In the middle of processing fresh food into cooked food for yummy supper later, a memory sprung up at me with surprising emotional intensity. I don’t remember in which grade, somewhere between second and sixth, a boy with amazing acuity for reason (at that age) stood up to answer the teacher’s question with another sort of question that made a lot of sense and instantly gripped the awareness of every student in the room. He was not being at all flippant or argumentative. I could see the puzzlement on his face as he worked through finishing his thought, and as I was about to click along with him in my own mind, the teacher interrupted with “Yebbut.”
Teacher makes a statement.
Intelligent student begins a sentence with “Yeah, but…”
Teacher cuts student off with public mockery over something extremely trivial, and a thought provoking social growth empowering IDEA was slain, and the boy sat down.
For some reason that memory sent a very pissy surge of grrrr right through me today.
I see people fuss about grammar and spelling and punctuation on twitter. Proper tenses. Rips on misspelled possessive pronouns.
Meanwhile, on facebook, I see people pass around astounding mind games, showing us that we can still understand complex communication even if everything in it is spelled wrong and written backwards or mixed up.
I’m one of those people who enjoy language rules. Written communication rules come easily for me, like certain kinds of math might come easily for others. I’m also a big fan of human social history and brain development. The ‘there, their, they’re” conundrum is probably the fastest sociopsychological Freudian trap you can toss out onto the webs. Watching idiots mocking idiots in retweet frenzies is like a cat and mouse game. This in a world where everything is politically incorrect except mocking the ‘lesser brained’, who might actually have better ideas and much better manners, but might also have dyslexia. Or stupid tech. Does it ever occur to anyone that jumping on someone’s spelling with mockery makes an astounding show of one’s own assery? And that maybe sometimes assery is baited?
I pride myself on being able to read just about anything phonetically, even when the letter ordering is dyslexic and even upside down and backwards. I married a dyslexic, and although it’s still fun to mock, I’ve been noticing for several years that when he does finally write something, it has ever so much more personal meaning than all the more correct writing I do. This is especially true when writing condolences. I can’t help nervously sporting perfectly spelled but egregiously inept limericks while he cobbles out sweet kindness in one or two awkward sentences.
I like spelling errors. They make us unique. I like that people say ambliance and spell depoist and trip all over themselves, but then, if you take the time to pay a little attention, you find out there are some deep and wonderful thoughts lurking around behind those mishaps.
“Yebbut.” It took me a few decades, but it just hit me how much I hated my teacher that day, thanks again to another reminder on twitter how assery works. I wonder how the boy is doing now, all grown up, and whether that teacher impacted him developing his potential. So many intelligent people walking this earth- too many are quick to kick heads with “there, their, they’re” mocking. Who cares? Y’all be a buncha monkeys flinging virtual crap.
Meanwhile, lolspeak takes over the world, against all probability.