Without spell-check, it’s embarassing.

A couple days ago, one of my good friends called me and said, “well, apparently I’ve been spelling embarrass wrong for twenty-two years.” She was working on a presentation for her psychology class and when “embarassment” was underlined in red; she was convinced that her spell-check was broken. So convinced that not only did she google the word, she called her mom to triple check. Talk about embarrassing (with two r’s).

I am a huge fan of spell-check, as I assume most of us are. I consider myself to be a fairly good speller, but every once in a while, I’m tired and I’m writing an e-mail and a letter gets left out, or I type e before i and spell-check helps me out. Even the best of spellers count on it to catch any slip ups in a time crunch when a thorough proof-read just isn’t possible. What would we do without that squiggly red line? For some of us, the errors would obviously be due to sloppiness… but for others, the misspelled words would make us look slightly, well, stupid.

Websites where spell check most likely isn’t used, like Facebook and MySpace, are crawling with misspelled words. I’ll read comments on my friends pages of, “OMG, this weekend was REDICULOUS!!” or “uhhh, I don’t think last night could have been more akward.” Forget about last weekend, it is your spelling that is ridiculous. I mean, these are college juniors taking classes like Power and Policies in the European Union and The Thinking Consumer in a Materialistic Society and they can’t spell ridiculous and awkward?

Has our use of spell check (and our dependency) created a generation of poor spellers? Or am I just being too judgmental? Has all this advanced technology dumbed us down? Thoughts?