Big Brother Chastens Sloppy Spellers

We're constantly banging on about the importance of accuracy here at Lifehacker. While we don't claim to be perfect, correct spelling and grammar is something everybody should at least strive for. We were therefore immensely tickled when contestants on the reality TV show Big Brother were taught a sharp lesson in accuracy — to the tune of $5000. If only they'd bothered to learn how to spell at school, eh?

Photo: Channel Nine

During the weekend I watched Big Brother's weekly games showdown where 'housemates' compete in challenges to win $5000 via a series of elimination rounds. (Look, my wife likes the show and I'm too lazy to switch rooms, okay?)

During Saturday's finale, the three surviving contestants were tasked with spelling out a series of simple phrases on a giant Catchphrase-style game board. They were given all the required letters and told exactly what to spell; hardly rocket surgery, we're sure you'll agree.

Amazingly, despite there being no time-limit, two of the three housemates managed to botch the spelling and subsequently left the game empty-handed.

The top two lines in the photo above are supposed to spell 'Presidential Suite'. As you can see, the hapless housemate managed to spell both words incorrectly, which probably says something about modern education in Australia. (He also got the bottom word wrong — it should be 'medal'.)

Another contestant also misspelled 'presidential' and suffered the same fate. We wonder how many times these guys wagged English in high school and whether they now regret it. The moral of the story is that accuracy always matters — even on moronic reality TV shows.

See also: Big Brother Reminds Us: You Don't Have To Store Every Piece Of Data

Lifehacker's Mind Your Language column offers bossy advice on improving your writing.


Comments

    Ummm, it's Big Brother....... How is this result in any way a surprise?

    "As you can see, the hapless housemate managed to spell both words incorrectly, which probably says something about modern education in Australia."

    Actually, it doesn't. A sample size of one does not a conclusion make.

      I dunno. I think the guy's face in the last photo says more than the entire Gonski report.

        lol it should be on the cover. "Where's all the money, mate?"

      haha too true. It says more about the type of people willing to go on big brother, than of Australian education.

    Are you guys freaking sponsored by Big Brother all the sudden or something?

      "moronic reality TV show" = probably not sponsored :-P

      "all the sudden"?

      What's next? - "for all intensive purposes?" "In one foul swoop?" "Supposably??" :P

    The mistakes in this article bug me immensely.

    The last photo looks like he's trying to comprehend why he can't pat his head and rub his tummy at the same time.

    I want to see some of the "rocket surgery" you speak of.

      hehehe.
      Rocket Surgery.

    Big Brother?

    "T _ R K _ Y S _ _ P"
    I will take an "O" please.

    I didn't (and don't) watch the show but I'd guess there's a good chance that bloke is dyslexic, judging by the errors above.

    He might not be so stupid after all. Then again, Big Brother.

    We wonder how many times these guys wagged English in high school and whether they now regret it.

    The thing is that English in high school does not teach you spelling but the various forms of communication and expression. It doesn't really suit when the kids are going to become builders and cabinetmakers when they get to leave school and join "the real world of work."

      You're only taught spelling in primary school. From then on any normal child can pick up the rest as they go.
      I think all the spell-checkers we use constantly these days harm us a little though. We get lazy because of them. I can never remember how to spell "necessary" correctly so rely on spell correction for that one... among others.

    wait what? "We were therefore immensely tickled..." does that mean we have to speak like this now? Do i have to be tickled? :(

    #sigh "correct spelling and grammar is something everybody should at least strive for" - that would be "correct spelling and grammar are some things for which everybody should strive".

      #Condescension

      It's becoming an outdated rule. Common usage is king.

      Also, how about some #Punctuation?

    Is it 'misspelt' or 'misspelled'?

      Was curious, so I looked it up in the OED online and apparently it's either.

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