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    #1

    Spelling question

    My son's second grade teacher marks vocabulary words misspelled if the penmanship is wrong. Is it correct to count a word spelled wrong if there is a capital letter in the middle of the word, or is this simply a penmanship error?

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    #2

    Re: Spelling question

    Hello Guest, welcome to Using English!

    If the irregular absence of capital letters is to be regarded as an error, e.g. as in:

    1. iago is one of william shakespeare's more interesting characters.

    then perhaps we can say that the irregular presence of capital letters might also be regarded as an error, e.g. as in:

    2. IagO is One of wIlliam SHakespeare's more Interesting chaRacters.

    In practical terms, whether we misspell words or simply mispresent them, it will be taken as an error on a job application, etc.

    (Unless of course the prospective employer likes irregular capital letters too.)

    Best wishes,

    MrP
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    Not a professional ESL teacher.
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    #3

    Re: Spelling question

    Hi-

    I teach adults, not children, but I would not necessarily mark a child's work as incorrect if he has a improperly placed capital (though I would certainly draw his attention to it). While at that age/stage, they should have a pretty good grasp of the two types of letters, I think it's a bit harsh- particularly this early in the year. For children that are new to using the English alphabet, I think it is entirely inappropriate.

    Just my opinion, though...

    Mary


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    #4

    Re: Spelling question

    And she calls herself a teacher? ...never mind probably also regards herself as a professional.

    She should recognize and acknowledge that your child has grasped and acquired the graphemes and their sequencing (thank God it's not dyslexia) and do some remedial work on some earlier failing at school by some other teacher, that your child is confused about this other aspect of orthography.

    I have this image of the Red Carpet at the Oscars, some star decked out in a great dress down to her ankles, she slips, breaks a leg of her anorexic body, which pokes out of her skinny leg and causes the dress to jut out.

    The Hollywood commentator, witnessing all of this, shrieks that it just ruins the line and whole concept of the dress and she will be remembered as one of the fashion disasters of this year's Oscars.

    Somebody needs to actually think that your child needs some basic First Aid, rather than a blow to her self-esteem by being simple regarded as Can't Spell. I think it's up to you to take action with that teacher!

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    #5

    Re: Spelling question

    I would say that the pupil has simply made a mistake, and the teacher has simply marked it as such; presumably with an explanation.

    I should think the simplest option is for the pupil to forget about the test, but to try to remember not to put capital letters in the middle of words.

    (Except where you do, of course – ChapStick®, etc.)

    MrP
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    Not a professional ESL teacher.
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