Lesson # 26: From Spelling
Once upon a time, I joined a spelling contest. That was in 4th grade. First, we had the classroom eliminations where we were asked to compete against each other in a spelling contest and whoever wins gets to represent the class for the competition. I got in. Then I had to compete against the representatives of each of the other 9 sections in 4th grade. We spent a whole afternoon inside the library for the competition.
All ten of us had to spell 20 words and the top 5 will advance. I got all 20 correct.
Then there were 5. After more than an hour and over 20 more words spelled, the other participants got eliminated.
To cut the short story shorter, I won THIRD. (supot!)
The word I got wrong? “DAGGER”
How did I spell it? “D-A-G-E-R” (Oo nga, bobo na! Hahaha!)
And to think that the winning word was B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L which I could have spelled easily.
I went home, told my parents and grandparents about getting third place. They cheered. I cried.
I told myself that I would never take spelling and grammar for granted ever.
That’s why it pisses me off when I see this…
I mean I understand that not everybody gets a good education thus the disparity in spelling skills, but don’t these people need to be saved from the humiliation by being corrected and taught properly? Or do the cultural attitudes of bahala-na-sila-di-ko-na-problema-yan or ayoko-makialam-nakakahiya prevail once again?
Can it be a lack of common sense? (Pwede. Pero hindi yun yung main reason. I mean madali lang naman distinguish kung ano ang BEER sa BEAR eh. Unless lasing ka or high.)
Can it be a lack of education? (hmmmm… From this picture alone, I don’t think it really is. Hehe. ) and I know of Ateneans, Lasallians and even UP students who commit BASIC spelling mistakes (without the help of MS WORD Spellcheck) and have problems with basic subject-verb agreement.
I personally think that while common sense and education play roles in the way we say and spell things, the bigger thing here is the way we think that we can “settle” with what we’ve learned and what we were taught.
Na okay lang magkamali kasi “hindi naman ito tinuro sa akin”.
Okay lang magkamali kasi “wala naman akong pinag-aralan”.
Na okay lang na mali ang spelling ng sign ko kasi mahal ang pagpapagawa ko dyan at wala na akong pera. (all the more reason to have it changed, don’t you think?)
We settle for what is convenient and we settle for what we believe is given to us.
How hard is it to pick up a book or even search the net for the right grammar or spelling? Kung nagagawa mo mag post ng facebook status, sure ako kaya mo pumunta sa google to search for a word and to learn something new. Kung kaya mo magbasa ng text, sure ako kaya mo magbasa ng libro.
How hard is it to ask for a second opinion? or a third? or a fourth? Someone’s bound to spot your mistake. Libre lang magtanong. Sabi nga ng boss ko, “wag mo na tipirin mga tanong mo, kasi hindi mo naman nadedeposit yan sa bangko.” Tama diba?
Lesson 26.1: Avoid settling for mediocrity. If you know that you can do better or you deserve better (applies to all things), then by all means go for it.
Lesson 26.2: If in doubt, consult. Often times, our pride and/or fear gets in the way of our asking questions. Hindi masama magtanong. Mabuti na magtanong at malaman mo ang tamang sagot kesa hindi magtanong at makita ng buong mundo na mali ka.
Lesson 26.3: Don’t you ever take spelling and grammar for granted. It goes a long way. Those english classes? They are worth every peso of your tuition fee.
And that spelling contest? It taught me more than just how to spell D-A-G-G-E-R.
Look at these kids of today, they seem like they memorized the whole dictionary in all languages possible. WTH!
P.S. The winning word in the national spelling bee in Kentucky in 1997 (the same year I won 3rd in LSGH) was EUONYM. (fairly easy, yes?)
P.S.S. The winning word for 2006 was URSPRACHE, 2007 was SERREFINE, 2008 was GUERDON, 2009 was LAODICEAN and 2010 was STROMUHR.
HAHAHA. Sure ako mali ako sa mga words na yan!