Here’s my mini rant.

First: I am able to ignore spelling for the most part. When I was teaching especially, I made an effort to read for content and to handle issues of presentation and spelling as a secondary matter.* Because there are kids out there with excellent minds and analytical abilities, but teachers overlook them because for whatever reason, they spell badly.

So have I established myself as a non-prescriptivist when it comes to spelling?

Having said that, it does irritate me when I email somebody and they email me back as Dear Rosini.

My name is right there in front of them in black on white, but they type it in Rosini. Which is the masculine plural ending (in Italian). If a misspelling is mandatory, Rosine would at least mean something. Little roses (plural, feminine).

I get at least two emails a week addressed to this odd Rosini person. I never correct people as one of my personal rules of thumb is that it’s rude to correct other people’s spelling or writing. But it does irritate me.

And there’s a similar problem with the Girlchild, whose name (I have mentioned it before) is Elisabeth. With an s, not a z. We have blood relatives who cannot remember this, and still address mail to her as Elizabeth.

Really, what’s so hard about that s?

Herewith endeth the rant.

*an anecdote from grad school: a very proper, very German professor was not at all happy about the coming of computer-generated student papers. His take: Ja, dese undahgaraduates, dey dink if the paper looks pretty all iz well. Dey forget that the pretty page must also say sometink.