Selective Literacy

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It appears to me that this is one of those cases where I should politely start by saying “well I can only speak for myself…” knowing full well that I would have already began speaking on behalf of at least 80% of the Trinidadian population, when I say it seems that we are selectively literate. I’m not sure if this is a case where you fake it (ignorance) till u make it and then you can’t stop faking it (full fledged ignoramus). What I mean by this is, I would like someone to explain this new age phenomenon of choosing when to be literate. I’m not talking about pulling push doors dumb or ordering a KFC sandwich without the combo dumb and not even simply buying one shoe in Payless’ BOGO sale dumb. Rather, I am referring to those individuals who display behaviours as seen in the picture above, as they skillfully tried to present a masterpiece entitled:

‘Paper Model of Mt. Everest’ *not to scale*

Perhaps the person responsible for emptying the bin failed to recognise what was happening or maybe it was after hours, we don’t really know. What we do know is that surely if we guard the paper in our pockets then at some point we will find a bin. One day I went to use the ATM and I was surprised when the machine asked me whether or not I would like to have a receipt, I thought it was quite thoughtful and impressive. I only now recognise the reason for that feature. Good job guys! *commence slow clap*

Now don’t get me wrong, I am aware that some individuals are in fact illiterate and in no way am I trying to make a joke of those circumstances. Rather, I am highlighting that our literacy is definitely not something we should take for granted or ‘switch off’ for our selfish convenience . A sign clearly states ‘keep this room clean’ and yet many people chose to reside in Oppositeville, Population:completely lackadaisical. If ever there was a reason to SMH this would be one of them. Of course this could never be the only example of such disregard for clear signs and one’s environment, so let’s move along.

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This sign says ‘Place Umbrellas Here’ but when I looked in, it was full of garbage. Since some people had filled the umbrella holder with their garbage, I was forced to walk around with my wet umbrella as it dripped behind me leaving a trail of water droplets as if it were a re-enactment of Hansel and Gretel… SMH

All it would have taken was for one person to drop a piece of paper and in no time it became a dustbin. If only my bank account could follow suit and multiply the little money I would deposit ever so often.


#financialgoals #growbabygrow #mommaneedsanewpairofshoes #maybe2ifitsBOGO

Many signs around us are slowly turning into amber lights and so although we see them and we know what they really mean we choose to ignore, just as we speed up when we all know that amber really means slow down and proceed carefully. Unless of course you’re a true true Trinidadian (see picture below) .

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Now, I’ve saved the best for last and even now, to the end of my rant, I admit that even I have fallen short of fulfilling this simple request. DRUMROLL PLEASE…..

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Apparently it’s not enough to use one of the following, more appropriate alternatives:

  • Don’t touch vents
  • Doh touch d vents
  • Do not adjust
  • Refrain from touching vents etc.

CAUTION!!! Heavy Sarcasm Ahead

This maxi driver was clearly tired of saying the same thing. He was probably tired of seeing hands stretching above only to realise that they weren’t in fact reaching for the bell and he had had it with replacing vents which are so easily broken by the Hulks that walk among us.  He took matters into his own hands, walked up to the ‘Sign printing for Maxis’ shop and said something like this, “Hello good day. I’m tired of people touching the vents and so under each vent can you please write the words ‘please don’t *insert pseudo expletive here* touch vents’? with three exclamation marks please and thank you”. Unfortunately for him, I don’t think it would have had any greater effect than other popular alternatives and I am indeed speaking from personal defiance.

Why don’t we read, interpret and conform? Why is it so hard to follow simple rules and instructions? Why do we as Trinbagonians choose illiteracy? It’s about time for us to bottle some of the national pride we conveniently adopt on one of our many national holidays so in times like these we can release an ounce of national pride as well as concern for others, just enough to be consciously literate in doing something that will benefit us all in whatever way. I would therefore suggest that you remove the term ‘selectively literate’ from your social resume and stop making it something to boast about.

Spelling duz nut matter…part tree (3)

I once knew someone from Cuba who spent a great deal of time thinking that garden slaw was really written as ‘garden’s law’.Given the fact that English would not have been her first language, we can safely say that it’s a mistake which can be excused and laughed off even a few years later. In these cases of overlap with foreign languages we tend to be more understanding so I was really taken aback when I stumbled upon the following sign a few weeks ago. Funny enough, the picture I’m about to draw reference to is also slaw related hmmm…. very suspicious indeed *insert out of context reference to Illuminati conspiracy theory here*.

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Firstly, I would like to know why the ‘&’ sign is imitating a one legged dollar sign, but as you will soon realise, this is the least of our worries. I was then tempted to give this blog the title of ‘Artistic Representation of a Dumb Blonde’ but my conscience stepped in somewhere to remind me of a few words and phrases such as care,morals, tact and of course the need to always be polite so as not to offend.

download-2However, my biggest concern is that I would like to know from whence cometh the spelling ‘coldslaw’. It is slaw and it is cold so why not right? Wrong! Even the pronunciation of that ‘d’ is highly unnatural,  (say it with me slowly….. colllDslaw, now laugh at how retarded you sound having said it more than once) it just takes too much effort and if it’s one thing we specialise in here in Trinidad and Tobago is using the least effort possible. Can I get an amen?

  • Paving roads?… least effort possible
  • Giving back pay…least effort possible
  • Any government related business….least effort possible
  • Customer service…..ERROR 404: NO EFFORT WHATSOEVER

Also, is that spelling of barbeque (BABEcue) supposed to be some sort of sick reference to the pig in the movie Babe? because…. #bbqpork #bbqpigtail #dohsaydat. If not then what is so great about it for it to be called not just BABEcue but ‘special BABEcue’ hmmmm. Now, being the person that I am, I purposefully passed back a few days later to see if there was anything special on the menu and by anything special I mean any incorrectly spelt words. I was not disappointed; see for yourselves.

