Red Pen – This project won People’s Choice Award when it was Exhibited at Shape Open 2018. Photos Rachel Cherry https://www.shapearts.org.uk/blog/shape-open-2018-winner
A full set of books is available to view here:
People rely on their good spelling to be a way making them feel superior. We create coffee table books and Facebook groups of people who have spelt things wrong in public. We don’t invite candidates to interview if they make one spelling error in their application on the pretext that it means they did not care enough (as a dyslexic trust me I care). It is my view that society has made it acceptable to laugh at poor spelling in a way that it no longer able to laugh at many other disabilities.
Over my life I have built up pain body of ways that people have put me down for my dyslexia and ways I have had to conceal my poor spelling. I have created a small run of artists books based on the ways that people have accidentally, or on purpose or through understood social norms put me down. I have not corrected any of the spelling or punctuation.
I have sent these books out to 25 different people to comment on in red pen. People have corrected the spellings and reacted to the ideas. Red pen is synonymous with editing and correcting. We can some time edit and correct without taking in the meaning of the text.
I have had several different reactions to this project including this one:
“Spelling is not a measure of a person’s worth. Nor is it my place to make judgement like that. it is rude, uncalled for, and not nice. I am rather ashamed to have ever behaved like that.”
Genuine dyslexic should be treated sympathetically, particularly where good spelling is less important. They should be able to record their problem.
However many jobs do require good spelling. The idea that spelling does not matter is incorrect. Misunderstandings & difficulties in making ones thoughts clear are frequent.
Thank you for your comments. I agree that spelling does matter but I believe only when the meaning is unclear or cannot be unpicked. For instance most of my errors are phonetic spellings: the meaning can be understood.