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Inquiring Minds: Eastern student sign-posters need to be less ignorant

“Goolishly,” “manditory,” and “McGinnis” have something in common: They’re not words, but Eastern students seem to think they are.

“Goolishly” appeared on the event notice triangles in the Dining Commons. “Manditory” and “McGinnis” were featured on swim team signs. “Well be lead,” not “will be led,” appeared on signs for a Monday night worship meeting.

These are not isolated events, and this is not a new phenomenon. Two years ago, a student running for an SGA senate spot misspelled her own name in posters all over campus.

You would think it was sixth-graders making these mistakes, if you didn’t know it took a high school diploma to get into Eastern.

What sort of impression does this make on visitors? On your friends?

We are students on a university campus, receiving a costly education for which we, or our families, are making sacrifices. We’re supposed to graduate with a wealth of knowledge that will enable us to find jobs, settle down, and make a difference in the world. So we ought to be able to spell, at least.

To pre-empt your criticism: We know that we at the Waltonian make occasional spelling mistakes. Every newspaper does. Among the thousands of words in any given issue, a typo or two is bound to occur.

But there is a difference between an occasional typographical error in small type deep in the newspaper and the constant displays of complete spelling ignorance thrown in everyone’s faces all over this campus.

Spelling really matters. It’s a reflection on character and education. If someone reads a sign that misspells a simple word or that places a contraction in the possessive form of “its,” will they really think whoever wrote the sign has something worthwhile to say?

It’s time to practice good spelling habits. Most spelling errors can be avoided with a little work. Read over that sign one more time. Drag out the dictionary to check a word you’re not sure of. Get an English major to edit your work.

It will mean a little more time spent on a project, and perhaps a little bit of humility to admit you’re not a spelling wizard. But it will also mean a better impression on others, maybe better grades in your classes and certainly fewer eyesores hanging around campus.

Inquiring Minds is the collective opinion of the editorial staff and not necessarily representative of the entire staff. It is written by the managing editor and the editor-in-chief.

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