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In response to Professor Roger Baker's column (July 12) "Learning Matters," I suggest that poor spelling is attributable to something much more pressing than hemostasis or lack of "creativity."

While Quayle's "potatoe" can be blamed on any number of dysfunctional synapses in the vice president's brain, Baker has no excuse for his misspellings. He simply fails to afford academic respect to a female colleague.It strikes me as extremely odd that Baker could work with "the former chairman of the English department at Snow College," someone he calls "the best speller at Snow College ever," without making some small effort to learn how to correctly spell this person's name. Marilyn Larson's last name is spelled with an "o" not an "e."

Baker's spelling faux pas has as much to do with academia's misogynistic tendencies as with his own lack of preparation. When Baker names Marilyn Larson a "former chairMAN" of Snow College's English department, he confirms academia's penchant to discount, to make invisible through a type of gender effacement, a woman's strong and extremely valuable (as well as gender specific) enrichment of the academic community.

Baker's Freudian spelling slip demonstrates all too clearly why Marilyn Larson is no longer teaching at Snow College.Howard ShorthillSalt Lake City