Yashaswini was a teacher for sometime before becoming a full-time journalist and she has told us that she has encountered several types of students. Many of them use language very inappropriately and sometimes these usages are hilarious. This part of the article shows some examples from her teaching experience. Even I have encountered such individuals, who do not care about how they use words and language. I call them language bombers because they throw bombs made up of words and phrases that do not follow the spelling and grammar rules! I call this act language bombing!
Facebook Media groups are thriving with posts with mistakes in the English language. The journalists and PRs from big media houses particularly belong to this category. Often, the requests are misunderstood and the wrong person comments on the posts. This can cause misunderstanding between parties. A couple of years back, I was asked to reply to some interview questions from a US based website, regarding our start-up – A Journalist Reveals. The girl asking questions through a Google form was an Indian. I had written replies in a different way and the sub-editor had edited the same according to her understanding of the English language. My plurals were changed to possessives! I had to explain the difference between the 2 categories of words and get the same edited. What would you tell these neo-PRs and journalists, who do not have the right language background?
Now, I want to devote part of my article to a few things, Yashaswini told me about her experience with students. The current generation of students and the previous ones invariably says the word perhaps in Hindi as Shayad se. Yashaswini, once, asked a Hindi teacher in front of a student, who had just uttered this phrase, about his utterance. The teacher brushed it off that this is what the kids say. I don’t understand one thing. As a teacher, isn’t it her duty to tell the student that what he was saying was wrong? She never bothered to correct the student. If that is so, what is the point in her being a teacher?
One of Yashaswini’s student regularly said because in Hindi as Kyon ke liye. This kid was corrected by my friend umpteen times that he should say – Kyonke… isiliye. But, he continued to say the words same way. When children pick up language mistakes at the student-stage, it often continues to the adult professional stage.
One senior professor in a junior college where Yashaswini was working was taking stock of the absentees and calling their parents for clarification of their absence. Several students had decided to take a drop. So, the professor marked them left out in the attendance register, expressing the fact loudly. Yashaswini was sitting near this lady and tried to explain that left out would be the students, who are still coming to the college. The right expression for the students would be a simple left. The professor probably had a seniority complex and did not bother to listen to my friend. Yashaswini decided that there is no point in explaining to a person like this and fell silent.
What is the point in learning a language in school or college and not use it properly? Why do the teachers not take it upon themselves to make sure the children have the right grounding in language? Language is the basic unit of communication. What kind of generation are we nurturing, if we do not correct their language mistakes? When professionals in the teaching profession themselves do not bother to correct themselves, what kind of professionals will they be creating to face the world? If the mistakes are not nipped in the bud, there can be several repercussions that we may have to face. If language is used out-of-context, the meaning of the words and phrases change and it can cause untold damage.