We are the generation that has seen it all. We spooled stuck cassettes with pencils, switched to shiny round CDs and then reached new levels of coolness with iPods. We started writing with wooden pencils that needed sharpening every hundred words, switched to the more advanced ‘pen-tils’ or mechanical pencils and now scramble to find a single pen in the house when the rare occasion demands that something be written down. My dad would flip if he saw me writing on the back of receipts or on my bare hands with my lip-liner.
However, we’ve changed with the times, and the times have been merciful to us. No longer do we lose our precious music collection because the tape caught fungus or the dog scratched the CD. Of course, the iPod is treacherous too and even more so—ask me how lethal the combination of butterfingers and water can be to your decades old music collection. Not to mention the shortcuts that make us stupid and lazy. No longer do we listen to the entire tape just to get to our favorite song. And no longer do we bother to spell correctly anymore, because spell-checking software covers up for abysmally bad spellings.
Typos are my biggest pet peeves. If you’re someone who mixes lose with loose, muddles their and they’re and there and bungles to and too, I secretly want to take you back to those dreaded primary school classrooms and make you write their spellings 500 times on the blackboard, a fool’s cap over your head. Dyslexia arising from complacency gets none of my sympathy. If you didn’t learn your spellings and their contexts right, the least you can do is run spell check. Let’s not even go into grammatical errors.
But I’ll still be your friend, because I have my stumbling blocks too, and I hide behind MS word’s brilliant auto-correct too. My tripping points?
– Occasion or occasion or occasion? (See, MS word auto-corrected all of them. How difficult was that?)
– Tomorrow (2ms? 1r?)
– Opportunity (it’s oppo, not oppu)
– Weird (Write 500 times, my frIEnds are not wEIrd)
– Erase (no Z in American English? I didn’t realize that)
Spell-check’s great, but there’s no substitute for knowing your stuff, right? And even that’s not enough sometimes. This friend once told me I’m a schizophrenic when he wanted to compliment me for being a quiet wild-child. Well, he’s French, he’s forgiven—mostly because he at least spelled it right. How about hearing your favorite song playing in the background on your first date and blurting out, “oh, I love U2!” Wish they had a babelfish to contextually auto-correct oral conversations.
Digressions apart, I write a bit and read a lot, and MS Word is my loyal helper. But as we have all discovered to much chagrin one time or the other, do we really trust it? Believe me, a world without MS word would be as much torture to me as a library full of crosswords and no pencils. But just like me, Ms Word is imperfect too. Sometimes she PMSes and complains incessantly (Fragment—consider revising! Comma use! Adjective use!). Sometimes she’s too lenient (grey v/s gray, leant v/s leaned) and you get your spelling culturally wrong, even with the American Dictionary turned on. Sometimes you wonder if she skipped English classes, messing up her its and it’s, who and whom and my most hated you’re and your. I hate it when I can’t get a synonym for idiot, and how crap gets corrected to craps. Wha…? Ms Word, you’re too prim, Siri’s cooler!
The only thing that annoys the craps out of me more is my now drowned iPhone’s auto-correct, which has been much thrashed already.
The bright side? Hey, at least the age of high-speed texting on the Nokia 1100’s is over. Thank you QWERTY for helping me think less harder to interpret my messages.
BFN. CU, U R gr8! ❤ U all!