ETA: dumb remark removed
The spelling fairy says: It's 'atheist', not 'athiest'
I try to be subtle. Thanks for seeing and correcting the joke, Island Man!
Island Man: In this technological age of txting, accurate spelling is highly overrated and on its way to becoming obsolete. Who reads the letters in words anyway? I only see word shapes. Just make sure your word has the right shape. That's all that counts. Athiest and Atheist have almost identical shapes. Unless you're righting () writing a resume or some other important formal document, don't sweat it
I disagree. Accurate spelling is not highly overrated, and if it is on its way to becoming obsolete, then it's indicative of a dumbing down of society. Spelling should not be a free-for-all, spell-it-as-you-like affair even if the word shapes between various spellings are similar. For one thing, I think that one's ability to spell is indicative of his intelligence, so, to me, observing one's spelling provides a way to gauge his intelligence, and sometimes we need such gauges.
Another reason is that the situation will be chaotic if society begins to forgo accepted, standardized spellings. Without accepted standards, how would we look up words in dictionaries? How would we search for certain words in documents, on the internet, etc.? Proper spelling is important for many other reasons.
Also, often the spelling is indicative of the word's etymology. As Apognophos wrote in the OP, the "atheist" spelling indicates the origin of the word, but the "athiest" spelling does not.
I"ve been thinking about the notion of recognizing word shapes for several decades, and I think that, like you, I and many others recognize word shapes when reading rather than determining what words are by examining individual letters. However, I still feel that having accepted, standardized spellings and using them is important.
Dear Spelling Fairy,
Thank you for all you do. When you are sad over peoples' misspellings, imagine me with my arm around your shoulder, reassuringly saying, "There, their, they're."
Skully, you crack me up!
Are you Reopened Mind in disguise? As many may know I am the worst speller in the world but my wife is the Webster dictionary reincarnated. After all her maiden name was Webster and yes she is a distance relative. This subject just struck me funny and yes it is important to spell correctly. Still Totally ADD
While I do wish people would spell things properly and watch their grammer, I try not too get two upset two call them out to harshley.
Their just posting and typing faster then they are thinking. Thatz all. And maybee they dont know how to spell. No biggy.