Tuesday, December 04, 2007

A Bad Spell for a Politician

The education minister in New Zealand is taking well-deserved knocks for sloppy e-mail. Yes, everyone does make errors. Still, a dozen, in one e-mail?

What's more, not everyone is the minister of education. If his constituents can't trust him to have paid attention in school—and to pay attention to what he's typing while he's representing their interests—then they have a right to be outraged. We should all expect excellence from our leaders. Their langauge, the doorway to their thoughts, is no exception.

Bad spell for education minister

Education Minister Chris Carter has been pinged for making more than a dozen spelling or grammatical errors in a short email to a persistent opponent of election funding law reform.

Mr Carter's spokeswoman confirmed yesterday he had written the mistake-ridden email.

However, she otherwise issued a blanket "no comment" on whether Mr Carter was a good speller, prone to making errors of grammar, or should set higher standards for students.

In the email to Simeon Brown, 16, Mr Carter spells the recipient's name "Simon", leaves out a question mark and full stops, spells "elsewhere" as two words, puts "your" instead of "you're" and commits the common error of putting an "e" after the "u" in argument.

It was one of three emails Simeon, a level 12 Correspondence School pupil, had received from Mr Carter. Another also contained errors.

"I'm not a perfect speller. One or two is acceptable, but 12 or 13 is getting crazy," Simeon said.

"There is something called a spellcheck and that would have got rid of a few of them."

No comments: