Correct Spelling - Highly Over-Rated

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Buddy's picture
Correct Spelling - Highly Over-Rated

Proof you do NOT have to be good at spelling to knock out a rock solid logbook entry.

"Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe.

Also there is a list of “Accepted” abbreviations in appendix 2 of AC43.13-1B you might find handy.

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bob.pasch's picture

Respectfully Buddy, that's an amusing factoid but don't you think you're sending the wrong message to young technicians? Given your position, it seems just a bit duplicitous to tout this!

EVERY log book entry should contain the four C's of good writing. That is clear, concise, complete and correct and that includes proper punctuation, grammar, SPELLING and word selection. ALL log entries should be printed, preferably by computer but hand will suffice-NO cursive!

My pappy used to say "it's better to keep your mouth shut and have people think you're an idiot than to open your mouth and remove all doubt." Well that can apply here too. If for no other reason, it reflects directly on your professionalism!

Personally, I am more likely to question a poorly written log entry when researching aircraft records. A poorly written entry may be indicative of poorly performed maintenance. If you can't understand the sign-off or it doesn't make sense, how can ANY technician be sure that work was done correctly?

Aviation safety depends on accuracy and to accept anything less than perfection, in our industry, compromises that safety!

Cmabrigde Uinervtisy may be a prestigious school with a worthwhile calling and a noble history but this piece of trivia, interesting as it may be, has no place in aviation at any level.

AskBob's picture

I think you missed that Buddy's tongue was well planted in his cheek for the post.

Buddy's picture

I have found some of the most talented and skillful technicians to have less than desirable penmanship skills. As long as their energies are applied towards the aircraft they are masters of their domain. However, they are reluctant or intimidated when it comes to documenting because they know they can’t spell very well and their penmanship is not neat or grammatically correct.

I use this paragraph before I teach technical writing to maintenance professionals as it has a tendency to lighten up a subject they initially don’t expect to do well in.

I also let them know I myself am a terrible speller, and its true. When I get the red squidly line under a mis-spelled word, and I click on it hoping for suggestions and it says “NO Suggestions”. In all actuality what it is saying is: “Knucklehead, you’re not even close enough for me to offer you a suggestion.”

Some people get bent around the axel and enjoy making a mockery of those of us that can’t spell very well. I have yet to hear them say “Hey, I’m pretty good at spelling, if I can help you out the next time, don’t hesitate”.

At the end of the job, as long as the task was completed correctly, and O’l Sam, has a mis-spelled word or 2 in his long book entry; It’s a “Job Well Done” in my book. I’m sure NOT going to mention the mis-spellings.

bob.pasch's picture

To Bob; I did get the gist but I don't care for the inference it suggests.

To Buddy; Again, with all due respect, using that example when teaching a technical writing class is an excellent choice of a teaching tool. As is associating yourself as a poor speller (which I don't believe for one minute but understand your reasoning).

However, the purpose of your technical writing class is to teach professionals how to write! So why would an educated professional like yourself, who is dedicated to making others better, make such a senseless statement that as long as you perform the task that's all that matters?

It's not mockery that drives me, it's the skill, good judgment, and polite behavior that is expected from a person who is trained to do a job well that energizes me here. It's not O.K. to say "It’s a “Job Well Done” in my book" when it's NOT well done at all...

Retired, I Think (not verified)
Anonymous's picture

Perhaps amusing, but a horrible idea! One must at least try to spell correctly, or risk appearing the local bumpkin. Most spelling-challenged folks adapt, using cheat-sheets, word processors and the like. For Gawd's sake! I too am spelling challenged, yet hold a PhD in an unrelated field. Years ago, I learned to use a word processor, paste on labels and eventually built my own special spelling list(s). When producing higher level academic work, I always hired a copy editor to double check my work. while overkill for an A&P's log notes, at least make the effort. As others note, this post sends a very WRONG message to the newest professional wrench operators. No!!

n14ky's picture

Buddy, As Bob can attest, my spelling and grammar also leave a little to be desired! That said, in todays world of aviation maintenance, you can't do the job without a computer. Computers and word processors of today go a long way in correcting our grammar and spelling (sometimes to our detriment). The main point is, as the saying goes, the job isn't done till the paperwork is finished. I don't care how good a guy is with a wrench or a soldering iron, if he cant use the written word to convey what was done, he is not a mechanic! I've seen log entries that go on for pages and pages and you can't understand but a few words here and there, and I've seen short concise entries that cover pretty much everything. I guess what I hate most are the way some repair stations make log entries. When I bought my airplane years ago, there was a complete restoration that included recovering, interior, avionics stack, electrical system modifications and a whole host of other things. The log book entry for that work was a simple "This aircraft was inspected or maintained in accordance with applicable federal regulations, see work order XXXX" of course that was 10 years after the work was done so even if the repair station was still in existence, the work order was nowhere to be found. 5 FAA Form 337s and 3 Field Approvals later I at least had the alterations covered. I was fortunate that I was able to do the work myself and swallow the labor. Imagine the cost to the customer to correct this! I see it all the time when going to issue Export CofAs, there have been a lot of aircraft that I've told the owners that their books are so screwed up it will cost almost as much to get the aircraft back in toe conformance that they would be selling it for. All due to a mechanic somewhere along the line not doing the required paperwork or not properly logging the work performed.


bob.pasch's picture

To quote another blogger on this site, Dave is "spot on"! If you think you can do this job WITHOUT a computer, then you probably think you can be a mechanic with a slotted screwdriver, a roll of duct tape and a spray can of WD40...

Segue to a different topic: Dave's example of his aircraft condition is an EXCELLENT example of why your Presale Inspection needs to be an Annual Inspection! nuff sed...

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