Teaching English to the English?

  • Few months back I was talking to the mason who was building my relative’s house in a small south Indian town. I was asking the mason to keep the slope/gradient of the stairs smooth so that it will be easy for seniors to climb the stairs. I was quizzing him on the degree of gradient that he will be keeping for the stairs and was eager to share my intellect. He said “I just need to keep the height of each stair to ¾ feet and things will be all right”. What he said blew me away.

  • I read the below joke somewhere few years back.

    Conversation between a tourist and hotel bell-boy in London.
    Tourist: “I hope you have fast elevators in this Hotel.”
    Bell-boy: “Yes sir, the lifts are quite fast”
    Tourist: “They are called elevators not lifts. You know, they were invented in America.”
    Bell-boy: “I know. But, the language is invented here.”

In several cases, we the IT consultants, tend to behave like the above instances. We do not recognize or understand the traditional wisdom that is available with the industry practitioners and have the audacity to ignore them. On top of it we try to bring in a whole new set of practices under the guise of best practices and “out of box” thinking. I am all for cross pollination of ideas, induction of best practices and out of box thinking. But, foremost let’s make an attempt to understand what’s “in the box”. After all you don’t want to teach English to a English man? Do you?

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© Dhandapani Ammasai, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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