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Waste out of Best!

When I was in the 10th std., my English teacher marked one of my answers wrong when I used the pronoun He with a capital ‘H’ for God. I knew that it was her mistake but did not say anything since I was in awe of her and was too frightened to point it out to her.
Today, most people use English with mistakes, which are apparent in the many Facebook posts that are seen, including PRs and journalists of all the people! A case in sight is the possessive form of PR – PR’s instead of PRs, when they intend the people but not anything pertaining to these professionals. Language keeps changing yes. But using the wrong form should not become the norm because the use of the language in the context becomes confusing. A perfectionist friend of mine lost her job in a leading print media agency recently. Her mistake? Her editing work was not up to the mark. While the same newspaper dishes out news pieces with umpteen spelling and grammatical mistakes, even today. This girl was given 2 options – either she should be ready to go to a lower post or quit the job. Needless to say she called it quits.
My grandfather would say. “If you want to improve your language, read a newspaper aloud every day.” In those days, the newspapers were so immaculate. Today, students do not know where to look for good English extra reading.
Another example I would like to cite is that of Our Lady of Intolerence’s son (my Christian friends I apologize for this sarcasm). 4 years back when we were in talking terms and we had just shifted to this area, the female had come with her son one day to our house to talk (read gossip) with us. The son told me that another female living in an upper floor of our building had a daughter who would do different stuff during the night; in short and I quote “Waste out of Best”. For this mother and son, the girl making craft during the night was better than my working as a journalist during the day, implying that I should baby-sit this female’s children during the day free-of-cost and make craft objects during the night sacrificing my hard-earned rest!
Coming back to the moot point of this article. The brilliant “Waste out of Best” son of that b**** passed with 82% of marks in his SSC exams, which were held in March 2014. How he got that many marks is anybody’s guess.
The problem lies in the fact that teachers do not publicize their paper correction criteria. My friend Yashaswini and I had a lengthy discussoin regarding this. She has worked as a teacher and she said out of her experience that today there is a technique that teachers use to correct papers where they decide if a given mistake is a human error, according to the number of mistakes on each page. Human errors are not considered as a mistake you see.
When teachers ignore mistakes as human errors, the students start thinking that they have written the right thing and continue making the same mistakes during their professional lives as well. This is of importance when it comes to vital professions like medicine. Spelling and grammatical mistakes can land people in trouble particularly when these are made by doctors and nurses.
After ruminating over the problem, we both came to a conclusion that the education board should take steps to inform the students and parents regarding the correction method, which we have put forward through this medium. The rest is up to them.


About Gayatri T Rao

A double post-graduate (MSc. - Botany and MA - English Literature) Gayatri T Rao is a Senior Multimedia Journalist with vast experience in writing on varied topics.

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