The University of North Carolina school of journalism has finally discovered spell check. The University has announced that it will drop the spelling portion of the spelling and grammar test that all students must take and pass before they can graduate with a degree in journalism.
The announcement marks the first time since 1970 that a change has been made to the standardized test.
A senior associated dean tells dailytarheel.com:
“What we’re trying to do is just make the exam more relevant for today’s journalism and mass communication students.”
Students expecting a shorter test will be in for a surprise because while the spelling section has been removed they are now faced with a word usage section that attempts to emphasize mistakes computers are less likely to catch with grammar check software.
As one professor notes:
“Spell check can tell you whether ‘their’ is spelled correctly, but not if it’s the right word,” one associate professor explained.
In the meantime the new format should be more challenging for students and prove more useful for administrators who can now gauge a writers actual use of the English language and not their ability to memorize the spelling for common and uncommon words.
One fact is for certain spelling mistakes will happen all the way from our publication to the New York Times, comments posted on websites by overly angry readers who find those mistakes to be an attack on our very existence prove on a daily basis that running spell check sometimes not enough.