Wednesday, 1 September 2010

The joys of a dyslexic mind

I might as well admit to being very dyslexic, as it will not be too long before everyone spots it anyway. I am lucky in that it only really affects my spelling, ability to write coherently and to recall names. So I apologise now for all the spelling and grammatical mistakes I will make here. In fact thinking about it,  this blog was a really stupid idea.
Out of the three, the names issue is the most embarrassing.  Many people have trouble with names, and so tend to forgive you if your forget their name if you have just met.  Much more embarrassing is not being able to recall names that you know but may not use all the time. It never looks good if you can't think of a friend or colleague's name having known them for years.  Strangely certain names seem worse than others, there are people who almost every time I have to think of their name it is just not there, thankfully my wife's name is not one of them  and I have only not been able to recall it once, and that was not long after we had started going out! (although we had known each other for about 6 years by then.)  Yes, I'm as surprised as anyone that she continued to go out with me. Most of the time there are ways around it, just never ask me to describe an episode of a soap as you end up with a lengthy description of  "that woman, who is dating the guy who works in the garage. You know the one that is friends with the guy that is the son of the women who used to be in the carry on films".
This does of course impact on my love of succulents and partly explain why all my plants are labelled.  I think most visitors to my garden have got used to me pausing for a while when they ask the name of a plant.  Sometimes I manage to dig it out and when I can't there is the label to fall back on. Unfortunately there is no getting around the names, botanical or not, that people decide to give plant. I mean agave Guadalajarana, how many As does one name need! And as if the names weren't hard enough in the first place you then have constant name changes and reclassifications to cope with.
One thing that always surprises me is how worked up people get about names in the succulent field (I am sure it is the same else where, I just don't notice) I agree getting names correct is important, but given most nurseries often sell plants under old names (let along wrong names) it doesn't seem to me the end of the world if someone says agave celsii instead of the new (or original name depending on how you look at it) agave mitis. Given that the BCSS seems in need of recruiting young people, it hardly encourages even someone like myself to join if instead of concentrating on the plants all the fuss is on spelling.
Speaking personally the interesting bit is the plants, I don't really care what it is called. Something tells me a job in botany is not for me.

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