#SoCS Sept. 10, 2022

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “a word that contains a silent letter.” Choose a word that contains a silent letter and use it in your post, or write about words with silent letters in general. Enjoy!

I do not remember how we learnt the spellings when learning English in school. Even now I wonder who had made the rules about the spellings. There are so many words in which certain letters are silent like walk, talk, island, scene or scent and so many more. What is the purpose of those letters? I do not know but they add a certain beauty to the words. In the present scenario the SMS language has spread its tentacles far and wide. Words are spelt as they are pronounced and have lost their charm. My paternal grandfather was a teacher, he taught English and Mathematics. I cannot bring myself to use the SMS language. If I try to modify a spelling, I am sure I will see him shaking his head 😊.

For him education was very important. He very nearly did not have it. He had to discontinue his studies after primary school as there was no high school in his village. Due to some important changes in the lives of his parents, he could continue his studies after a gap of some years. He was much older than his classmates. While in high school he understood the importance of education and studying hard. This was in the second decade of the 20th century. In 1978 he remembered many of his teachers and wrote about them in his memoir. One of his favourite teachers was from his primary school. My grandfather went to see his teacher whenever he came to his village. Some of his teachers in high school were Mr Pillai for Kannada and Mr Maben for Mathematics.

Atmaram Shastry was the Sanskrit teacher who was liked and respected by all students. He had a special affection for my grandfather and was disappointed when he did not select Sanskrit in 5th form.  The teacher’s words to my grandfather, “Sanskrit is the language of the Gods. Hindus are not Hindus if they do not have some knowledge of it.” My grandfather agreed to take Sanskrit as an optional subject. Both teacher, and student were happy. Later Mr Shastry went to Madikeri to join another school. My grandmother was from Madikeri. Whenever my grandparents went there, my grandfather made it a point to visit his teacher and seek his blessings.

A few days ago, my cousin came across my grandfather’s school leaving certificates and mark cards in his father’s files. He shared photos of them. They are more than a hundred years old and precious. I am reading To the Letter: A celebration of the lost art of letter by Simon Garfield. It is a fascinating book. Pliny the younger wrote a letter describing the eruption of Mt Vesuvius and the destruction of Pompeii. He was 17 in AD 79. Now letters have become history. But still blogs and emails give an account of our daily lives.

To the Letter by Simon Garfield – review | Reference and languages books | The Guardian

Mount Vesuvius – Wikipedia

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Vesuvius


Pliny the Younger: What Do His Letters Tell Us About Ancient Rome? (thecollector.com)

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By Lakshmi Bhat

I am a person who believes there is not enough darkness in the world to extinguish the light of a small candle. We live in a small place in South India. I love reading, blogging, stitching, traveling, photography, listening to people and many other things which make life so very nice and interesting. Blogging is a fun experience, it has brought me into contact with people in different parts of the world and it is good to read about their everyday life. In spite of the differences there is a sameness which is fascinating. I have learnt and am learning something everyday. I have learnt to write haikus. I enjoy combining the thought and the number of syllables. I have always read books and I was happy to write short fiction. I had thought I would not be able to do so. Stream of Consciousness and photo challenges are fun too. Yes, there is so much in life that is sad and that hurts us. Many a time I wonder why life is so unfair to so many. We all have problems in life but the problems of many seems unbearable. This makes me feel so helpless. It is not possible to help everyone but we can do our bit, we can do something to help some in whatever way we can. Due to the pandemic I could not go to the Home for the mentally challenged for two years. I had been going there since 2011. I have started going again. I was happy that some members remembered me :) All of them are an important part of my life. There have been many challenges in life and we have faced them with a positive approach. Our grandson and granddaughter have made our lives richer.

10 comments

  1. What you say about the future of the English language in modern means of communication is also true for the French language, the use of which is impoverished, whether in writing or orally.
    In addition there is a fashion to use more and more English words instead of existing French words.
    Love ❤
    Michel

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I’m far from certain about this, but with words such as “walk, talk, island”, what are now silent letters may not have been silent hundreds and hundreds of years ago when they were first invented.
    I’m quite proud of my own silent letter. I suppose I must have been the owner of the only knife in the village hundreds and hundreds of years ago!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Your grandfather’s story is a delight. And your sadness as to the death of the letter is so terribly sad. That is one reason I am so disappointed when people do not write a comment on blog posts.
    As to silent letters let me just exemplify the word ‘Scene’ . It comes from the Greek word ‘skene’ which was a structure facing the audience and forming the background before which performances were given. And the letter ‘ke’ was pronounced.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What a treasure you have found. Save it for future generations.
    As for silent letters in English words like bomb — I used to tell my students the ‘b’ (or whatever other silent letter) were sleeping and therefore silent. Ha, ha. Cheers, Muriel

    Liked by 1 person

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