What’s on my mind today?…(again, a lot of things) but, what I’m going to write about is editing….which will lead into grammar and punctuation 🙂

My father (who is actually a great mind as opposed to his younger daughter) is a man who yearns to know. He loves studying and school and all that jazz that fills me with dread and loathing. SO…at the age of 50, my father is off getting his 2nd Ph.D. (who does that?) and I, his beloved child who so enjoys reading and writing am often cast as his editor. I don’t mind. His research is based on diabetes in Nepal (or “sugar” as it is commonly dubbed here) and the medical as well as social implications of having a chronic disorder in Nepali society….pretty cool right?

So here I am, staying up late editing papers, e-mailing back and forth, checking for grammatical errors and substituting one word for the one I know he’s trying to get to and at some point I realized it was 3:30 AM, I’m squinting at my computer and it dawned on me I’m not in school, my DAD is, so I went to bed…but woke up and am here editing again. (Well, I’ll go back to it intermittently while writing this blog). It made/makes me feel like I’m back in my college days bs-ing papers and it reminded me of when I had to edit papers for freshmen…..

The difference between editing my dad’s thesis proposal and the papers of newbies fresh in college…in a word: intelligence. My dad studied in a government school in rural Nepal which means he received a pitiful education, he’s a self made man and English is his 2nd language (possibly 3rd..not sure how excellent his Hindi is). Point being – he’s writing a Ph.D thesis in a language that is not his own and I have yet to come across the incorrect usage of “your” and  “you’re”, “there” “they’re” and “their”. I find myself having to backspace “in” and type in “of” and sometimes his sentences start off wrong…but, they are errors that don’t translate correctly across Nepali and English.

The freshmen papers I had to look over were….painful to say the least. There I was, at a private and somewhat prestigious school that does well for itself (considering it’s size) and I once had a hand written paper turned in. You didn’t respond? Let me expand… a handwritten paper, with barely legible penmanship …in… COLLEGE…. in…2009… in America….if you’re not shocked and offended by the unforgivable action of this student, please stop reading my blog. I had papers turned in where I’m sure these young fools were convinced they were texting because they failed to realize that typing “u” “rite” and “u’re” are simply not acceptable when working towards a Bachelor’s degree. (I would have loved to get my hands on their college admission essays and then ask the people who edited the paper to join our school instead of the actual applicant.) All that to say…WHAT IS HAPPENING TO OUR GENERATION?!

People…it’s NOT that difficult, there is a difference between “your” and “you are” and “its” and “it is”…I’ll be forgiving of “affect” and “effect”, I’ll ever understand “then” and “than” but I have to draw the line somewhere. I recently found out that schools are NOT correcting the spelling of children because they don’t want the kids to get “stuck” and they don’t want to stop the “creative flow”. In other words, look forward to a generation of incompetent humans who will not be able to enjoy http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/2010/04/alot-is-better-than-you-at-everything.html because they won’t get it. Please read that blog entry, it’s one of the few things that can make me feel better when I fb stalk a hot guy and find out he’s one of those that will never be able to tell me I’m awesome because he’ll say “your awesome”, and I’ll respond with “your awesome WHAT?” and it’ll never work between us. Oh wells.

  1. i agree with what you are saying, but as someone who finds spelling/grammar difficult i have to admit that since we are now in the world of computers and microsoft word and auto-spell check and grammar check (i mean you can even do that very very easily when you are writing an email!) it’s something i don’t worry about too much. you mentioned you were shocking when someone submitted a hand-written assignment when you were a TA, so it’s evident typing is the norm, but typing means auto-checks so it’s nothing you have to worry about too much anymore.

    and yet, i know what you mean. it’s one think if you can’t spell ‘negligence’ but an entirely different matter if you have given up on you’re vs your. that’s plain lame.

    • please note, my rant was limited to “grammar and punctuation”, (the latter I didn’t even touch upon although I had intentions of doing so). I love spell check, my spelling is awful and the red squiggly line helps me appear smarter but however useful the spelling and grammar check is, computers are computers and humans are humans….1) we shouldn’t use spell check and grammar check as an excuse not to try, 2) even WITH these options, people still make terrible mistakes. That’s all.

  2. actually, you didn’t imply you were shocking. so, make that shocked.

  3. Lemuel said:

    Your blog is great. You’re a wonderful writer. I felt extremely guilty reading this blog.

  4. i know you might not like it but:
    your awesome! 😀

    two thumbs up!….. twice!

    • My awesome WHAT?!! 😀 😀 😀 I also enjoyed the redundancy… or did you mean two thumbs up twice as in four thumbs up? either ways… THANKS!

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