‘Capital one or small one?’
What an idea!! One day in one of my classes I asked a student whether he has a note book with him or not, because it was a writing class and I found him listless, sitting idle. He said, “I left it home, forgot to bring it in the class.” I got vexed at this indifference. I told him –in a tone that was forceful and harsh- to buy one and come back to the class then. He asked me ‘capital one’ or ‘small one’? I got perplexed by this question. It took me minute to decipher this bizarre combination of words. Actually he meant ‘big’ by ‘capital’. I was really amused at this improvisation. Few minutes back before this strange language improvisation event happened, I was discussing the use of ‘capitalization’ in writing. From there he picked the idea that ‘capital’ means ‘big’ and despite this ungrammatical word combination, he succeeded to convey the message. If the purpose of using language is to communicate, then this is it.
2011, Abha, KSA