Home > Life Series - Lessons Learned > Lesson # 26: From Spelling

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…

(kawawa naman si Beth…)

or this…

(how discriminating! oo na maitim na ako! haha)

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!

  1. March 9, 2011 at 3:55 pm

    ang napulot ko sa post na ito: grade three ka pa lang, mahilig ka nang mang-chicks. “beautiful” talaga eh hahaha

    • March 9, 2011 at 4:02 pm

      basahin mo yung isang blog entry ko.. “letter to my first crush”. PRE-SCHOOL PA LANG, mina. HAHAHAHA!

  2. March 9, 2011 at 3:58 pm

    mali, grade 4 pala, haha, sorry!

    but what can you say about those who can’t spell/type/write tagalog words correctly? yung tipong, “ano ka ba” nagiging “anukaba”, “lalaki” becomes “lalake”, “Diyos ko po” becomes “jusko po” — and not because they’re joking, but because that’s really how they spell?

    • March 9, 2011 at 4:05 pm

      much as I’d like to spank them for their lack of knowledge, I’d rather send them back to Filipino class. Pero bakit ganun, culturally those who live in a certain country have poor grammar in their own language? (like americans who come here have lousy grammar) Is because they are afforded the luxury to be more creative in with their own language? Baka ganun din sa Pilipinas? haha!

      By the way, my sister, when she got confined in the hospital when she was young, kept yelling “ANO BA KA!” to the nurse. But then she was a kid. hahaha!

  3. March 10, 2011 at 7:09 pm

    for a while, i was operating on this sad idea that I’ve been born into a country which culturally tolerates – heck, even encourages to some extent – mediocrity. This precludes the possibility of any Fil ever being known for something other than boxing, envelopes or offshore services (on all levels!) mi-ultimong basic rights nga ng mga tao, kailangan pa ng lawyer para malaman e. how screwed up is that, right? it made me want to pack up and pretend to be a Japanese kid in some country where anonymity is a way of life. you do your own thing and nobody pulls you down cos they couldnt be bothered.

    on the other hand, there is some semblance of objective awareness that comes out of this whole sad idea. i think our generation is slowly coming out of our parents’ backpockets, which could possibly lead to a more aggressive stance against mediocrity. my boyfriend has pointed out that it is a large-scale socio-political and cultural problem – and taht’s true, cos if we sit down and make a map out of this whole “mess”, we’ll find that it’s just really a big farcical cycle – but the optimist in me believes that nothing is ever too big for people to solve. we do our own part, bear our own share, and hope that our acts will cause ripples of change.:)

  4. Cherryl Si
    March 15, 2011 at 2:54 am

    Nagsspelling bee din ako nung elementary boss! Natawa ako sa dager. 😛

    • March 15, 2011 at 3:37 am

      Ang tanga nung mistake noh? hahaha! Dager. 😐

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