By: Kailani Clark

We are living in a day and age where technology can predict what we want to say and will correct any misspellings in a millisecond.

I just wrote that sentence above. And I meant it because half of that sentence was predicted after the first few words were typed and the last word was corrected. I missed an “L.” I could go on saying this forever because this entire article is being written with corrections and predictions. Which is very helpful. But can it have drawbacks as well? Teachers are noticing as papers are being turned in that students are losing the ability to spell correctly or just not learning it at all. Because most of our writing is on a device, it is being monitored. What does this person say a lot? How do they talk? What word do they mess up the most? And all of that data goes into how it helps our personal writing in the future. So when a teacher asks the bizarre task of turning in a written paper, students have trouble. “As a result, I spend a significant amount of time circling misspelled words on assignments,” says the English Department chair at Clay-Chalkville High School and a participant in the UAB For Teachers By Teachers grant program.

Now, the other side of things comes from writers. I myself like to write the occasional article or short story on the side. And most of the time, (another predicted sentence) my ideas come in bursts that cause me to run to my computer and type as fast as I can before I lose it. In this instance, autocorrect is my best friend. I once wrote a piece without autocorrect and I could barely read what I was saying. Now, in my case, it wasn’t because I can’t spell. It was because I was typing so fast that I had at least 5 mistakes in every other word. Being a writer, I know a ton of words and I spend a lot of time searching new ones and memorizing their definition and spelling. But when an idea comes and I can’t slow down, I would like to know what I was trying to say when I read it back.

So, there are two sides to the coin. Autocorrections are helpful when you need to write something fast but they are also hurting our knowledge of our language in the most simple and basic way. But that doesn’t mean it’s wicked and we must get rid of it at once. It means we just need to take a break from it every once in a while. Write a paper here and there. Just so we remember how our written language came to be. (Hey, I wrote that last sentence on my own!)