03 March, 2010

A thesaurus gone colourless

Lastnight I was looking for a title for a piece of writing and thought only an alliteration would work there. I had been up way past my bed time and my brains just refused to work. Ah! the thesaurus is where I could find the right word, I thought. And so there I was.

Sleepily I open Thesaurus.com and type in 'colourful' and click on Search, and to my chagrin Mr. Know-it-all thesaurus says: No results found for colourful.

At first I thought groggy me had keyed in the wrong spelling. Then I see this next sentence that asks: Did you mean colorful?

Oh my! I'm so tired of this. American spellings!!

Everytime I spell Organisation, Favourite or Realise; or even Centre, my spell check marks it in red. That reminds me of my second standard teacher using her red pen in my book after those dictations I dreaded so much. Back then she would cross out `realize' underline or circle the Z. Phew! I guess some of us will just have to live with these brutal red markings; first in our test books and later in our word documents.

However I wish Mr. (know-it-all) Thesaurus would realise that it is on the World Wide Web that he lives and that there are Indians and Brits and lots of other people in other parts of the world also who use the WW web. He really could be a little more British-English-friendly (and say 'also colourful, like some dictionaries do) after all, it is 'English' that we are talking about.


  1. Hehehe....!!! Exactly!!

    If America had invaded us instead of the Brits, we at least cud have avoided the red marks at both the places - in our answer sheets and word docs! :)

  2. Yeah...maybe. :) But with the way things are it's so difficult to be so accepting about things that we learnt were so `unacceptable.'

    I just realised that we've been in an educational system that is so strict about language and spelling and grammar and all that.

    The other day I was watching a reality show where people kept saying `sister-in-laws' and it seemed so regular and so okay. When we said that as kids, our English teachers looked at it as a linguistic 'sin.' Sisters-in-law' it was and there was no arguing about it.

    It just gets me thinking: Should we appreciate the prim and proper English people or learn to appreciate the Americans who are just so accepting. :)

  3. Never! Americans are wrong!!!! Stick to what we have learnt - Do Not follow the wrong!!!! :) :)

    ...like sister-in-laws, I have heard somebody asking (again on TV), "What is the time in your watch?" Didn't he learn his Eng lessons properly to ask, "What is the time by your watch?"

  4. Yes Maam...shall go by what you say. :) It's just that sometimes I think, it's okay as long as you get your message across (of course provided there is no miscommunication).

    And this time `by your watch' thing is a something that a very few of us know about. Sadly I believe it is something that not everybody is taught :(