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Language coursework

Thu Jan 06, 2005 7:16 pm

Hello all,

For my English Language coursework I have to conduct a piece of original research into a language topic of my choice. I have always been very interested in what I call 'dyspraxic dialect' - i.e. the different way in which dyspraxic people speak and communicate. I would like some raw data to look at in order to see whether this would be a good topic to study. If anyone has an interesting anecdote related to your dyspraxia and the way you use language, could you write it here?

Here is an example of the kind of thing I'm talking about.

Not too long ago, when I still had to take maths (grrrr) one of the questions on our homework assignment read something like this: If a hospital lift can take a maximum weight of 240 kg, how many passengers will be able to ride in the lift at any one time if the average person weighs 70 kg?

(Note: I have forgotten the exact figures - my photographic memory takes pictures of everything except the treacherous numbers!)

Anyway, I completely ignored the numbers. My brain just didn't seem to realize that they were there. No, I was extremely interested in the location of the lift - it was inside a hospital. Not a department store. Not an office block. A hospital. Surely, I thought, this must have some significance? And so I wrote that within a hospital's walls there is no such thing as the 'average' person - there are people with amputated limbs, people who have had the odd rib or two removed, clinically obese patients, and sufferers of anorexia. Therefore, I argued, it is impossible to calculate how many passengers the lift would accommodate - you'd have to wait and see who wanted to get in it, first.

I found out very quickly that this was not the answer that the teacher was looking for. She seemed to think I was being flippant, which I wasn't. I answered the question as I understood it. I still believe that my logic was impeccable. Why did the question specifically state that the lift belonged to a hospital if we were expected to ignore that fact?

Flash forward to a more recent event. I was sitting in a classroom with a group of other people, deep in a book. When I finished it I raised my head and asked, "Oh, are you talking about the senior prefect applications?"

One of the girls replied: "Where have you been, Victoria? We've been talking about them for the past ten minutes!"

To which I responded - perfectly politely, or so I thought - "Oh, I'm sorry. I don't always pay attention to everything you say."

Feedback would be most gratefully received. (Aah, I seem to spend most of my life on here dragging stories out of people!)

Thu Jan 06, 2005 7:17 pm

Urgh. The italics went wrong there. Apologies.

Thu Jan 06, 2005 9:12 pm

I've sorted the Italics out for you :wink: . I'm sure Matt will have some examples for you, I'll get him on to it right away.

Loved your example too :) , reminded me of myself at school :D .

Fri Jan 07, 2005 3:19 pm

Hello Vicky,

Urgh, don't talk to me about maths tests, I had one this morning and it was hell! I am retaking maths at college (I must be mad) and my teacher says that people who don't do well in this test may be throw off the course depending on our overall progress over the last four months so I'm not feeling great today :cry:

I can completely relate to your situation when answering the maths question. I often look at questions and try to 'read into' stories behind them if you know what I mean. For example there was a question on the test paper today about ratio which said that in his will Bob left a sum of money (I've forgotten how much exactly) to his children Ruth and Ben in the ratio 2:3 and I had to work out how much money Ruth got. Well I immediately started thinking how strange it was that he'd left more money to his son than his daughter. I started to try and work out why Ruth had been left less money than Bob. I thought maybe Ruth had done something to upset him which caused him to leave her less money. Anyway, I got over that in the end and I think I answered the question correctly (hooray!)

Something else I do is take things people say really literally, even when they are joking I occasionally find it hard to tell. This makes me appear really stupid. And I can be a little tactless although I am getting better now. I am also really exact and precise, if it is 24 minutes past five I will say it is 24 minutes past five and not round it to 'twenty five past five' as most people would. If I got 24 questions out of twenty five right on a test I would not round this to say I got 25 questions out of 25 right so why round the time?

I also analyse things too much, I spend hours thinking about what people have said to me and what I have said to people and how they interepted it etc.

I hope this has helped you love Charlotte xx

Sat Apr 23, 2005 12:59 pm

you may have slight aspergers syndrome chaz.

Sat Apr 23, 2005 11:56 pm

I'm also really precise.

My sister's friend asked "How many people live in the UK?" and my sister replied, "60 million" and at almost the same time, I said, "59.2 million" and they looked at me like a complete freak for being so exact.

And my friend showed me something he'd written but I couldn't comment on the content, only that he'd capitalised the wrong words and put 'then' instead of 'than'. I find spelling mistakes really distracting. I used to be worse, but I had a dyslexic boyfriend, so I got used to his spelling.

Also, I always have to be totally exact about timing. I feel lost if I don't know what time it is, and I subconsciously count things, like how long I go out for, or how many times something happens. I remember situations where people tell me things exactly even years later. And generally, people think I'm weird.

Oh, I just remembered an example from when I was about 4 years old. We had to colour in drawings of gingerbread men (or should I say people?) and everyone else was colouring them shades of brown and orange, and I coloured mine in black. The teacher asked me what I was doing and I said "It's burnt - stupid!".... that was way before they knew I was dyspraxic.

Tue Apr 26, 2005 1:31 am

It sounds like a very interesting piece of coursework!! When I read your post several things came to mind.

Like you I've often read questions like that in exams and gone off on a tangent. Questions like if Snoods are like Frobes and Frobes eat roobs,Do Snoods eat roobs? Have me wondering what roobs look like and do Snoods and Frobes get on or do they argue because they are too similar.

It's also something I do in conversation,though in a slightly different way. I will associate whatever is being discussed with something else which seems completely random to my friends. I will then start talking about whatever this random subject is. for example a conversation about a friends new white car could jump to being about Poland two minutes later. If I try to break it down it would run like this- White Car, White haired Car ad man Michael Winner, annoying adverts,dubbed adverts with women in orange clothes advertising cleaning products, Eastern Europe, Polish Cooking.

Unfortunately this is a fairly speedy process which I'm not really aware of most of the time.I often forget that my friends can't read my mind and have no idea why we've gone from discussing the finer points of Ford Escorts to a conversation about why I don't like Beetroot Soup.

I also have a habit of jumping back and forward, revisiting a topic which was started half an hour ago before jumping back to what we talking about five minutes ago.
I don't know if it's connected with dyspraxia but it's unusual word associations is something my boyfriend also makes and he is also dyspraxic. He will refer to his checking his emails at looking at trannies (emails to 'he males to shemales to transvestites to trannies apparently!)

Like Lucinda and Chaz I hate the use of imprecise language. Ironically because of this I often end up presenting convoluted and overly complex arguments. For example I might say, "Well, it's a bit like eating chicken, but not entirely because it's a bit more rubbery, a bit like duck. But Of course Duck is a bit more greasy...." and so on and so forth.

Finally,I do have a habit of saying innappropriate things or saying things in the wrong tone of voice (for example something lighthearted sounded like a critical comment). There are few other examples of things I've said but I'd rather not post them on here, in case they get misunderstood and offend people. Send me a message if you decide to pursue this topic and I'll explain them to you.

Mon Jun 06, 2005 4:46 pm

Thank you for the data you all provided! I got full marks on this piece of coursework. :D

Mon Jun 20, 2005 10:02 am

parnassus wrote:To which I responded - perfectly politely, or so I thought - "Oh, I'm sorry. I don't always pay attention to everything you say."

Ack! I'm always doing things like that. Most people I know are used to it.

Wed Jun 22, 2005 7:32 am

Glad to hear you did so well on your coursework, Vicky.

Wed Jun 22, 2005 9:36 am

proud of you Vicky
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