Wednesday, May 19, 2010

“Figure of Speech” Doesn’t Mean “Shapely Lips,” No Sir!

Heard about the guy who went and actually threw a stone to check whether the home he purchased was a “stone’s throw away” from a shopping complex as claimed by an advert? Yeah, it really happened. So much for our understanding of the Queen’s language. Sigh!

There are people who think that "poetic licence" mean the licence to put a few random words together and call it poetry. Things like this happen around us. We forgive and then move on.

Wish I could convince them that “figure of speech” doesn’t mean “shapely lips” but a figurative way of expressing thoughts. Then I baulk at the thought of all the explaining I will have to do and keep quiet. I have heard people boasting of their ignorance and then insisting that they were right. It pain to realise that what they claim is good language is actually so bad that they would flunk a first standard test in a reasonably good school. It also saps the confidence of someone who is trying his/her best to stick to his/her belief in what is right. Such as yours truly. Sort of happens in situations when the person such as this blogger is disadvantaged in the power equation.

Mediocrities abound. No, not only in our products but in our teaching-learning process. I feel this most dearly at times. But somehow we have failed our next generation by not giving them a good educational upbringing. We haven't taught them subtlety, we haven't taught them how to write poetry.

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