This advice on learning to spell correctly comes from the 1950 edition of “The Century Collegiate Handbook,” by Garland Greever, Easley S. Jones and Agnes Law Jones — a book I bought for $2.50 at an antiques store.
Form right muscular habits in spelling: Never permit yourself knowingly to write an incorrect spelling of a word. Not only will the erroneous form impress the memory through the eye, but the manual act of arranging the letters falsely will do much to create a wrong habit.
Of course, the writers were speaking to students who were using pencil or pen to write words. Today, most of us compose our writing on a keyboard and with the help of spellcheckers. But I think the advice still applies. We can develop the muscle memory of hitting the right keys on the keyboard. The other advice I take from this passage is to develop a habit of spelling correctly. I wonder how many students are drilled on spelling these days. With the ease of texting and shortcuts such as emoticons and abbreviations, we allow ourselves to become sloppy. It’s still important in published writing to spell words correctly and consistently.