Dyslexia Action
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Talk like a cowboy

I have noticed some dyslexics have a problem with punctuation and capitalization. If you read what they are actually trying to say it is obvious this person isn't stupid, although I am sure Grammar Nazis line up to accuse them of being dumb. Yes, yes this dyslexic knows the rules, but for some reason his fingers ignore them. And I think "thank God I don't have this particular problem."

...Or do I? Often when I proofread my stuff I will run across "a" instead of "I" as in "a went to the store" instead of "I went to the store." Huh? That makes no sense. Unless you read the "a" as "ah" as in "ah went to the store." Apparently I am not only failing to capitalize the personal pronoun but I am throwing in my Western accent to boot! Ha-ha! Does anyone else do this, or am I just "special."

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How interesting not punctuation due to my dyslexia I was just never taught properly about commas and they are always open to interpretation. Sometimes an 's' gets missed off but I put that in the same camps as whole words being missed out, which I do often.

Your version is something else again. Dyslexia seems so expansive, we all have our own version and all to varying degrees I cant think of another condition unless you go into the realms of dementia, ADHD etc where this happens. Just goes you show your mind is like a steel trap! So inventive.

I have become reallly lazy about apostrophes but that because they are a pain to type and if Ive indicated I know where a handful go can't you take it a read I know where the rest go...lol.

The best one of course being spelling! Who said Dr Johnston was right in the first place...lol.

Interesting post, thanks for sharing

2 interesting asides to all this, they discovered blind people who regained full sight struggled with 'interpreting' what they saw, not identifying or knowing.

And if you type a word with the first letter in the right place and the others jumbled aka the famous FCUK the brain will read it correctly anyway, so in a sense why does it matter sometimes...lol.


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I'll go with the "mind like a steel trap" interpretation to the "dementia" one (although some might argue with that. LOL)

I learned commas show a pause. But since I'm a slow reader and pause a lot, I sometimes get too carried away with them.

I know some think Shakespeare was dyslexic because he never spelt his name the same way twice. But back in the Elizabethan Age being able to spell a word more than one way showed you were educated and clever! Shakespeare would have thought Dr. Johnston was pretty stupid.

But then Noah Webster, who wrote the first American dictionary, would have argued with Johnston. There is nothing funnier than reading an American Grammar Nazi bawling out a Brit online for spelling "color" as "colour." Which one is right depends on which side of "the pond" you are on.


Wow aren't you smart, I didnt know any of that, thanks for sharing.

I was listening to a programme on radio 4....listen all the time! To some architects and some man was pontificating about the new and old movements in architecture and he was soooo brainy and with such ease! Reminded me, I seem to have lost a lot of my academic get up and go, I do learn stuff all the time, but I don't stretch myself, my brain. I'm working and at school at the moment so have no time, but have resolved that once I have more time I must push myself to be smarter! Or at least to reach upward a bit more, I have Im ashamed to say been coasting mentally!

Remember when you used to read a book and it took you time to workout what on earth they were saying!

Shakespeare made me laugh, I dont see why people have trouble with this prose it's just old Yorkshire...lol... well there abouts. Although I do like to think of him wth a Brummy accent :-)

Yes...Spelling umm who came up with that! Ha ha.

Thanks for the reply :-) Onward and upward!



Meh, I'm not that brainy. I've just had longer to accumulate useless trivia that makes me look smart. (Never mind how many years I've been on this planet.)


For heavensake.. you're a Rocket Science Space Cat doesn't get much smarter than that! :-)

Thanks again x

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My son only started punctuating his writing when he got to high school because that's when he started to understand it I guess. Nonetheless his creative writing is excellent.


I'm not surprised he is good at creative writing. You would be amazed how many great dyslexic authors there are: Agatha Christie, Ann Rice, Jules Verne and Mark Twain to name a few. They were great not in spite of their dyslexia but BECAUSE of it. We are natural born story tellers with vivid imaginations Grammar Nazis would kill for.

