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  1. #1
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    Famous Thinkers Who Couldn’t Spell

    Words can be tricky things, often spelled quite differently than how they sound, coming from foreign languages with different sets of rules, or being just plain weird. It’s no wonder then that so many people struggle with spelling, even those who are generally regarded as having some seriously brilliant minds. No, it’s not just grade-schoolers, college students, and the everyday man who struggles with the age old “i before e” dilemma, but also scientists, writers, and world leaders. Here, you’ll find a list of great thinkers who made great strides in their respective fields, but never could quite conquer the perils of spelling.

    Alfred Mosher Butts
    Unfamiliar with this name? Well, you’re probably familiar with what he created, though it might surprise you to learn that Butts was a bad speller. He created the iconic and still quite popular game Scrabble, which requires one to be adept at spelling. The inventor himself was admittedly not the best speller, often scoring only 300 points on average in a game of Scrabble.

    William Faulkner
    Faulkner wasn’t a truly terrible speller, but if you take a look at his original manuscripts there are some definite errors the iconic Southern author wouldn’t have wanted to see in print. Despite setting many of his famous books and short stories in the difficult to spell and pronounce Yoknapatawpha County, Faulkner’s editors confirm that despite their repeated attempts to point out his mistakes, he made spelling errors all through his career.

    F. Scott Fitzgerald
    Few writers are so known for their bad spelling as Fitzgerald. How bad, you say? Fitzgerald wasn’t even able to spell the name of one of his closest friends, Hemingway, often misaddressing him in correspondence and papers as “Earnest Hemminway.” The editor of his collected letters called him a “lamentable speller” who struggled with words like “definite” and “criticism.” Still, his poor spelling didn’t seem to do the author any harm, and many of his works are regarded as literary masterpieces today.

    Ernest Hemingway
    Ernest Hemingway may not have had much room to judge when it came to his friend Fitzgerald not spelling his name correctly. Long before the days of spell check, Hemingway had to rely on newspaper and book editors to catch his mistakes, a job which they often complained would be a lot easier if he would make an effort to spell things correctly (though Hemingway retorted that that’s what they were being paid to do).

    John Keats
    The brilliant Keats died quite young at only 26, so one can hardly blame him for not spending time worrying about spelling in his written works. If readers want to get a taste of his more interesting spelling choices, they only need turn to his letters. They record many odd spelling choices, including the misspelling of purple as “purplue” in a letter to his love Fanny Brawne, a misspelling which she questioned and Keats tried to cover up by saying he was creating a new combination of purple and blue.

    John Irving
    John Irving is another author on this list whose poor spelling was the result of dyslexia. Sadly, Irving wasn’t recognized as having dyslexia until much later in his life, stating, “The diagnosis of dyslexia wasn’t available in the late fifties “” bad spelling like mine was considered a psychological problem by the language therapist who evaluated my mysterious case. When the repeated courses of language therapy were judged to have had no discernible influence on me, I was turned over to the school psychiatrist.” Irving’s struggles with spelling affected him deeply, and he even reflects on them in one of his most famous novels, The World According to Garp, stating that English is such a mishmash of different languages that no one should ever feel stupid for being a bad speller.

    Jane Austen
    Jane Austen may have a place among the literary elites today, but when it came to spelling and grammar she wasn’t too handy with either. Research into her personal letters and manuscripts has exposed numerous errors in spelling and grammar that were corrected later by her early editor, William Gifford. One of her favorite misspellings? She often spelled “scissors” as “scissars.”

    Fannie Flagg
    Actress and author Fannie Flagg has had great success in her literary career, most notably with the novel Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe which was later adapted into a highly successful film. Yet writing never came easy to Flagg, who has dyslexia. She has said she was challenged as a writer because she was “severely dyslexic and couldn’t spell, still can’t spell. So I was discouraged from writing and embarrassed.” Flagg obviously overcame her embarrassment, and has since written numerous books and screenplays.

