Sunday, 3 August 2014

Spelling Vitae

"Mam, you wrote incorrect spelling, you should have written torture instead of turture," my students make their comments on my spelling mistakes and I accept them honestly. To be safe, I tell them beforehand that I am not good at spellings while writing on a white board.

You may be thinking I have always been weak in spellings, then you are absolutely wrong. I was very good at them until I used my hand in writing. I remember when I was a lower secondary level student there would be memory game competitions on a regular basis. For this game, the participants were taken to a room where many items like flower, pen, painting, astray, broom etc. had been displayed. They were allowed to see all those things just for a minute. Then, they had to move to another room and write down correctly the names of as many items as they had watched and could memorize within another minute. In such games I would always score the highest.

These days, however, I have to look for excuses for my incorrect spellings. In my experience the reason behind the  faulty writing is my excessive dependence upon computer. This machine has made me careless. If I type any wrong word it immediately underlines the word, and I can correct it by simply clicking the mouse. Thus, I get the correct spelling of that particular word without putting any effort from my side. So, why to bother to register correct spellings in your mind?

It is true that with the invention of computer we have got many advantages. People can do many things using it. No organizations or even urban households run without computers these days. Everywhere people talk about the Internet, email, MSN messenger, computer games and so on. It is interesting that no one brings up the topic of typing on computer. I guess it is the simplest job that a computer can execute, which is why this has gone unnoticed. In my case, keeping facilities aside, I use it for the typing purpose. Or I can say that my handwriting has been replaced by computer typing. It is much easier because you do not need a pile of papers, correction fluid, extra pens or beautiful handwriting. You just move your fingers on the keyboard and your neat and clean write up is ready.

It is a popular saying that you have to lose something to gain something. Obviously, I have got a skill of writing on computer but at the same time I have lost my power of memorizing word spellings. During my school days I had heard a story about Japanese people that they cannot tell you the sum of 5+5+7 immediately without using their calculators. At that time I would be greatly be surprised thinking that how ignorant they are. Now I have realized the hidden reality of their incapability of doing even a simple addition exercise on their own.

Every now and then when I commit silly spelling mistakes my students stare at me with terrified eyes; I am sure they may think their teacher does not have a good command over spellings. Not only this, sometimes when I need to prepare some handwritten write ups, I doubt most of the words that I write and cannot help looking up a dictionary for confirmation. All these bitter realities have compelled me to question: Have I accepted the slavery or the mastery of computers?

(Published in an English Daily The Kathmandu Post on Monday, May 2, 2005)

[The pictures on this blog are posted here with permission from their owners or have been gathered from various sources on the Internet. If you are the copyright-holder to any of the photographs herein do not hesitate to contact me. They will be swiftly removed if desired so.]

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I would appreciate any and all suggestions on making improvements (as long as they are viable).