Do you remember doing dictation when you were little? Yes, the one where the teacher read out a word and you wrote it down and points were awarded for spelling it correctly. Where ‘Practice’ and ‘Practise’ and ‘diary’ and ‘diary’ could be your undoing!
Not so long ago, when I came across a difficult word, I read it a couple of times, trying to memorise it in the hope that I could use it again and spell it correctly. I do not do that anymore.
Why not? Well, for one, just like the Microsoft Word document I am typing this in, everything comes with a built-in dictionary. I can even type gibberish and Word will helpfully offer a meaningful word or a sentence. I no longer have to remember how connoisseur is spelt. I no longer try to remember anything, as a matter of fact. For I think that I will always have Google by my side!
It sounds surprisingly like a good thing, that it is indeed making our lives easier, but that is just a façade. The fact that we are depending lesser on our brains and more on the devices around us can only spell doom. I wonder what everyone would do if there was a humungous power outage that lasted days and all we could do was read regular books and use a pen and paper. That unlikely possibility aside, I just do not like the idea of needing a word processer/ T9 dictionary to express myself in writing.
Think Twitter – expressing yourself in 140 characters or less. We, as people, want to convey as much as we can and 140 characters are, well, rather less! This makes us use all kind of abbreviations, often making people ask in the comments, “Did you mean ‘ate’ when you wrote 8?” It sounds hilarious, but it is just a little scary.
Remember orkut and now Facebook? Commenting on photos and liking status messages leaves us short of time, making us want to keep our sentences as short as possible. With the advent of smart phones and them being used for social networking, “wat is dis?” is not an uncommon sentence to be seen. The smooth touch keyboards make us less likely to type too!
Sms-ese (The language of SMSes. Inspired from the word Chinese/Japanese) has attracted enough hate mail. But it continues to be ironically funny. HRU? TTYL. BRB. GR8. Though I belong to the SMS generation, it still irks me no end to decipher these cryptic sentences. Webster must definitely be turning in his grave.
Also, depending on auto-correct could lead to quite a few mix-ups.
That one did go well, but Google some autocorrect mix-ups. (They are too politically incorrect to be here, but they are hilarious!)
Maybe the next time you read a difficult word, you will pause and murmur the word to yourself a couple of times?
By – Jayashree Bhat
Image Courtesy: http://www.9gag.com
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