    Albert Einstein
    Being bilingual, one could hardly blame Einstein for being a bad speller in English. Yet it wasn’t just in English that Einstein struggled. He also was a pretty bad speller in his native German, and got even worse when he began using English more regularly. Of course, Einstein didn’t make those same errors when it came to writing mathematical equations, a fact that helped to make his name synonymous with genius today.

    Winston Churchill
    While today Churchill may be regarded as a great leader and speaker, he had a rough start in his schooling, always struggling with spelling and writing. He was a notoriously bad speller throughout his life, but he never let it hold him back. He battled through his difficulties, which also included a speech impediment, to leave his mark on the world.

    Leonardo Da Vinci
    Leonardo helped define the term “Renaissance man,” excelling in both the arts and the sciences, but spelling may not have been his forte. He is quoted as having once said, “You should prefer a good scientist without literary abilities than a literate one without scientific skills.” Some historians believe he may have been dyslexic (there is no way to prove that, of course) as his journals and writings are riddled with spelling errors common with dyslexics.

    Agatha Christie
    Agatha Christie penned some of the bestselling books ever created, but the author admitted once, “I, myself, was always recognized … as the “slow one” in the family. It was quite true, and I knew it and accepted it. Writing and spelling were always terribly difficult for me. My letters were without originality. I was … an extraordinarily bad speller and have remained so until this day.” Despite her struggles with spelling, Christie was an enormously successful writer, and has gone down in the Guinness Book of World Records as the best-selling novelist of all time.

    John F. Kennedy Jr.
    JFK is a figure that has fascinated the American public for decades, but what many may not know is just how bad of a speller the famous president was. He was outed for his poor spelling by his wife, Jackie, though she was a French literature major in college and would later become a book editor, so she may have been a pretty harsh critic.

    W.B. Yeats
    Yeats is yet another famous author who, while quite adept at writing, was pretty terrible when it came to spelling. To see examples of his spelling errors, one need only find a copy of his collected letters which contain misspellings like “feal” for “feel” and “sleap” for “sleep”. Despite his inadequacy when it came to spelling, Yeats was a prolific and very successful writer, winning a Nobel Prize for Literature in 1923.

    Benjamin Franklin
    Ben Franklin wasn’t a particularly good speller in his time, and actually felt that the alphabet as it stood (and still does today) was what was holding so many back from being able to spell. In a letter he once wrote, “You need not be concerned in writing to me about your bad spelling, for in my opinion as our alphabet now stands the bad spelling, or what is called so, is generally best, as conforming to the sound of the letters and of the words.” Whether you struggle with spelling or not, you have to admit he has a point, as many words are spelled quite differently than they sound.

  2. #2
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    Up Yours BOB

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    I Must be a love child Of Hemingway.

    Ernest Hemingway
    Ernest Hemingway may not have had much room to judge when it came to his friend Fitzgerald not spelling his name correctly. Long before the days of spell check, Hemingway had to rely on newspaper and book editors to catch his mistakes, a job which they often complained would be a lot easier if he would make an effort to spell things correctly (though Hemingway retorted that that’s what they were being paid to do).

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    Spelling is irrelevant, grammar is what's important. Why are you so touchy H? You're constantly getting upset over posts that are not directed at you. It's bloody weird.

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    who gets upset you silly sausage its Humour.

    That really is the most Bizarre response I've had here.

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    Juat 'cause you can't spell, doesn't mean you're a great thinker.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Horatio Hornblower
    who gets upset you silly sausage its Humour.

    That really is the most Bizarre response I've had here.
    Ah, I see. It was the
    Quote Originally Posted by Horatio Hornblower
    Up Yours BOB
    that confused me. Carry on, this thread's too deep for me.

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    Whoosh you're being a Touchy Chappie Today. that's a smile which means any number of things.

    Same as the

  9. #9
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    Spell checkers or random word generators.

