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If I write mispelling as supposed to misspelling why does it matter? The meaning still exists. Everyone knows what I meant to write. There is no ambiguity.

Why do some people consider the proper use so important? Isn't language flexible? Can't I use it as I wish?

I don't say these things to irritate or insult people, I'm saying them to convey meaning, meaning is achieved, so isn't the purpose of language in that instance satisfied?

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Subjective and argumentative. Please read the FAQ. Voting to close. –  Robusto Feb 14 '11 at 11:19
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Probably to make it easier to understand. How easy is this to read? "ive always askd ppl thiss but comeup agnst brik wall evrytym. Whr is a goood plase to get answrs fr this? ive editit to try and frase it less argumentatively".. heh, I didn't know how to ruin the last word:) –  Tragicomic Feb 14 '11 at 11:41
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Nope, I don't think there's anything wrong with that. I don't think I know anyone who goes around editing text and chat messages. I'm actually sorry I couldn't resist putting that comment there. I think this is argumentative and subjective too and would vote to close if I could. Good question for a drunk argument between a linguist and a grammarian, though. –  Tragicomic Feb 14 '11 at 11:51
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Mark Twain might agree with you: I don't see any use in having a uniform and arbitrary way of spelling words. We might as well make all clothes alike and cook all dishes alike. On the other hand, looking at his plan for the improvement of English spelling, I think there is something to be said for a language where you, 20 years into the future, are still able to read what you wrote today ;) –  j-g-faustus Feb 14 '11 at 12:24
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Historically, the answer seems to be "because it makes it hard to read otherwise". Writing used to be phonetic, with some broad patterns - a small feline could be cat, kat, katt, katte... but not qat or cad or xir - but otherwise no real rules. This worked ok as long as the writer was considered more important than the reader. With the spread of printing and thus literacy, however, the convenience of the reader became more important, and thus spelling (slowly) became standardized. –  Marthaª Feb 14 '11 at 19:01
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closed as not constructive by Robusto, RegDwigнt, Mehper C. Palavuzlar, kiamlaluno, ShreevatsaR Feb 14 '11 at 12:47

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1 Answer

That is because, in case you write Red in place of the word Read which is the past tense of the verb to read you are not conveying the meaning that you actually wish to convey.
This is one of the primary reasons for the emphasis on spelling of words.

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Except that in your example the only way to know which pronunciation of "read" you mean, is context in which case the phonetic spelling "red" would be just as understandable... If I wrote "I red it in a book" you would never think "red" was the color in this context. (You don't think that when I say it anyway) –  Stein G. Strindhaug Mar 15 '11 at 11:26
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Inglish sirisli ni:d speling riform. Yu kud låwn såm letrs fråm ðe Aislændik ænd Nårwijn/Deinish ælfebet får ðe wawls ænd ðe kånsenents tu meik it mår fonetik, wi wudnt maind ;) –  Stein G. Strindhaug Mar 15 '11 at 11:31
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