Friday, April 14, 2006

Speling misstakes

Q. requiem or requeim? receive or recieve?

A. i before e excpet after c'
-- the best thing we learnt in our Chemistry-101 course

Point out a few spelling mistakes and you're considered snooty. Laugh and make fun and you run the risk of being ostracized and then guillitoned perhaps. I'm no trail blazer when it comes to spelling; heck I never even made the team for the inter class spelling contests which asked you to spell 'psychology' or 'xenophobia' at best.

I've seen people pointing out mistakes in notices and banners outside shops, placards and what nots. Just the other day I saw someone sniggering at our laundry room notice which said 'loundry'. Immediately I thought that it's not right to expect some washer dude to be a lexicographer. Then I recalled that it was me who had burst out laughing at a Durga Puja mela merry-go-round banner which said 'Ticket Kawnter'. Dammit, I'm still sniggering -- bloody hypocrite that I am. One thing I wondered is that if they can come up with such innovative alternative for 'Counter' then why not get it right. Well.

A month back it was me who pointed out that the Techfest-06 table calendars had 'Calender' written on the first page. It's a word, but I'm not sure that's what they meant. That's unforgivable though. Just 3 days ago on our work visit to Ispat steel plant someone pointed out that the huge hoarding in fornt of their main gate spelt 'Mision' or some other blunder like that. Again that's a sin. But a semi town curio shop 'wellcoming' you or the overcrowded bus labelling seats as 'ledies' or 'ladise' is forgivable and ignorable I guess. Smile and forget.

I like my mistakes being pointed out, that's how I've learnt half of my spellings and going by history that's how I'll learn many more. I spelt my department name as 'Metallurgicall' in some certificate and that was embarrassing (not 'embarassing' as I've seen many, many good people spell it!) I termed my performances as 'absymal' which was rather abysmal and the best one was my spelling of pilgrimage which went something like 'piligrimmage'. Unholy.

All this takes me back to my 4th std. where the English teacher asked us to spell career and everybody was raising their hands and saying things like 'carrier', 'carier' and stuff. I wondered why the teacher hadn't noticed my vigourously waving hand. Finally she looked at me and said, 'I know you know the right answer Nikhil, I'll just write it down for everybody now'. Boy, such confidence! Of course I was going to spell it incorrectly. Which shows another fact that I'm not even half as good as people think I am, but things like this stop that from coming out.

So, I don't laugh when people 'loose' their things or think they are 'privilaged' to be here as they are 'geniouses'. No. I just politely point out and take two steps back. Then probably walk away.

But, if they say 'Thatz ma style.....Gotta liv wid it dood......Dat's me frndz bcos I luv 2b kewl!!' Well then I don't walk away, I run. All the while wishing I had wings.

Added later: This just gets better. I just recalled that we had lost some city school quiz final to then reigning BQC champs Sacred Heart Convent because I spelt assassination as 'assasination' ; a huge upset win it would have been. Now what kind of quiz asks spellings, well I did mention BQC in the same line didn't I?


kaushal said...

First of all, according to a study (there is always a "study" :D), humans can interpret the correct spelling for most words only if the first and last alphabets are in their correct positions
e.g. - dnokey, elpehant, prfoessor, etc.

Though I highly doubt the people who make mistakes can claim to have known this. Anyways i was very embarrassed to know that the former is the correct spelling of embarassed ;), although that doesn't put me into the "good people" grp u were mentioning.

Anyways, the dhaba nearby has shocking spellings -- aumlet, colding, megi, etc. to name a few.

But the most interesting one I have encountered is a seat in a bus saying "Physically handicraft" =))

SD said...


Yes people spell rather badly. And I lead the list! But that's mainly because I never read complete words - just the first few letters and the last few. So in effect, I don't know which letters go where in any given word!

But what's really unforgivable is grammar. "Come and buy CD's here!". That's a laugh! And the best of all are the newspapers. Some have their own laws of grammar. Some refuse to use hyphens. They once wrote "extra marital affairs" when they meant "extra-marital affairs" which is indeed a completely different bunch of coconuts!

(Hope there aren't too many spelling errors in there!)

Sunil Kundal said...

abe seriously .. that 'ie' and 'ei' wala funda .. that is a grt thing for me .. didn't know this funda .. but i'm glad i had worked out my own system in this regard .. though it could not cover all such words .. well mine goes something like this :
'ei' comes only where u can make words out of them like .. how shud i say .. well here's the example .. like u can make 'reception' outta 'receive', 'perception' outta 'perceive', but no such words possible with relieve, believe, etc .. oh god, that's dumb actually :p :p

and yeah, just as SD said, lot of people make grammatical mistakes, which is simply unforgivable .. even these english newspaper wale .. they too make a lotta horrible mistakes ..

and "physically handicraft" !! =)) =))

geetika said...

Nice:)'s just that the 'ei', 'ie' thingie is not a universal, a classic peevsy case in point being weird, most places I see it, they spell it the way they say it, which would be wrong of course, and what's more, without the c too.
Misspelt food items at dhabas, as you very correctly say, are just to be had fun with, but what do you do when a somewhat decent-ish place wants you to enjoy your lasange?

Nikhil said...

[kaushal] Yeah the 'studies', pretty soon you'll see a study on studies, here itself of course. Some mail fwds are good enough to point out these 'dnokey' things aren't they, was amused when I saw it. Et tu 'embarassed' well you're added in the list too then :D

About the spellings, 'aumlet' sounds like some LOTR accessory :)) 'megi' is the way Rajasthanis say Maggi and 'colding'.. :)) And I'm not making fun of physically handicraft, it's a bad thing to do :|

[SD] Grammar is painful, much more painful than spellings. But what can we do, we are like that only :P

[kundal] Geetika made my job easier, so don't bank on this rule, although it works in most common circumstances :)

[geetika] You know I was yelling things like that when this thumbrule was given in class, someone always has to play the spoilsport :D
I'll have to try this 'lasange' in the meanwhile.

Nidhi said...

Lolz at all the spellings on display ...have seen a fair share of angreezi on the auto rickshaws and 'Ldyeis seat' on DTC buses...

Its funny but your assassination reminded me of some filmi dialogue about ....ass ke upar ass ke upar 'I' ke upar nation.. :))

I remember 'Madagascar' was taught to me in an inovative way.. Mad+A gas car !!

I still spell vaccuum wrong the excitement of knowing that i know the spelling !! :P

Nikhil said...

Madagascar,ah! Take a look at how its capital is spelt. Still get tongue tied when I try and say it :)

Anonymous said...

the career fiasco was in 5th grade my frnd....

Anonymous said...

Well, it all depends on how comfartable you are.



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