Spelling it out

Oh the irony...

Oh the irony!

As a little American girl growing up in a foreign country, my parents were practically neurotic about teaching me the language that they had grown up with: English. Now I never had any issues speaking English, I have a bona fide American accent, but spelling and grammar were more difficult, because I was learning two languages at the same time. See French and English are two very different languages with different sets of rules, yet some words, such as marriage (in French; mariage) are annoyingly similar.

So I was brought up in the cult of good spelling, and I suppose reading a lot of Calvin and Hobbes helped somewhat (you’d be surprised what a six year old and his stuffed tiger can teach you about life). Everything was going perfectly according to my parents quiet scheme until 6th grade. With 6th grade came great responsibility. Sort of. In the form of a giant Nokia brick that I loved with all my might. All it could do was call, text and let me play snake, but it was enough for me. I discovered the wonderful world/time sink that is technology.

I started texting with my friends in an abbrieviated language form. “Ne t’inquiΓ¨te pas” (don’t stress your pumpkin juice don’t worry) became “tkt”. In English, “see you at four” was transformed into “c u @ 4″. At first, I freakin’ loved it. I felt cool and hip. My very smart parents, seeing what was happening, yelled at/alerted me that my french spelling grades were slipping fast and threatened to cut off my cookie supply if I didn’t fix things. This being, of course, unacceptable, I started writing the full words in my text messages. Some people thought is was lame, but looking back, I couldn’t be happier that I started writing correctly again, because seeing how some of our world is spelling today, I’m rather scared for generations to come.

I’m not saying that I’m perfect, on the contrary, I make mistakes like everybody else, but seeing my baby (um… 14 year old) brother asking a girl out by proposing ‘wana go sea a movi?” on Facebook makes me sad, worried and angry all at the same time.

Am I taking this too far and over-dramatizing the situation?

Dear readers, thank you for listening to my rant. It means a lot. In other news, I got A* on my IGCSE (international GCSE) so I’m really proud right now! Next year, SAT. Ugh.

Live long and prosper \V/

Yours sincerely,

The Mostly Confused Teenager.


24 thoughts on “Spelling it out

  1. Hey there,
    Great post and great thoughts! I catch myself accepting spelling mistakes for comfort sometimes and I recognized that if I read too little, my spelling gets worse. One of my lecturerers is very much concerned about this issue and thinking about and working on technological support. You might want to check it out: http://berkling.wix.com/goethelino#!products/c1z1f
    Have a great day & keep up your spelling skills πŸ™‚
    P.S.: Thank you very much for liking my latest blog entry (http://gammagamification.wordpress.com/2013/08/13/my-answers-to-the-key-questions-for-transforming-work-into-a-meaningful-activity-that-makes-you-happy/). Have you already tried to answer these key questions for yourself? πŸ™‚

  2. Haha, this was fun to read! πŸ™‚
    As to your question at the end, here is my probably-wrong answer:
    I’m not sure how important spelling will be going forward, as technology develops to auto correct everything, including those annoying words like to/two/too, etc, but maybe I’m just saying that because I’m an atrocious speller and want to feel better about myself. So, maybe you are over-dramatizing it, but being a good speller is DEFINITELY better than the alternative. πŸ˜₯

    • I don’t think it’s a wrong answer, I actually hadn’t thought about auto correct! And as far as I can see, your spelling isn’t atrocious at all! I’m like talking about the reeeally bad cases where every word has an error, cause otherwise everybody makes mistakes, we’re only human πŸ˜‰

  3. I didn’t know you were from america too?! Pleaaaase tell me you’ve read ‘Anna and the French Kiss’? You are literally living that book girl! Oh and I have a similar story, but instead of spelling (although i did that too) it was touch typing. When we got laptop computers in 5th grade (part of a government program), they were installed with a program called ‘Mavis Beacon’ which was supposed to teach us how to type properly and without looking at the keyboard. My friends all thought it was super lame, but I don’t get to sleep until quite late (even back then), so I would be up until 12am playing the dumb typing game. I don’t regret it now though, because all my friends suck at typing and I’ve memorised the keyboard, so I can have conversations in class and do my homework at the same time πŸ™‚

    • Maybe I should write a post about where I come from! I read ‘Anna and the French Kiss’ earlier this year and I loooooooved it, even though I’m not living the romantic affair with St Clair, I’d sure like to πŸ˜‰ The program was actually called ‘Mavis Beacon’? That’s a great name ><' I don't go to bed until late either, I like the night (that's not weird right?) And being able to talk and work at the same time, now that is the best.

