If you are a poor speller, does that mean that you are a poor writer? F. Scott Fitzgerald was a famously poor speller. Does that make spelling unimportant? It is a question of communication. Take this sentence: I went walking with the dog. Using the same letters you could write, I went walking with the god. Quite a difference. In my experience, there are few very good spellers, including me. (An agent of mine told me that one year I won the Publishers’ Fitzgerald Poor Spellers Award.) There are so many poor spellers, in part, because English is a huge mix of different languages. The Oxford Dictionary folks suggest that there are a quarter of a million distinct English words! I doubt anyone can spell them all correctly. For that matter, I doubt anyone knows them all. Long live the Oxford Unabridged! With so many English words, the language lends itself to puns (a form of misspelling), which I adore. A skunk walks into a courtroom. The judge cries out, “Odor in the court!” Did I tell a stinky joke or misspell something? Depends on what I was trying to communicate. Two of my books, The End of the Beginning, and A Beginning, a Muddle and an End, are full of such jokes. Some have suggested these books are philosophical. Others that they are just silly. Take your pick. Either way, they are spelled correctly. I hope.