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Last Updated: Tuesday August 12 2008 09:54 GMT

Does good spelling matter?

Teacher writing on a whiteboard

A university professor is saying that his students' spelling is so bad he's not going to bother to correct it.

So that got us thinking, do you think spelling is important?

Do you take your spelling tests seriously and swot up for them?

Or couldn't you care less about how words are spelled as long as they make sense?

Maybe you think text speak should be allowed now?

Unfortunately these comments are now closed, but there are other topics on the Chat page.

Your comments

"Spelling does not matter. It does not show how clever we are; it just shows if you have the ability to spell. I am quite a good speller myself and am glad of it because it will help me in life but I would do no better if I couldn't spell"

Daisy, 12, Suffolk, England

"I do think spelling is important because it gets you higher marks in tests. And otherwise, when you're writing something, if you can't spell it won't make sense!"

Lucille, 11, Essex, England

"I think that you should learn spellings because if you don't you would become lazy and you would just let your computer or laptop do the work. And if you make a mistake you would look silly in front of people. So you should learn them no matter how long it takes!"

Claire, 13, Warrington, England

"Yes, it does very much matter. Good spelling shows how well educated and learned you are. Spelling errors will also lead you to getting low grades in exams and quizzes due to marks being cut off."

Crystal, 11, Copenhagen, Denmark

"I think spelling is very important because if you grow older and make the same mistakes you used to when you were a child you are likely to embarrass yourself."

Jojo, 12, Ireland

"Yes, spelling mistakes do matter. Correct spelling enhances the beauty of writing and you understand the story well."

Candy, 12, UK

"I think that little spelling mistakes don't matter because they're easily made, but huge unreadable mistakes do matter. But not loads."

Danielle, 12, Stockport, England

"I think you need good spelling, because if you write a story or letter it won't make sense."

Komal, 10, Manchester, England

"Spelling is important, and my teacher would circle the letters I get wrong etc. so I should know how to spell it right the next time. It's important, so teachers should point it out."

Katy, 10, Antrim, Northern Ireland

"I don't think spelling matters that much because we are in the 21st century. We are using computers and spell check will make sure all your spellings are right, and by the time we are grown up we will be probably using computers a lot more."

Vicky, 13, Midsomer Norton, England

"I think it's ridiculous that people are saying mistakes should be allowed. I say if you keep spelling words wrong throughout your life (if they weren't corrected at school) you could make a big error with important forms or letters you have to write."

Holly, 13, West Sussex, England

"Well, I don't think that it matters a lot, because I was reading this thing from Manchester University and it said as long as the 1st and last letters are correct, and the rest is muddled up, it looks the same. Try it yourself... E.g: because or bcaeuse."

Ben, 13, Norwich, England

"I think it does matter, because if spelling didn't matter you wouldn't know what it would be saying for e.g. reading a newspaper. It's really important."

Sara, 12, London, England

"I think that as long as you can understand the word it doesn't matter, but it doesn't mean you shouldn't correct it."

Rhiane, 13, Morden, England

"This professor gets paid to do his job, which is to teach, therefore he has to do all that involves of that particular job, ie checking spelling and correcting it. If he doesn't do this, how are his students supposed to learn from their mistakes?! In tests and essays, spelling is vital to get a good mark. Of course spelling is important."

Dana, 14, Leeds, England

"I think that good spelling does matter because if you wanted to be a policeman or something you'd have to go through a series of tests, and if you didn't have the right spelling and grammar it'd be less likely that you'd get the job instead of a person that does care about their spelling and grammar."

Sarah, 13, Warwickshire, England

"I think spelling is a vital part of all the languages. If we don't spell words correctly, then people get used to it so what they think are correct spellings are actually incorrect. It really annoys me when a word is spelt wrong."

Sam, 14, Bournemouth, England

"OF COURSE spelling is important! How could it not be? The other day I picked a book up in the shop and read the back of it. I noticed a spelling mistake and immediately put the book back down again. The English language will become nothing if people keep coming up with nonsense like this!"

Kiyo, 14, Preston, England

"I'm awful at spelling and in English my grade is always low because of spelling errors."

Hannah, 13, Wolverhampton, England

"I think good spelling is important because when it comes to important tests like year nine SATS you get marked on spelling so kids need to know what they are doing right and wrong."

Clare, 13, St Albans, England

"I think spelling matters but it sometimes gets on my nerves when I keep getting the same word wrong."

Lindsay, 10, Scotland

"I think that the odd spelling mistake here and there shouldn't matter but important words like days of the week and months should."

Sian, 11, Bath, England

"I think that as long as you write something good it won't matter about the spelling."

Sam, 10, Leicester, England

"If a word is spelt wrong but you can read it, it's fine."

Charlie, 12, Somerset, England

"Lots of people have trouble spelling and I am one of them. My teacher knows and if I get spellings wrong she helps me with them. Since my class have been having weekly spelling tests, my spelling has been a lot better so I think children need to learn spellings as it will help them read and then if they do get them wrong they should be told and helped to spell it correctly. If they practise they will get better, just like me."