      • You definitely should! It could even be a thing, so that people can get to know each other. It sounds super lame, but things are pretty boring where I live, as it’s kind of where people come for holidays in the summer time. I’m glad you loved it! It is one of my favourite books of all time! Hahaha, you just need to go out there and find him, I’m sure he’s lurking somewhere. I find it hard to believe there is no English/American/French attractive male at your exotic-sounding school! Yes, it was literally called ‘Mavis Beacon’, now that I think about it, no wonder everyone thought it was so lame! Nope, i like the night too. As much as I vow to go to sleep by 11pm, it just never happens.

  4. Gosh, we seem to have so much in common LOL..I have the spelling bug too! Spelling competitions made me all excited in primary school :)) The trophies were just an added bonus, i guess. But now I’m in high school so yeah :L no more spelling competitions; my dad was happy though because he “didn’t have to buy another trophy cabinet” hehe :’)
    I’m so “jelly” (short for jealous haha :P) of your multilingual skills…I wish I could master languages as well as you seem to have but I guess it’s kinda because my parents prefer to speak English over their first language, Vietnamese (that’s a little weird, don’t you think?! But they say it’s to get me and my little bro more comfortable with English so all good hehe)..and, as much as I hate to admit it, I’m not that diligent in language studies >.<" I came first in it last year so I'm getting a bit TOO comfortable and relaxed in French..to the point where i find myself trying to cram a unit of French "vocabulaire" and "grammaire" the night before the exam– despite what my teacher says about cramming D:
    Wow, it's great to hear that you're achieving such great results in your exams and everything! In Aus, our big exam is the HSC (Higher School Certificate), but thankfully, I've still got 3 years till then! Keep up the great work (Y)
    Lol I don't really have the time to blog these days, but I still like coming across your blog and reading all your posts- and I feel really connected to them! (That borders on..slightly creepy D; ) Been submarining into exam prep, and I've been trying to sleep early (before I used to sleep after midnight D:.<"
    It's nice to unwind with your posts lol πŸ˜€
    Bonne nuit de Australie! (πŸ˜€ Okay it’s dawning on me that it would be way awkward if you weren’t a Star Trek fan because I’ve kinda rambled on about it ><" #TeamSpock

    • Wow you got trophies and everything?! Now I’m the one who’s “jelly” πŸ˜‰ In France although everyone is extremely competitive it’s mostly in the classroom, I mean we don’t have any things like spelling bees here ^^ so trophies are kind of out of the question ><' but congrats on your accomplishments!!
      You're Vietnamese? That's so cool! Do you speak any even if your parents prefer English (it's weird, but I see their point) Aaaaah cramming, we have something else in common! Unfortunately for us πŸ˜‰ well if you ever need any help in French, je suis lΓ  x)
      Yeah I was really happy about my results, especially because I've never actually been in a bilingual school before in my life.. And since the EABJM considers itself to be an international school, it assumes that we must take all the tests necessary to get into college in any country — hence taking the IGCSE this year, the SAT next year and the French BAC in 2 years. It's overworking the population in my opinion :p
      I'm really glad that you like what I post, it gives me such a warm fuzzy feeling inside to know that you're all out there reading my blog (bordering on slightly creepy as well there too x)) Good luck with your exams!
      #TeamSpock all the way πŸ˜€

  5. I think my previous comment got cut off whhhaaaaa- o.O Oh well…
    Well, we all have our own little habits haha, and it’s fine if you insist on perfect spelling lol..my English teacher is always insisting that we get off our laptops and try to write an essay without the assistance of spellcheck xD
    Speaking of Nokia bricks, my parents confiscated my iPhone and gave me an old nokia brick yesterday TT_TT I can’t play Candy Crush anymore πŸ˜₯ welp. Oh well. Snake and that card memory game will have to make do :3

    • Spell check is awesome x) In French class our 80 year old french teacher doesn’t allow us to hand in typed papers so what I do is write mine on the computer first and then copy it out by hand. It’s backwards to go forwards but at least she won’t be on my back bitching about the difference in between ‘language’ (English spelling) and ‘langage’ (French spelling)!
      Ouch the transition from the iPhone to the Nokia might be a bit difficult.. I mean I started out with Nokia and worked my way up, not the other way around :3 I’m mentally supporting you!
      PS: Snake is still awesome :p

  6. I completely agree with everything you’re saying and I find the people who still type like weirdos, VERY annoying. Apart from all of that, I really need to know how you managed to get an A* in English, congratualtions. πŸ˜€
    PS : Snake is what kept me entertained for ages! πŸ™‚

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