Monday, September 14, 2009

Punctuation Anonymous

In case you don't know, this is how it works in Mumbai: You finish school at the 10th grade, after which you enter what is known as 'Junior College' till the 12th grade. This is pretty much the same as normal college, only the teachers care a little bit more. After clearing your 12th grade exams, you enter senior college till the 15th grade, which is when you pass out with your degree. There are board exams at Grade 10, Grade 12 and Grade 15; and these are essential as their outcomes define what college/workplace you get into. In some places, you have regular school till Grade 12, after which one can joing senior college. There are plenty of variations, but this is the basic format. To get to the next year, you HAVE to pass the year you are in.

In junior college, the functioning is a little different from school and senior college. There is no homework and there are no projects. There are two exams per annum, one at the end of every semester. So obviously, there are two semesters every year. However, in senior college, there are continuous projects and homework etc; and generally, everyone has to get a printed copy of their project. Handwritten work is rare, unapproved of and generally qutie shoddy. So everyone either mails their projects to the teachers or prints them and submits them as a hard copy. There is hence a lot of copy pasting and work plagiarism involved, but it's all part of the experience.

Now see, i'm at Grade 15. I've been through it ALL. In school, we had to submit handwritten assignments; in junior college, we had unit tests and shite, and in the 3 years of senior college, we've had a shitload of projects, an overwhelming majority of which are done on the computer. My point is this: because of my continual project work on the computer, i know all about punctuation, because Microsoft Word (thank God for it) immediately points of grammar and punctuation discrepancies. Hence, i know that you put a space after a full stop or a comma. I didn't know this initially, but i fucking learned over 3 years.

Yet, somehow, most of my peers are fucking clueless. I dunno, maybe noone corrects them, or maybe they enjoy seeing those red and green curvy lines in Word, or maybe they just don't fucking know; but the point is: you've had 3 fucking years at the very least to learn about punctuation and shit. Some people have worked, like with a salary and shit; some people have interned somewhere or the other and others have even studied abroad; and yet, the punctuation errors keep unfolding. I could do a Russel Peters and say that it's all because Indians refuse to learn and shit, but i really don't want excuses being made for them (Not Indians, but them who don't know the rules of THE PUNCTUATION).

My peers send me 20 to 30 page long (at the very least) projects without bothering to proof read or correct their punctuation lapses; and it indeed is painful to do.

I may not be the best person to work with in a project, but when it comes to proof reading and shit, at least my fucking punctuation is on. That is the most basic courtesy. An unpunctuated document is like an alien. It's existence is of NO FUCKING CONSEQUENCE TO ANYONE. I still wonder why people think aliens existence matters. You think they spend billions of their currency to check if we exist?

PS: It's not a rant, man. I hate that word. I'm listening to Crackerman by Stone Temple Pilots.


Neha said...

You might have nailed the punctuations, but your grammar is still dodgy!

loy said...

you know, i'm not one to make excuses, but by the time i'm done with the post, i'm way too lazy to proof read. but i do proof read all my projects. i mentioned this earlier as well:

but yes, i agree, i do make grammatical errors.