Is Internet Making Us Bad Spellers?

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By Vijaykumar Meti | January 12, 2013 9:39 PM EST

Canadians do not lag behind anybody in terms of using the Internet, but it seems that being online all the time has not made us good spellers.

Many people often mistype into Google, for instance "facebok" rather than correcting the noticeable mistake. Monitoring many Canadians' search habit reveals that many of them consistently type in incorrect spelling knowing that Google will get the point, for example "faceboo," "fcaebook" and "faebook."

Some do not even bother to type eight characters and by just entering "face" or "fb" get the exact link of what they are looking for.

Is this laziness or efficiency? Do we need to thank Google for saving our few seconds or lament that technology is taking us to intellectual laziness?

It's uncommon to see anyone using the pen and paper except in schools and some workplaces. Barely anyone remembers phone numbers since they are stored in cellphones.

The latest developments in technology and the popularity of innovative voice recognition software like Siri in Apple iPhone have raised an outlook that typing could eventually become outmoded.

Many consider writing as an old-fashioned manual task, but some find it difficult to write after being used to typing all the time. However, typing is not necessary to think as Google's autocorrect tool suggests what the users want to say as they type. Google will answer for whether users' spelling abilities have gone worse with the dawn of autocorrect tool.

"If the user is doing it intentionally and it gets them to what they want then from (our perspective) that's a fine query because that's what we're trying to do, get the users what they want," Mark Paskin, a senior staff software engineer at Google.

The most popular queries searched on Google are almost one-world entries that produce an easy link to a website. In Canada, the most common search in the past nine years is Facebook followed by YouTube as "you," for which most users Google search produces a link to YouTube.

"I would never think of it in terms of, 'Is it good or bad? Is it helping or hurting' or something like that ... but it's almost impossible to achieve anything without some engagement with some software," said Martin Hand, Associate Professor at Queen's University.

There is no doubt that advanced technology has completely altered day-to-day life with old skills fading away..

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