    Works every time.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Horatio Hornblower View Post
    Whoosh you're being a Touchy Chappie Today. that's a smile which means any number of things.

    Same as the
    Its Doc's well known Complex of thinking he's far more mentally superior then any of us cretins , his favourite target is of course anti radical Islamic's like my self , I did here he's got to put KY jelly on his head so he can walk through his front door

  11. #11
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    Any who wish to correct there grammar download this.

    No doubt some already use it,though make sure you use it regular.

    As being made a prick of can have a detrimental effect on your intelligence

    https://www.grammarly.com/?q=grammar...odE04AGA&AT301

  12. #12
    Pedantic bastard
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    Quote Originally Posted by Horatio Hornblower View Post
    Any who wish to correct there grammar download this.
    Ouch. Made I larf.

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    Quote Originally Posted by thaimeme View Post
    Spell checkers or random word generators.

    Works every time.
    spelling and grammer is for the euro-centric culturally induced to prop there faux sence of supriority, innt it jeff?

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    I'm fakking grate at spellin and finkin, me Grandmarz a bit hit n miss tho, Gawd luv her.

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    Quote Originally Posted by stroller View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by thaimeme View Post
    Spell checkers or random word generators.

    Works every time.
    spelling and grammer is for the euro-centric culturally induced to prop there faux sence of supriority, innt it jeff?

    ........

  16. #16
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    horatio noseblower.... As TD's worst speller, I must say its rather kind of you to compair my inteligence so afvorably with so many graet thinkers. Hoever I sustect that you are being far too kind.....

    however that gulf between us does not demostrate my greatness, but rather you psoition as a 1%er and I don't mean the top end of the iq scale. Its why your so gullable whne it comes to conspirity theories.
    Teakdoor CSI, TD's best post-reality thinkers

    featuring Prattmaster ENT, Prattmaster Dapper and PrattmasterPseudolus

    Dedicated to uncovering irrational explanations to every event and heroically
    defending them against the onslaught of physics, rational logic and evidence

  17. #17
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    Make sure in the Future Grammar police to use.

    https://www.grammarly.com/?AT301

    We're be about and looking for your grammaritical errors.

  18. #18
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    Your'll be OK I always skip your posts as I find they make me want to have a nap.....



    Quote Originally Posted by hazz View Post
    horatio noseblower.... As TD's worst speller, I must say its rather kind of you to compair my inteligence so afvorably with so many graet thinkers. Hoever I sustect that you are being far too kind.....

    however that gulf between us does not demostrate my greatness, but rather you psoition as a 1%er and I don't mean the top end of the iq scale. Its why your so gullable whne it comes to conspirity theories.

  19. #19
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    So people are proud of their inability to use correct grammar? When did it become a matter of pride to lack a skill? I can't read Chinese, should I boast about that? Surely the ability to express yourself clearly and accurately is worth having? What exactly is the point in taking pride in a deficiency? Oh well. For what it's worth this article on the subject is quite interesting, it's not technical, not detailed, not patronising, just an easy to read article on why grammar is important.

    Why is it important to use correct grammar ?

    From time to time I find myself getting involved in a discussion about grammar. It's always the same: on one hand we have the people who argue that good grammar is important, and on the other hand we have those who say it isn't. Here I present my reasons for good grammar being important.

    It boils down to this:

    The purpose of good grammar is to ensure that what you write is correctly comprehended and is easy and enjoyable to read.

    Correctly comprehended
    The placement of a hyphen, comma, or apostrophe can completely change the meaning of a sentence.

    Example 1: a hyphen
    "There were 60 odd competitors."

    I wonder: in what way were they odd? The thoughtful placement of a hyphen clarifies the dilemma:

    "There were 60-odd competitors." (The competitors weren't really odd at all.)

