It’s true.I have the deplorable habit of judging people for their spellings. Some might call it snobbery, while most chalk it up to the ‘English-medium superiority complex’. For those of you unaware of this phenomenon, it is a mouthful used to describe the privileged born class of Pakistani citizens who have the audacity to pursue an education in a well established institute, usually private, cue gasp, as of-course private is synonymous with exorbitantly expensive (even if it is not), in lieu of the more sensible public schooling system which bases its entire structure of education on rote learning,murdering imagination in all its forms, a few sharp slaps (though I’ve heard that recently this has started to be discouraged but then I also heard that our energy crisis is just WAPDA’s way of playing peekaboo and it’s all just a joke really because everything is right as rain so I’m going to choose to be sceptic about this) and teachers committed to instilling fear, stamping out any love for knowledge whatsoever and starring in nightmares, bad memories and inevitably becoming the cause of deep psychological scarring that will require several years at the therapist’s office to deal with. Coming back to the phrase at hand the EMSC is attributed to individuals such as me who have decided to eschew our national language (allegedly) in favour of the English language and now consider themselves superior to those still grappling with its basic tenants and manifest this superiority by daring to correct them.
I resent that. I don’t correct to assert my superiority or my better grasp of the English language (well mostly I don’t), I correct because bad spellings like bad grammar(a whole other issue, I solemnly swear to address it later) are supremely annoying. They create an image of the dolt in a dunce cap made to sit in the corner in my mind. All my respect goes out the window when seemingly able human beings mess up spellings.There are instances where bad spellings especially cause me to go apoplectic, such as:
When a professor has misspelled words in his presentation, I cannot bring myself to concentrate on the lecture, I stare at the word which is taunting me with its brazen incorrect-ness, displayed there like that for so many people to see, to copy, to reproduce, to scrawl and scribble it in their notes, to misspell it later still, to teach their children the incorrect spellings, an entire generation reproducing absolute drivel, for when a word is not spelled correctly it might as well be gibberish, but alas my limitations only allow me to correct the spellings myself, to type it out neatly, to check in my phone’s dictionary (yes moments like this even cause me to doubt myself..a little anyway) and reassure myself that atleast my future generations will be safe from making such ignorant errors as in my mind atleast there is no recovering from it.
2.In text messages:
What is with people and texting ‘da’ instead of ‘the’, ‘dere’ instead of ‘their’, ‘dat’ instead of ‘that’, ‘wid’ instead of ‘with’, ‘dix’ instead of ‘this’ etc etc. I just fail to get the idea behind this,what drives a sane person to assert their stupidity in such a manner? Do they feel like its saving them time? Missing a few words and typing like a monkey should never be used as an excuse to save time! Spellings are important people, the way you write is important, it makes all the difference between you and an imbecile . But the best is when,adhering to this annoying form of text lingo, people misspell the words without reducing the number of letters, I mean that just throws the time thing right out the window, what’s your excuse then? For example ‘anyway’ is spelled as ‘aniway’..more commonly ‘aniways’ (because apparently there were more ways going there than just one.) ‘okay’ as ‘okie’ because well that just sounds so much more cuter (in what universe?) ‘how are you’ as ‘howe r yew’ (seriously?) but what absolutely takes the cake is ‘kewl’ for ‘cool’ which in a sentence is commonly interjected as ‘dats so kewl’ , ‘yew luk kewl’ (I look what?honestly I first thought they meant some kind of fish until ofcourse I learnt better. But now I know so its ‘kewl’…not!)
3.While social networking:
Navigating through facebook posts and updates of our generation requires a handbook in itself. Most of the time I give up reading halfway because I just don’t get what they are trying to say. Forget spellings, wave goodbye to grammar and just watch the massacre helplessly while Shakespeare rolls in his grave. I have no idea who proposed this idea of cutting down words, inventing new spellings as a way of sounding ‘kewl’ but all I can try to do is convince people that its far from ‘kewl’, the fish or otherwise. It’s a sacrilege to the English language. It’s preposterous. It’s downright disturbing and it reflects upon us Pakistanis more badly than our alleged terrorist cells though I suppose a terrorist with the status update ‘bIG dAY 2dAy,gOinG To BlOwuP new targeTx,takE KaRE best WISHex fOr me and My brOthERs!’ would be the most damaging reflection to date.
4.Billboards,signs and other public displays:
Need I say more? 😉