Wednesday, February 27, 2008

consonants are so over-rated

apparently the seemingly simple task of converting a personal cheque to a cashier's cheque, is more challenging for myself (and the paraprofressionals who work at teller windows), than i could ever have imagined. i even capitalized the "payable to" part, and since handwriting does not have an "accent" there is no excuse for misreading my foreignerhood.

utilizing my training as a teacher of english as a second language (or just working with 5 year olds on a daily basis), i supplemented the visual prompt "british embassy government account" with an audio 'sesame street spell out'. she was still unable to recognize the words "british" or "embassy" as part of her basic lexical repertoire. the first cheque had "bhsish gmbassy"; we reviewed the spelling (again) as i sounded out these alien nouns. she then presented me with a second cheque.

the 12 minutes i had generously allowed myself on the parking meter had long since expired, so i left with a cheque addressed to: the british embassy "goverment" account. this woman pre-dated spell check. she was old enough to be "old school" dictionary taught.

i cant imagine what would have happened if i had wanted to convert currency, or roll some quarters.


mansuetude said...

i think handwriting DOES have a sort of accent. the way it slants and lilts, tilt. Not that there's anything wrong with that! :)

Disa said...

yes, some scraggly, chicken scratch looking handwriting would probably have a german or arabic accent. the loopy, swoopy curlicue calligraphy would be french or swedish.