Thursday, July 29, 2010

Dictionary Bashers

I watched as 13 year old ripped the dictionary to pieces. I have never gaped so hard in all my life! I felt small, insignificant... Stupid to be precise! Ashamed would be too harsh a word and it would only hurt the ego that is pretending not to care.

I watched a group of 13 year old kids contesting for the Scripps National Spelling Bee contest and one by one they spelled words that I never even knew existed. No matter how big or small the words were, the kids spelled them with ease. I could hardly pronounce them…

As I watched the programme, I heard myself think “c’mon, how hard could this Actually be?”…. so I tried spelling a couple of words. And boy was I way off track! I didn’t get a single one right.

Commentators spoke about strategy. Who on earth knew there was strategy in spelling? But a lot of spelling depends on anemology, language of origin and the root words that make up a word. It takes a lot of practice, dedication studying and training to get to the point that these kids were at. I for one was in a state of shock! This was definitely no cake walk.

I was amazed to see how focused and how committed these kids were. Here I am claiming to be a writer and I had no clue what any of these word were! I don’t think I even know 1% of the words in the dictionary. That is quite a let down. Idiots like us “claim” we know a lot, when we are 10 miles away on the shore of the sea of knowledge.

I am humbled by this experience and applaud these smart and confident children. Hope that we can all aspire to greater heights and achieve more than just the average.

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