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Well, well, well, what do we have here? There was absolutely no indication that this was a Chinese restaurant and yet they are serving ‘butterfly BARKED chicken’. hhahahahaha Then they want to say that Chinee people don’t sell dog but when you look at the sign, survey says…… BARKED! Who let the dogs out?? Definitely not these people because apparently they were on the menu that day lol.

Or maybe this is just a long lost nursery rhyme that we never learnt, because if the cow could jump over the moon and the dish could run away with the spoon then who’s to say that the butterfly can’t bark the word chicken or that chicken can’t be butterfly barked? Absolutely no one, but have no fear because if your taste buds have yet to acquire the taste for man’s best friend you can always have the BABEcue special for $25. It changed from special babecue to babecue special, kudos for the variation in word order now work on that spelling. Needless to say, I won’t be able to blog about these things if everyone spelt every word correctly, if everyone took those apparently long and excruciatingly painful 60 seconds to simply review and correct their signs before putting them on display. Thank you to all my unsuspecting providers of blogging material.

Stay tuned for part four of this series!

Spelling duz nut matter… part too (2)

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The moment we have all been waiting for, this is part two of the ‘Spelling duz nut matter’ series. This one is special because it was sent to me by one my friends (thanks Mich) so I’m glad to see that people do take an interest in my blog. Moving along… I mentioned in one of my earlier photo opinion posts that Trinis are known for not reading instructions and this sign of rules is no exception. Maybe this is the reason why we are so bad at giving directions, because we can’t even follow simple instructions :/

See video: Taking directions from a Trini

Please draw your eyes to the third ‘NO’ which states that there should be no picknicking  or coolers allowed around the pool area and as I finish this sentence the red squiggly line has already appeared to identify and signal the culprit.

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Because what exactly is picKnicking? It amazes me that someone would have invested time into designing this, it would have been sent to print, placed in its current location and proudly reviewed by those in charge after which many visitors would have passed by it. So from its inception to now why has this spelling gone unnoticed? Maybe we are so used to how it is actually spelt that we don’t even notice. Or do they know and are just too lazy to print a new sign? (see relevant photo opinion post Slow down) Well I am drawing attention to it NOW once and for all. The sign is being covered by leaves, whether or not this is part of the whole natural ambience and design or just neglect by the groundsmen I don’t know, the white letters are turning brown to slowly camouflage with the already green background of the sign and by extension the surroundings. I would say it has served its time and therefore it should not be a problem to have a new one done with the correct spelling.

Another message for management is that they have no need to worry  about persons not adhering to such as this activity technically does not exist. Lawyers benefit a lot from similar technicalities and if I were bold enough I would toat the biggest picnic basket I could find and lay out my nicest blanket and if I were reprimanded I would smile and lift my sign that would read, ‘Do not disturb, currently picnicking not to be confused with picknicking. Kindly refer to the list of rules posted. Thank you. By my management.’ However I have yet to master this level of bravery and fearlessness so I’ll stick to blogging.

So we’re back to square one of asking ourselves if spelling really does matter and if so then to what extent. Surely on legal documents accurate spelling is a must but take a look at the linguistic masterpiece below and you will find that it may not be such a big deal in other instances.

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With or without the extra ‘b’ we all know what it is and this would hardly likely affect our decision of whether or not to purchase food here. Especially with the added bonus of the smiley reassuring you of just how tasty it is. So decide for yourself how important spelling is but for the sake of us all, in public places that require longstanding signs such as the first example, ensure that your sign has accurate spelling please and thank you.

By management.

#ratchet

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Now let me just say that folks above a certain age bracket MAY not have the hearty laugh that I did when I stumbled upon this beauty during a Saturday morning shopping run. Basically, the sole knowledge of the original meaning of the word ‘ratchet’ really kills the underlying humour.  My excitement was immediately crushed by my brother in law when I asked “omg do you get it? yuh know what ratchet means?” (as if the modern day meaning I had in my in mind was all that it meant) and he responded “Yeah it’s right there in the pack. What you mean?” *insert the see no evil whatsapp monkey here* *slaps forehead* Because of course I was referring to the actual meaning of ratchet right? ….WRONG!

I won’t go into the exact modern day meaning to step on anyone’s toes but even if I step on your toes would that then be a case of it rightfully falling in your garden? Hmmmmm. I’d adopt a prevention is better than cure approach and go no further. Anyway, I promise that this post isn’t all blab. What really peaks my interest is the semantic change that has occurred (ie the change in meaning). This process is known as pejoration as the meaning of the word has degraded from what it originally meant. For example, the word silly once meant ‘blessed’ or ‘innocent’ but can you imagine what would be your response if i were to casually say “You are such an amazing person and very silly indeed” ummmm …… EXACTLY!! and let’s not even talk about the good ol days when gay used to mean happy. Oh how times have changed and will continue to change. Language is creative and it’s dynamic so you will never run out of things to study. Just imagine that the latest Oxford dictionaries have been modified to include the following words: bae, selfie stick, photobomb and autotune. So from changing words to updated dictionaries and new slangs such as ‘tun up and on fleek’ there’s always something to talk about. Well that’s all for now and remember STAY SILLY 😛

images          RATCHET!!!!!!!!!

Acknowledgments:

Please note and appreciate my mother’s hand which displays the product with such class and finesse lol

#supportsystem #iloveyoumom #encouragemyidleness #shedontreadmyblogthough

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