter


Re: does spelling really count
Posted by: Marian-NYC (---.nyc1.dsl.speakeasy.net)
Date: September 16, 2004 04:29PM

I was away for a while and missed this thread. I do want to comment, though, and while I agree with much of what's written above, I want to take a very different pov.

Desi asked, "How can you play with language, make your point well if you don't know the basics of the language?"

Now Desi and I usually see things very much the same way, but BEAR IN MIND that Desi speaks several languages and has made a point of learning all of them very thoroughly. She judges her OWN spoken and written communication by very academic standards.

Look at the question another way: How do VERY YOUNG CHILDREN play with language and make their points well? A toddler who creates a little song about "me go boom" and "gotted in da baff" is NOT writing academic English poorly. He or she is using ONE KIND OF ENGLISH very very well, with an uninhibited flow. The baby does know the "basics": the sounds, the range of volume, some words. He/she may invent words to express something that baby English doesn't cover, or insert clapping or shrieking. If it is a song of the self, a response to an urge to communicate something other than requested facts, it's poetry.

I will argue that anyone who has language -- even if it isn't written (baby talk) or spoken (sign language) can write a poem. If it is a song of the self, a response to an urge to communicate something other than requested facts, it's poetry. The poet may decide to have it TRANSLATED into another kind of language -- academically correct English, for example, or English uncolored by Yiddish -- but that's a choice independent of whether he "can" play with language and make a point well.

SO WHAT DOES THIS MEAN TO A GROWN-UP WHO IS REALLY BAD AT SPELLING AND GRAMMAR?

The world is full of adults who are severely challenged by grammar and spelling. Some will never be able to master either. That doesn't mean they can't write poetry. It may mean they're afraid to write poetry.

If such a person WANTED to write poetry and asked me for advice, I would say: "Don't even TRY to write poetry that you think a very literate person would write. Write in your own language -- that way the grammar will be consistent even if it's not American standard. Use your own vocabulary and DON'T WORRY ABOUT SPELLING. Spelling can be fixed by someone else later on, but no one else can write in YOUR VOICE."

We treasure the poems our children write, INCLUDING their use of totally misunderstood phrases and their spelling guesses. A translation into standard English would be worthless to us -- it would not be a child's song of the self. We need to take a similar view of the poetry of people who have language (basics and peculiarities and everything) but don't have standard grammar and spelling.


Re: does spelling really count
Posted by: Johnny SansCulo (---.nycmny83.covad.net)
Date: September 16, 2004 04:53PM

If you can walk, then you can dance:
If you can talk, then you can sing:
If your heart beats, then you can love:
If you can breathe, then you can live:

If you can cry, then you can laugh:
If you believe, then you can pray:
If you have lips then you can smile:
If you can think, then you can hope:

If you can sleep, then you can dream:
If you can feel, then you can care:
If you can wish, then you can be:
So dance and sing, and love be free.

Sing glory, sing glory, hallelujah.

--Rusty Edwards


Re: does spelling really count
Posted by: IanB (---.tnt11.mel1.da.uu.net)
Date: September 16, 2004 05:25PM

Very good points, Marian. Seem obvious distinctions in this discussion after you have said them, but they didn't get said by anyone else!

Ian




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