You Can't Solve Global Warming With Spell Check

Spelling skills
Spelling skills, misspelling spell check

Abraham Lincoln said, "You can fool some of the people some of the time, but you can't fool all of the people all of the time."

To that I would add, you can't please some of the people any of the time, which I was reminded of when I read a letter to the editor of the Washington Post complaining - of all things - about the National Spelling Bee and the attention it gets in the media.

The writer says that with all the spelling help available on the Internet, it is no longer necessary to spell all that well.

Instead, the writer says, we should be training children to think analytically about solving world problems.

Analytic thinking is always good, but by that logic you could also argue we don't need to train pilots as much as we used to because most of the time a plane is in the air it's on computer-run auto pilot.

Full disclosure here: You're hearing this from the guy who held the title of the worst speller at the Fort Worth Star Telegram, until they hired a kid who spelled gesture "jester."

But before we assign global warming and what to do about Guantanamo to this year's spelling bee contestants, I think they need to learn to express themselves with more subtlety, skill and recognizable words than you need in your usual text message. They'll get to the world's problems soon enough.

And maybe I'm old fashioned, but I think knowing a little grammar and spelling might come in handy in explaining their solutions to these world problems.

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    Bob Schieffer is a CBS News political contributor and former anchor of "Face The Nation," which he moderated for 24 years before retiring in 2015.