Shannon, 12, Lancaster, England

"I think if people can't spell then they should get a dictionary out and find the correct spelling, not just make up silly ones."

Shifat, 10, London, England

"I think spelling is important but it is hard for kids like me with dyslexia. We should be given a longer time to learn the spellings."

Julie, 12, Belfast, Northern Ireland

"I don't think that bad spelling should be allowed. It is a critical part of our education and helps us in many aspects of life."

Daniel, 12, Belfast, Northern Ireland

"I think spelling is important, but it shouldn't stop you from using words you don't know how to spell in your writing."

Rosie, 11, St Albans, England

"No, I do not think we should ditch the dictionary because when you are older if you make a spelling mistake in university, people might point and laugh at you and think you might not have learned at school!"

Lauren, 10, West Dunbartonshire, Scotland

"I think that teachers should let you off the first time but if it becomes a habit then they should say something. I mean, they don't expect us to get every little spelling right, do they?"

Holly, 13, Great Yarmouth, England

"No! As long as people understand what you're talking about it doesn't matter."

Kerrin, 14, Suffolk, England

"I think that spelling plays a big part in schools so it is important to spell things right but tiny mistakes don't matter."

Rebecca, 11, Powys, Wales

"Spelling is very important. Where we would be if we were to write 'meet me @ shps l8r, b thr plz'? I think teachers should make time for spelling lessons and should not put it aside like many do. Spelling is important!"

Jemma, 12, Scotland

"I am in secondary school now. All we ever do is use computers so the computer changes the spelling for you so you don't need to know how to spell."

Edward, 13, London, England

"I'm not a great speller but I still think that we should be able to do it. In the future employers won't be impressed if we can't fill out a simple form without spelling something wrong."

Laura, 12, Crawley, England

"I think that the professor is talking absolute nonsense and that you shouldn't ignore bad spelling mistakes. You should do your job and help kids learn the correct spellings. The professor is a silly man."

Emily, 12, Devon, England

"I don't think it really matters because in most tests you get the question correct if it looks like the answer."

Gerard, 12, Belfast, Northern Ireland

"I think all pupils should have basic good spelling, as in tests if people spell things wrong, the words could be confused with other words, and the question could be marked wrong when the answer was actually right."

Kate, 13, York, England

"I believe that spelling doesn't matter. I have this view because as long as the spelling is understandable then it is perfectly fine."

Lydia, 14, Kent, England

"If pupils get some spellings wrong it shouldn't matter but if they get them wrong often then they should get a list of words that they need to improve on so they can learn them."

Jessica, 10, London, England

"I think that even though spelling is very important, the odd mistake should be allowed. If a teacher can understand what a pupil is writing then they should correct it but not make a big deal about it."

Dolly, 13, London, England

"I think that teachers should correct pupils' spelling as it will help them in later life if they are going for a job. As teachers always say, children should live to their full potential."

Heather, 14, Scotland

"It is stupid because how are you EVER going to learn how to spell small words correctly if you're not being told that you're spelling them wrong?! I got better at spelling because I learnt from my mistakes.'"

Jemma, 12, London, England

"I think spelling is really important; it comes under the category of English in my opinion. One of the points of English is supposed to be spelling."

Eleanor, 8, Worcester, Scotland

"I think that it depends on the word, like if they spelt 'why' as 'wie' that's bad, but if it's a really hard word it shouldn't matter. When I was in year five, our teacher had to look a word up in the dictionary because it was in our spelling test."

Lexie, 12, London, England

"Spelling doesn't matter and kids shouldn't worry about the smallest mistakes."

Kalam, 9, Stratford, England

"I think good spelling is important but having tests every week isn't."

Amber, 10, Leighton Buzzard, England

"I think that spelling doesn't really matter but your teacher should tell you what you got wrong, so you don't learn the wrong spelling."

Claire, 10, Lisburn, Northern Ireland

"I think it's important to have good spelling as when you come to read you'll struggle a lot more, and if writers start to spell things wrong, hardly anyone will be able to understand each other's writing."

Emma, 13, Birmingham, England

"I think if you get letters jumbled up you should get told for next time. Sometimes if people think they get lots of words wrong it stops them writing as much, because they think they are just getting too many wrong, and they get embarrassed."

Nancy, 9, Milton Keynes, England

"I think it does matter, but teachers should not push kids as hard."

Joel, 11, Derbyshire, England

"Some children find spelling really hard. It should be about the content of the writing rather than about whether you can spell correctly."

Amber, 10, Bristol, England

"Spelling DOES matter. If you can't read or spell people might tease you, or if you read a book you might not understand the whole book."

Susana, 7, Singapore

"I think that bad spelling shouldn't be allowed because when you get a job when you're older and you don't know how to spell something easy, then you will feel very embarrassed."