    Example 2: an apostrophe
    "The girls room is very untidy"

    I wonder how many girls inhabit that room? An apostrophe can easily clarify this:

    "girl's room" - one girl inhabits the room

    "girls' room" - more than one girl inhabits the room

    Example 3: "ie" or "eg"

    Confusing these two is a very popular error, but do you realise that if you use the wrong one you're actually saying something quite different to what you wanted to say?

    "ie" is an abbreviation for the Latin "id est", which means "that is".

    "eg" is an abbreviation for the Latin "exempli gratia", which means "for example".

    So when you are referring to something specific, you should use ie, and when you are giving an example, use eg.

    For example:

    "The deadline for this project is in two days - ie, on Thursday." – the deadline is on a specific day (Thursday).

    "Please bring something to share to the picnic - eg, some of your famous potato salad." – "... for example, some of your world-famous potato salad." If ie had been used here, it would have meant that you have been asked specifically to bring some potato salad. Is that what was intended? The reader would have no way of knowing!

    Easy and enjoyable to read
    How many times have you read a sentence, been confused, and had to go back and re-read it to try and figure out what it meant? Does this interrupt your flow of thought and spoil the reading experience a little (or a lot)? If the author had paid a little more attention to his or her use of grammar, it would probably have been easier to read.

    "Who cares if my grammar is bad? The important thing is that I am able to express myself!"
    Yes, it's important to be able to express yourself. But wouldn't it be better if you could do so in a way that people would find easy to read and understand? Writing that is poorly punctuated and/or contains grammatical errors is difficult to read and sometimes impossible to understand. If the reader has to go back and re-read a sentence several times because they are not quite sure what it means, it spoils their reading experience and they are quite likely to misunderstand the point or even to give up and not read any further.

    "I've survived just fine without bothering about grammar."
    Are you quite sure about that?

    Have you, perhaps, wondered why you didn't get the job that you felt you were so well suited for? Or why nobody bothers to reply to messages you post on internet bulletin boards? Or why you didn't get many responses to your personal ad?

    Job applications: Many employers are immediately put off when they receive a poorly written cover letter with a job application. Many will simply toss them into the big circular filing cabinet on the floor without even looking at the rest of the application.

    Messages: I subscribe to a few technical mailing lists, and try to help people with their problems when I am able to. But if I have a hard time understanding what the person is trying to say, I leave it and move on. I don't have time to try and decode their badly-written comments. I know I'm not the only who does this: poorly-written messages consistently receive fewer responses than well-written ones. I do make an exception for people whose native language isn't English of course - although the sad truth is that people who have learned English as a foreign language frequently have a much better grasp of English grammar than those whose native language is English.

    Personal ads: I've heard a comment like this several times when discussing online dating: "The first thing I notice is how the profile is written. If it's badly written I move right on to the next candidate."


    Why is important to use correct grammar?

  20. #20
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    I thought this was to deep a thread for you BOB.

    Whilst you profess to be academic.

    Do you have the credentials of these people named in the link.?

    https://www.ghotit.com/tag/adult-dyslexia/#b

  21. #21
    Ex TD Fat Club VP Dillinger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Horatio Hornblower
    BOB

    It's B0B, You Illiterate, innumerate Cretin !!!

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    What you on about,did i call him Harry.


    Quote Originally Posted by Dillinger View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Horatio Hornblower
    BOB

    It's B0B, You Illiterate Cretin !!!

  23. #23
    Ex TD Fat Club VP Dillinger's Avatar
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    I added to that last one

  24. #24
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    Umm, who professes to be an academic? Are you a Napoleonic-era naval officer, or a Welsh actor? Why are you now trying to make this thread about dyslexia? Are you dyslexic? A little odd that you don't mention it until you're asked why you're proud of NOT being able to do something.

    Also, are you seriously comparing yourself with Einstein and Churchil?

    BTW, when are you going to put in the link for your OP? Are you trying to pretend you wrote it?
    Last edited by DrB0b; 23-05-2015 at 07:49 PM.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrB0b
    Are you dyslexic?
    Hwat si htat eamn.

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