Playing the lingual vigilante

I have been a Writer for quite a while now, and I know I am read. I am fond of writing prose, and being a “bad” singer that I am, I avoid writing something which I cannot sing myself – Verse. I know that all those who have read me before will complaint of not having read enough of me. I mean I have written a lot, mostly on spirituality and psychology, which for most of my friends are boring, and hence the complaints! So this time, I have tried writing something comic.

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As it turns out, I do not have to think too much to write on this one! Statistics show that there is a drastic increase in the number of spelling mistakes ever since I became a writer. Not because I became a writer, but because I developed a habit of finding mistakes in other’s spellings and punctuation, which felt like an absolute “No-No” from almost everyone around to looking into dictionaries. Crime it is to write horribly! A gruesome act of spreading terror! And, for this article… Well not really, I have been collecting quite a few pictures of the “crime scenes”.

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Either I am lucky, or they have had their fortunes written by a writer as bad as I am. You see, I am being noble! So, it was about five years back that people began committing such crimes – as hideous as saying “Shitty Post Office jane ka hai kya?” (The comic, bi-lingual translation of the question, “Do you want to go to the City Post Office?”). Imagine what a Shitty Post Office would look like. Now, being a nice guy that I am (and unfortunately on most occasions the sole witness of such crimes), I have even tried stopping some of them (“Shitty nahin, Sirji, City! City Post Office.”), only to figure out that I was made outcast… well, outnumbered at the least (“Han woi! Ek hi baat hai”). For every single spelling mistake or punctuation error figured, I was given the prize of red-eyes wanting to chop me off in halves. Perhaps, it is just the same with every witness, be it any crime.

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But, I agree to the flip side of the story as well. While a part of me thinks that I have been victimized, it is the other part, which makes me play the culprit as well – the culprit of attempting to stop the crime. The credit goes to the “skill” of highlighting others’ mistakes (on their own faces)! And I have found mistakes at almost every possible venue and time; while dating my girlfriend (now my wife); in boring presentations as I read the presenter’s synopsis; during eat-outs with my family as I read menus (“Butter Panneer with Kurry” or “Milk Shaik”); in advertisement flyers and brochures (“Male Underwear”), during my company’s quarterly or annual meetings (It looks as if words are cursed to be spit out of their mouths); while reading newspapers (Yes!); during the post-lunch walk around the office (I remember reading “Ladies Parking Here”), or during my occasional travel-plans as I read through the signboards (“Haind Wash”).

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It is only a series of such sad encounters in my native languages (Hindi and Marathi) and the English language, which has turned this soft-soul into a Vigilante. And since then, this soft-soul has burnt the midnight oil and gone distances to make sure that his victims are figuratively summoned and abused! I have read-and-read to evolve and practiced-and-practiced to make pointing fingers at others a habit, which I rarely did previously (See the evolution!).

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Now, this role of a vigilante earned me more abuse than I earned as a Writer. But, it has made one thing very apparent; I am good at what I do – bringing mistakes to surface and partially making others realize that they still have a chance to live! But this is not what a vigilante does. Besides safeguarding the interests of the likes of him, he has to have a bigger purpose in life. I suggest every vigilante, who walks on the same path, to follow one of these, at least: Punishing the offenders by red-circling their mistakes in public, posting their funny, worthless work on the Internet, and laughing loudly at those who are oblivious to their own mistakes.

Go ahead. Enjoy!

Suyog Ketkar’s mother has always had the suspicion on him being treated as a candidature to mental treatments ever since he became a Writer (that too such a bad one!) – Surprisingly, his Wife is sure about it! A Writer by profession and choice and a husband by chance, Suyog spends most of his time either in front of a computer or finding others’ mistakes, thereby playing the lingual vigilante! You can blog about him, search about him on Web sites, and talk about him, but remember one thing – do not commit a spelling-related or punctuation-related mistake – the vigilante is at work.

3 thoughts on “Playing the lingual vigilante

  1. Another incident occurred, as I traveled to my office, in the disguise of a regular office-going gentleman. And, thanks to the disguise, those who traveled on the same route did not get even a hint of who they rode with. A lingual vigilante, as I am, they could not hide another crime they had committed. Their motorcycle had the sticker of a teaser that read: If your BAD then I am your DAD.

    That left me wonder if we have taken the “Americanization” of spellings seriously. Not only did they spell “Your” wrongly, but they did it with confidence.
    The league of lingual justice will, I am sure, take a serious note of this. “’Coz their (they’re) watchin’”!

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