Sophie, 11, Bridlington, England

"I don't think that people should make such a big deal of spelling. So long as the words make sense, I think that it is perfectly reasonable to misspell words slightly."

Katie, 12, London, England

"Bad spelling should be corrected because if your teacher does not correct your error, you will never learn. I found spelling hard as well, but practice makes perfect!"

Kate, 12, Kent, England

"It does, because imagine when you grow up, you won't know anything."

Lulay, 13, Essex, England

"I think good spelling is really cool. If we all don't learn to spell properly, books will be really hard to read!"

Luke, 13, Leamington Spa, England

"I think spelling does matter because you will need it when you're older. The occasional mistake doesn't matter. When you're older and you make a mistake in spelling it's probably a bit embarrassing!"

Mollie, 10, Hertfordshire, England

"I think it's OK to have a spelling or two wrong when you're just doing rough work. But if you are doing a formal essay or story I think your story should be correct."

Aoife, 11, Dublin, Ireland

"I think spelling words correctly is important and teachers should let us know when we're spelling things incorrectly so we don't pick up bad habits."

Yasmin, 10, London, England

"If you spell a word right, it is easier to understand the meaning."

Lily, 12, Norwich, England

"Bad spelling doesn't matter. People don't need good spelling, it's the knowledge they need!"

Georgie, 10, Kent, England

"I think it does matter because if you spell a word wrong you might forget what it says."

Lisa, 11, Wallasey, England

"I don't think it matters but you have to be able to read it."

Beth, 9, Lochmaben, Scotland

"I honestly want to be an author when I grow up, and I think spelling is very, very important. How can one become an author writing 'will meat u @ da grcry stor.' ? "

Lilli, 11, USA

"Spelling doesn't matter to me as I get half my words wrong anyway."

Izzy, 10, Buckinghamshire, England

"Spelling isn't the most important subject, but it will help you get a job when you are older, because you won't be able to write a CV in text form."

Linny, 11, Birmingham, England

"Good spelling does count because if someone wrote a book and made a spelling error, then you wouldn't be able to understand."

Bethany, 13, Argyll, Scotland

"Of course spelling matters, imagine a world where everyone mis-spelt things, it would be chaos."

Kirsty, 13, Isle of Man, England

"I think bad spelling should be allowed with longer words that are more difficult, but should try to be stopped with smaller words."

Rhiann, 11, Hurlford, Scotland

"I think spelling should not matter because rubbing out wastes time and teachers go mad."

Jack, 9, Crewe, England

"I think good spelling does matter because in the future most jobs include English, so you need to know how to write."

Lavinia, 13, London, England

"Yes it will be helpful when you are older."

Jed, 10, Yorkshire, England

"I think poor spelling should be allowed because it did not stop my daddy being successful."

Evie, 9, Swindon, England

"I think spelling is really important because when you are older and want a job and send an application form, the spelling won't be good and you most likely won't get the job. People should learn how to spell properly!"

Ella, 10, Surrey, England

"It doesn't matter because everyone makes mistakes."

Irteza, 8, London, England

"Good spelling matters but some just can't grasp it as easily as others."

Tim, 13, Portrush, Northern Ireland

"Well you need to be a good speller for pretty much anything, because it can affect your schoolwork and tests."

Cosmo, 11, Cambridge, England

"I spell correctly most of the time - only when I'm rushing do I make a mistake."

Lamin, 12, Birmingham, England

"It doesn't matter about your spelling just as long you can write and read."

Tianna, 10, London, England

"Spelling does matter; it helps you to write and read so you should think about it."

Meryum, 11, London, England

"I think spelling is important depending on the career. You can't grow up to be a teacher and not even know how to spell Wednesday or basic words like that!"

Lucy, 11, London, England

"I am quite good at spelling. I don't think it is fair that other people can get away with it."

Bethany, 13, Liverpool, England

"It does matter because people otherwise don't know what you are writing!"

Maisie, 10, Angus, Scotland

"Spelling DOES matter. Say you wanted to be a writer when you're older - you can't write a book in text talk! Kids wouldn't understand it. And text talk IS text talk. Imagine if you gave a CV to a company and it was '@ first i went 2 ___ & i hav a gud profeshion in teechin kids.'"

Izz, 11, Crawley, England

"It is so dumb. If it's right, it's right; if it's wrong, it's wrong. You will never learn if you get away with it. I can spell basic words and am only 11."

Sophia, 11, Edinburgh, Scotland

"I can spell exceptionally hard words- I suppose it's just a skill really, so this isn't exactly an issue for me, but I think spelling is important and it is a disgrace that a professor of high esteem will just pass it off as being another mistake. The children of today know nothing about spelling because they are not taught properly in the first place! We need better teachers - I was home educated by my mum so that's why I can spell conflagration and intuition - things like that."

Olivia, 11, Bury, England

"I think it does matter because otherwise people get into bad habits and others won't know what they mean."

Kate, 12, Yorkshire, England