My advice to him is not to worry about spelling, punctuation or anything else on his first draft. Just get the ideas on paper. He can polish it later. Also using computers with spellchecks or programs like Dragon are not cheating. What counts is the end result. Also beware of "How to" books on writing which are written for left-brained people who don't think in pictures...moving pictures with 3-D Dolby surround sound. Just follow your instincts. He has a universe in his head he needs to share with the world!

I wrote a blog on writing with dyslexia where I list dozens of dyslexic writers:


I hope to add your son's name to it one day!


Thank you so much; you have made my day. I will definitely pass along your beautiful words to my son.


Yes, it always happens to me. I use to believe it was due to speaking Spanish and when writing very quickly confusing the vowel sounds in English with the vowel sounds in Spanish. I have a dyslexic tutor and she said to me that most dyslexics have problems with punctuation and omitting either words at the beginning or end of a sentence. I tend to have problems with endings and omit some words even though I have thought of the word. It is related to thinking in 3-D and in picture form not thinking in a linear way which requires knowing all grammatical rules. What I now make sure to do is use read-aloud text to speech to make sure it all makes sense before sending any written work. I use Ginger software to check emails, text messages, posts on LinkedIn and FB and messages which are not too important and Text Read and Write Gold for formal writing.When I am in a rush, I sometimes use the free -version of IVONA Speech but this will not correct written text . Hope this helps!


Well, I'm glad to hear it's not just me.

I've been told "you can find the typos if you will just read the text aloud." Yeah, right. It doesn't work when you are dyslexic. I'll read something aloud to my husband and he will read over my shoulder to see what it REALLY says. I have tried a couple of text to speech programs but was not impressed. They read worse than I do. However I haven't tried any of the ones you mentioned. I will have to look into them. A decent read aloud program would be worth it's weight in gold to me.

It must have been a real culture shock going from Spanish to English. Spanish is one of the easiest European languages to learn to read while English is the hardest. I mean Spanish makes perfect sense while English makes no sense at all. English is hard for everyone to learn to read and murder for dyslexics. I always envisioned, back in 1700s Madrid, a council of sober black-robed bearded scholars getting together around a long table and rationally discussing how Spanish should be spelled, the best argument winning. Meanwhile in London a bunch of self-proclaimed "experts" got together at a pub to decide how to spell English words, got rip-roaring drunk and the person who won the argument was the one who yelled the loudest. :-)


Yes, statistically speaking, there are more dyslexics in non-phonetical languages that in phonetical languages like Spanish. This why I think I did well at school and at University. I had a very creative curriculum and Spanish culture embraces storytellers, the art of "la tertulia". I was considered quirky and creative. My dyslexia was only diagnosed 5 years ago as I was taken through a grievance procedure related to the quality of my minute taking! I was employed as a researcher, but suddenly I was asked to organise and minute meetings and write an on-line newsletter. This was the beginning of a new chapter in my life and self -identity! I am now enrolled in my 2nd Master's degree which this time round has proven also to be a challenge. Nevertheless I am in my last term and I am currently in discussions with my supervisor fine tuning my research project, which is about dyslexia and career management.


Ha-ha! I'd say we are all very special in our own right! I dread to think where my errors come from because I am bilingual. What really annoys me is that I correct things as I go along, which is easier than it sounds, because I find my corrections are worse than the original mistakes! I so often have to scrap sentences and sometimes ease entire paragraphs because I can't make them make sense grammatically. I'm forever reading things aloud to my husband asking him two things, 'does that make sense?' and 'tell me what it means!!' to check if it's what I'm actually trying to say. I love my word processor with all my heart :)


I read things to my husband too, but he learned to read over my shoulder to see what its actually saying! He says I sometimes write "backwards" meaning I get the words in the wrong order. He says I write like that because I talk like that.

To paraphrase my grandma, who had a hard time pronouncing some words, "Take a Dyslexic by what they mean, not by what they say."


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