Getty Images/iStockphoto

I am a fine one to even bring this subject up. My spelling abilities are lackluster and I have had a love/hate affair with grammar since 8th grade. I do try on both fronts. Sometimes I succeed at getting the letters and the words and the punctuation in the right places. There are many times I do not. That's why they make editors and spell check and grammar check programs. That being said, is it even necessary to teach kids how to spell and what decent grammar looks like?

You've probably seen the debate about the need to continue teaching cursive writing in school. What about teaching spelling in school? Some of the longest afternoons of my parenting career have been spent calling out spelling words.

Although I didn't like doing it, I personally think it was worth it. Spelling is a great mind exercise. We need great thinkers and thinking is a muscle that needs to be exercised. Our future leaders won't always have a computer to think for them. 

Grammar is a bit trickier. I personally don't see how anyone from another land can learn our language. It's so full of contradictions. Despite that fact older people, such as you and I, managed to muddle through and I think we are better communicators because of it. 

The reason I even bring this query up to you is because there is a very real attempt being made across certain aspects of academia to let the computers take over the written language. The argument is that letting technology handle this mundane chore for our brains will free our minds up for more adventurous thoughts and intellectual pursuits. 

When I was a kid in the dark ages of the late 1970's, the pocket calculator was making its first appearance on the market. Many experts predicted its arrival would mark the end of America's mathematical supremacy. They were right. I use the calculator on my phone a lot more often than I ever thought I would. 

Is the automation of the written word the next logical step in our dehumanized society or should we take this time to rage against the machine? I think the answer won't be up to us. I think it's those that are in the coming generation that will make the ultimate decision. I think they have already made up their minds.