Friday, April 28, 2017

Tornadoe and Potatoe

I'm subbing in 7th grade English today. In the second class a couple of kids are kidding a girl about how she spelled "tornado." She added an "e" at the end. She said she spelled it like it sounds. I've heard people say it as if it had "uh" at the end. But, alas, there's just one way to spell "tornado."

I asked them if they knew who Dan Quayle was. They didn't. So I explained that he was the Vice President under George H. W. Bush. I'm not sure they knew who he was, either.

Then I told them about the time Vice President Quayle was doing a photo op in a classroom of elementary students. He was helping them prepare for a spelling bee or test or something. The teacher gave him a stack of notecards. He called out a word and the students spelled them. One notecard had "potatoe" on it. That's right. It was spelled incorrectly on the notecard prepared by and handed to him by the teacher. Mr. Quayle should have caught the mistake but, either because of nerves or ignorance, he corrected the student who had spelled the word correctly.

Of course, the media misrepresented this and made Quayle out to be a buffoon. The media does what the media does and they do it very well. Gone are the days of an unbiased media. Perhaps those days never existed, it's just something to say to lament the sorry state of affairs these days.

And, of course, I took plenty of opportunities in class today to add an extra "e" to as many words as possible.

(By the way, it's hard to write a post including the words "tornadoe" and "potatoe" spelled with the extra "e" because autocorrect automatically corrects them.)