About my Blog

Growing up in a home away from home, in a multicultural environment, you can't help but feel your thoughts and reflections wont speak for the majority. Somehow, this majority seems to share the same thoughts, especially in this place I call home, the United Arab Emirates. When this is all over, I ask "what's next?"

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Hallo Ich bin ein Grammar Nazi!

 Looking randomly for something to mindlessly read while I have my coffee, I came across "spelling" contests. It makes me wonder, how come we never had this in school? I mean surely enough I always loathed dictation, in Arabic, English AND French. But now I think we hardly spelled enough, call me a sadist but I will make sure my kids will get plenty of dictation contests....

I mean did anybody else notice how the only reason the proper usage (not necessarily proper spelling) of English is on the rise solely because of mbc4, mbc2 and the likes? They are re-learning English from movies...
Our new source for "Anglish", double negation, and other linguistic impediments.
 And let's be honest, are they only watching movies that promote proper English? I guess Oprah (which long over back in the US but we're still re-running it...) is the closest they ever are getting to proper spoken English.
This mess of a learning process is quite a bad idea when combined with literal translation from Arabic.
 Allow me to demonstrate:
"Open the light", "Are you angry from me?". Well maybe this was the old problem  non-english English speakers had (not necessarily aware of having them...), now it's been replace with "I kno im gud thx y r u nt cumming over no more? I dowanna u t b angry on me" or something equally frustrating that sets my Grammar Nazi radar through the roof. I am not and-never-was perfect at spelling but I was sure as heck very attentive to the mistakes I make.

You know what else gets to me? when you type in txt lingo while using a normal keyboard through a website that perfectly allows you to send messages that are "infinity characters"* long! Am I the only young adult who still uses coherent sentences in mobile messages?! Or is it just my tolerance to bad spelling is rapidly decreasing?... "Hi H R U?" is enough to drive me up the wall, I don't care how nice this person is, how much trouble he went through his life, how much he had to strive through his\her "Edjukayshun". Spelling, like hygiene, is not exclusive to a certain class or financial situation. 

We don't pay enough attention to our kids, and now they are becoming what kids in the west probably were 10 years ago. While the west is combating their decades-old mistake we are rushing to pick up their trash and filter through it for some recyclable stuff that we can poison our kids and young adults with.

Talking in broken multilingual fragments to your kids is definitely gonna teach them the language...NOT!  NO! IT WON'T WORK! Teach them PHRASES...Grammatically CORRECT phrases! Kids will pick up the right usage, even if they don't get how the grammar works, they will still be able to distinguish the flaws phonetically! And eventually (provided you've shown enough devotion and didn't rely solely on school) They will THINK in that language.

And maybe years later, they will be able to write actual correspondences, resumes, motivation letters without relying on spell check! And most importantly they might ..just might  integrate proper spelling and grammar into their daily lives! 

Now that I put my two cents...or two fils.. or balsa.. or any other copper-plated coined currency of your choice...Back to our regular schedule.

Happy spelling!

*by "infinity characters" I mean Enough to write one long fully-spelled coherent sentence. 


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