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I recently took on a schoolkid for work experience for a couple of weeks. Perfectly capable on a Mac, knew his .tif from his jpeg and his .qxp from his .ai, but absolutely clueless when it came to basic English.
He displayed a complete lack of any understanding of punctuation, indeed most of his emails seemed to consist of some strange text language with no capital letters and not even a vague attempt at an actual sentence. I tried explaining that when using email for business this simply isn't acceptable, but I'm not sure it actually got through.
I've noticed this all over the place recently, even this forum has its culprits. Am I just being a grumpy old man (as usual) or do others notice this too?
You're probably right. God, I sound like my Dad!
a misunderstanding occurs.
but think to themselves that there's absolutely nothing they can do about it.
I personally think it's a great shame that so many people are leaving school or university with little real chance of being able to do themselves justice in terms of written expression. They can write, of course, but that's not what I mean. Their vocabulary is limited, and their knowledge of grammar and spelling is rudimentary.
Few people seem to think it's that important, but surely it must impact hugely on a person's capacity for expression? Last year I was asked to help someone to write a dissertation for her Master's degree. She knew what she wanted to say, but was completely unable to get it down on paper. Her deadline was looming, and panic had set in. She sent me her notes to work on, and I was astonished by how badly-written they were.
As a nation we seem to have decided that providing our children with the ability to express themselves adequately in what is the richest language in the world is no longer a requirement. As long as someone can get a few misspelt words and badly constructed sentences onto paper it's acceptable.
Do you think that universties suits all?
No, I don't.
A university is a place where people should go for higher learning, and not everyone wants to do that, or is suited for it. Getting a degree isn't in itself some kind of a golden key to success in life, any more than the lack of one is a bar to a happy, fulfilled life. I can't stand those university snobs who talk as if being a graduate puts them on some kind of higher plane.
Some of my friends went to university, and some didn't; you would find it hard to tell one from the other. An advanced education isn't a substitute for character and innate ability.
A certain Mr Gates dropped out of university to start a company called Microsoft. Wonder what happened to him?
Its evolving into a language all of its own. I insist that my children use good grammar, but it appears to alienate them from others in school. I also find that those who we pay vast sums of money to use the same linguistic skills, councils and teachers.
Recent school bus had the word 'skool bus' plastered on the side, 'to look cool', I was told. Quick letter to the council education department and more money spent changing it to 'School'.
I used to use a CB set and it had its own language, but at least you could understand it. Even my 70 year old mum is starting to use 'text speak'
And, is there a university degree for text speak???
O th jy of txt spk.
Never use it myself and if my friends 'txt spk' to me on my mobile SMS service, I never answer it... They got the message (after I tlod them) that to get a reply... speak English to me first.
The ability of todays youth to speak and spell and write correctly still baffles me when they can not. I do not mind people using abbreviations (Why is abbreviation such a long word?), but i object to text speak.
That's all for now from this 'Grumpy 42 year old'.
Thank you for listening!
OUCH!! Above posting contains a lovely mis-spelling, can you spot it?
Back to school for me then!
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