Unnfare (the spelling quiz)

Wen teechur sed wee hav a speling kwiz,
eye thot shee muss bee joken.
Thaat reely iznt fare,
wen shee nose my cumpyooterz broekn.
Sumbuddy shud teller
thaat pensuls ar terrubel spelerz.

-B.C. Byron
Pencils don’t have very good spell check software

The kid in this poem has some serious spelling issues, but I think a teacher would have a load of fun reading his/her papers. Some people seem to make doing things incorrectly into a special artform. I actually spent a long time getting this spelling test poem just right. It’s difficult to purposely spell every word incorrectly but still make the words easily readable. And, oh boy! The spell check program on my tablet did NOT like this poem! I first tried it on my phone, but autocorrect just wouldn’t have it. You wouldn’t believe the bizarre autocorrected words that came out when I tried to enter this onto a phone. Try misspelling every word in a nursery rhyme on your iphone sometime and enjoy some hilarious nonsense. Technology can be powerful but also obnoxious, especially when trying to do things way outside the norm like most of my poetry tends to be.

Technology can also become a crutch if we aren’t careful. Having a computer correct all our spelling mistakes is bad enough, but I have worked with engineers that let programs do their math for them. Some folks also like to push the “auto-adjust” button on the oscilloscope instead of thinking through what they are about to measure. The math will be correct, but like autocorrect on the phone, it’s not always solving the problem that you intended. Think about it, computers can’t even decide which things are a bicycle or traffic light in a picture without a human to help. Do you really want them calculating the functions for an electric circuit or a bridge without the scrutiny of attentive human beings? Do we really want computers to decide what advertisements we should be seeing on social media? Computer programs are tools that need people to keep them from running amok. Learn how to spell, learn how your calculator works, and tell the algorithms on social apps to stop showing us “one weird old trick”.

Actually, studies show that kids are pretty good at spelling these days in spite of the spell check programs on tablets and phones. That’s encouraging. Keep showing your gadgets who’s boss.

Published by B.C. Byron

I’m a children’s author, poet, father of 3 girls, and electrical engineer. My first book, A Cat Named Lump, is available on Amazon, BarnesandNoble.com, and Google Books. I post new poems and illustrations every week.

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