Bad Spelling Can Be a Great Asset

When you submit a piece of writing to an editor, do you ever feel nervous or self-conscious about your spelling? Are you a non-English speaker struggling with complex academic language? Or were you just never good at spelling?

Either way, you’re not alone. English can be a tough language when it comes to spelling! In fact, people who can’t spell well can be some of the smartest people you know.

Even in cases where bad spelling is a symptom of a learning disability like dyslexia, the root cause is not related to intelligence. The International Dyslexia Association points to research studies indicating 15-20% of the population struggles with developmental dyslexia – a neurologically based  disorder that affects how language is processed. It doesn’t cause people to read backwards or see words upside down. However, from a spelling standpoint it makes figuring out what sounds go with which letters extremely difficult.

It is interesting to note that people with dyslexia are often defined as much by their strengths as they are by their weaknesses. Spatial intelligence and the ability to visualize objects in 3-D are talents often found in people who share this disability. Other strengths include musical talent, athletic ability, creative problem-solving skills, and intuitive people skills. The list of famous dyslexics is quite impressive: Keira Knightley, Jay Leno, Jack Nicholson, Beethoven, John Lennon, and Ansel Adams, just to name a few.

If spelling is your weakness, my guess is that you’ve become extremely adept at using a variety of tools to get around it and that your gifts outweigh this difficulty. Submitting your work to an editor is one tool in a huge toolbox. Let us help!

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