Useless Skills Part 3: Ability to Spell, English
Now that the Barcamp Kerala has come and gone, I can resume my Useless Skills series. Let us start a skill I truly detest – the ability to spell correctly. I honestly see no benefit to memorize countless alphabet orderings. Even if I am the best speller in the world, the simplest spell checker can still beat me. And it would be embarrassingly easy for them. If they really have to strain – you know, smoke coming from the monitor and all, I could live with it. But no – to a spell checker, finding the correct spelling is going through a text file – one of the simplest thing a computer can do.
I will never say that I am a bad speller – I would say that I am a Creative speller. If I use the same word three times in a sentence, I usually end up using a different spelling for each instance. That’s creativity! Its a Good ThingTM.
Since I mostly write in English, I reserve a special hate for that language’s spelling. But don’t underestimate me – my spelling mistakes are not restricted to just one language – I have made countless spelling errors in English, Malayalam and Hindi. My spelling error skills are multi-lingual. But I digress – back to the topic at hand – English spellings.
In English, what you write and how that is pronounced has little or no relation. In fact, they had to invent another language just to make sure words are pronounced correctly. Don’t believe me? Here is some simple proof…
Example 1: Read – It can be spoken as reed(present tense of read) – and as red(past tense). Exact same spelling – two different way of saying the word.
Example 2: Buy, Bye, by – Exact same pronunciations – so you would expect the spellings to be same too, right? Noooo! They had to invent different spellings. And it in by no means restricted to these three words. I choose them to make fun of NSync – they had an song called Bye, Bye, Bye. Or was it Buy, Buy, Buy? From the marketing point of view, the latter one makes more sense.
Weight – were was eye? S – same pronunciations – butt different spellings. The last too ore three sentences wood make it abundantly clear that this phenomenon is note restricted two bi, bie, bai. This not only make it hard for humans – it makes the job hard for the spell checkers as well. Don’t believe me? Here is a poem for your non-believers…
Eye halve a spelling checker, It came with my pea sea, It plainly marques four my revue Miss steaks eye kin knot sea. Eye strike a key and type a word And weight four it two say Weather eye am wrong oar write It shows me strait a weigh. As soon as a mist ache is maid It nose bee fore two long And eye can put the error rite Its rarely ever wrong. Eye have run this poem threw it I'm shore your pleased two no Its letter perfect in it's weigh, My checker tolled me sew.
End of Part 1
I am better – but still a bit angry. I’ll have to end the I Cannot Spell, Part 1: English here. Wait for the next part, I Cannot Spell, Part 2: The Other Languages. Did you think this was the end? No – this is just the beginning – my hate for spelling cannot be contained in just one post.