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Re: [LUG] Etiquette was Re: Lightening this morning ...


On 07/01/14 18:05, Gordon Henderson wrote:
> I was physically abused with the belt and yard stick and verbally abused

I find it terrifying that that sort of thing actually happened in living
memory, over something as trivial as spelling errors. It's amazing to me
that dyslexia only really started to be appreciated for what it is so
recently, and so many bright but dyslexic people got so much stick
(literally) for it all the way up into the 70s? 80s?

I was at secondary school in the early nineties with my severely
dyslexic friend and although he didn't get literally beaten he was
assumed to be kind of idiotic even though he was actually highly
intelligent. He failed English catastrophically despite being the
heaviest reader I have ever met. Ironically, he's now a professional
stage actor in London specialising in Jacobean (primarily Shakespearian)
drama and has a prodigious memory for retaining thousands and thousands
of torturous, complex lines. Obviously enough, he deserved a maximum
mark in his English GCSEs but thanks to a complete failure of the
establishment even as recently as then to recognise obvious dyslexia he
didn't even get a grade. Crazy.

Bizarrely, his dyslexia was actually the gateway to my current
profession: we both went to university in London as soon as we could
escape Devon and he finally got a diagnosis, and with it, a substantial
(~£2000, which was a lot of money back then) LEA grant specifically for
a computer because of his condition. He didn't have the faintest idea
how to use it, and neither did I, but I was a lot more interested than
him and accidentally became the chief operator of that machine - it was
a 133MHz Pentium if I remember correctly. I have very fond memories of
spending many, many days of wrestling with Windows 95 on that crappy old
computer before eventually tossing it completely and installing, from
about a million floppy disks, some crazy alternative OS I had read about
in another friends dissertation, a comparison of database performance on
Windows and Linux. RedHat version 4 or maybe 5 I think it must have
been. Primitive and ugly (Win95 I mean - the RedHat OS I replaced it
with was awesome, and we both loved it).

I never looked back. To this day my entirely not-interested-in-computers
at all friend is still completely dyslexic and by the process of
knowledge osmosis over all these years an extremely competent Linux
user. He got a new laptop over Xmas and didn't need any help at all
wiping Win8 and installing Mint himself.


PS: apologies to Gordon for any perceived slight. I hope it's obvious
that I'm entirely sympathetic. I totally thought you were just taking
the piss and even though it turns out you weren't, your reply was still
absolutely priceless :]

What's even more amazing is just like my friend, you now have a job
(programmer) that totally relies on painful, exacting accuracy in
language where even a misplaced comma makes all the difference!

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