Officially passed my first year of university

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Officially passed my first year of university

Post by Eleanor on Wed Jun 10, 2015 10:33 am

First topic message reminder :

The results are no longer provisional! I've passed! happy dance dance dance dance dance dance

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Re: Officially passed my first year of university

Post by Caryll on Thu Jun 11, 2015 11:08 am

Ooooh, a language debate! Eleanor and I have had many discussions on this subject over the years.

Language evolves, I accept that, but that doesn't mean that the 'rules' should be thrown out of the window. There MUST be rules in language or nobody will know what anybody else is saying.

Having said that, the written word is far different from the spoken word. When we chat to each other, face to face, we have the advantage of facial expressions and voice intonation and so the rules don't need to be applied as strictly. But in the written word (ie books, letters etc) meaning can be lost and completely misconstrued if there is poor grammar or bad spelling.

In my opinion, ALL children should be presented with a dictionary (suitable to their age), and taught how to use it, at the start of primary school and again at the start of secondary school.

I have a huge issue with schools in the teaching of grammar to young children, and as Eleanor said, I have had arguments with the school regarding the non-correcting of obvious grammatical errors such as double negatives, which I hate with a vengeance! The school told me that correcting a child's grammar is tantamount to insulting and even bullying them! Needless to say, I disagreed & told them that my children, at least, would continue to be corrected by me! Neither of them, by the way, ever seemed to feel that they were being bullied.

Parents do have a role in teaching, but not all parents are equipped with the ability to teach their children. Some will have had a poor education themselves, some will have difficulty in explaining why one thing is right and another is wrong. However, they should all encourage children to learn with an open and enquiring mind.

All children should leave primary school with a passable knowledge of the three 'r's - reading, (w)riting and 'rithmatic. They won't all be at the same level, but they should be able to make themselves understood, using correct grammar, in simple sentences with an adult; they should be able to write simple, grammatically correct sentences; they should be able to do simple addition/subtraction without the use of a calculator, although it should be acceptable for them to use paper to work out their answers.

Too much emphasis nowadays is placed on 'freedom of expression' in children, and not enough on knowledge and understanding.

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Re: Officially passed my first year of university

Post by LyndaW on Thu Jun 11, 2015 8:12 pm

Be thankful, be very thankful, that my dear mother is not on this forum! She was a teacher of infants all her working life, and from age 36 to 63 was a well-regarded headmistress. She still takes a keen interest in education and would certainly be taking part in this debate!

Language does evolve it is true, but not always to improved clarity of understanding. My pet peeve is the current "I was sat" or "I was stood" etc. Yes I'm still in the same place, but how I came to be there is altered by the words "sat" or "stood", when really I was sitting or standing of my own volition. Grrrr! (Just a little pedantic example).

Maybe, in a couple of hundred years, our descendants will find it as difficult to understand our writings as we do to understand that of our Tudor ancestors.

I still think most Tudors could have added together 4 and 8 in their heads though!
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Re: Officially passed my first year of university

Post by ella on Fri Jun 12, 2015 12:23 am

Well done Mrs happy

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Re: Officially passed my first year of university

Post by tracyp on Fri Jun 12, 2015 5:25 am

Exactly Lydda!

My pet peeve is... "I fink" IT'S Think, & Its not "Askst" it's Asked! It's not "Impordant", it's Important. & "Free" is for no payment required, NOT a numerical value!

& don't start me on kids that can't do long division with a pen & their brain.
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Re: Officially passed my first year of university

Post by tracyp on Fri Jun 12, 2015 5:40 am

Eleanor, IMO... (There's some new "text" language. happy ) I am quite accepting of new words, evolution of the language,  however...correcting a childs grammer is not bullying, it's teaching.
As for parents not having the abillity to teach their child at home, combined with school.... Even if the parents education is not "up to speed", I still believe if they study from day dot with their child they do have the abillity to understand more than a child & show them how.

Its quite similar to me as parents that say, " the school didn't teach my child how to look right & left before crossing a road. That's also the parents job! NOT the teachers. While I think there are many teachers that fall far short, I also believe, ultimately, it is a parents responsibility to teach their children to ensure they are able to deal with each step forward in life & all it's challanges. Period! My mum never did applied science nor math, but she studied my books to help me learn. A periodic table was completely foreign to her, yet I would bet on her for any element abbreviation to this date!

"Maths" is not a word. It is either math or mathematics.

The one thing I find in both Lyddas & my examples is that that speaker comes off getting the message across but appearing less than intelligent or affluent.

Edit: Here I go again, correcting auto type! covering eyes


Last edited by tracyp on Fri Jun 12, 2015 7:07 am; edited 2 times in total
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Re: Officially passed my first year of university

Post by Lorraine on Fri Jun 12, 2015 6:59 am

tracyp wrote:
"Maths" is not a word. It is either math or mathematics.

I have to disagree with you there, 'Maths' is the English abbreviation of 'Mathematics', the same as 'Zoo' is the English abbreviation of 'Zoological Park'. 'Math' is an Americanism.
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Re: Officially passed my first year of university

Post by tracyp on Fri Jun 12, 2015 7:37 am

Yes, "Maths" is an english term/word. It is not used here often unless you also say fink.

We also say zoo but that is nothing similar to saying maths here.
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Re: Officially passed my first year of university

Post by Eleanor on Fri Jun 12, 2015 9:48 am

Whether it's 'math' or 'maths', they're still both abbreviations of a larger word. Though I'm not sure about 'math', I know that 'maths' is now in the Oxford English Dictionary. Years ago, that would have been considered to be a total no-no in terms of language rules. Now, however, it's acceptable. Using that word doesn't mean that the speaker/writer is unaware of its unabbreviated form; it just means that they use that particular abbreviation out of ease.

To be honest, I can't do long division with pen and paper. Again, not because I wasn't taught how to. I'm just not good at maths.

I wholeheartedly agree that the ready availability of software such as spellcheck and autocorrect has lessened the need for young people to build a strong knowledge of the English language. Although I don't particularly like that aspect of it, I still do think that the spellcheck software, at least, is useful. Even if that squiggly red line under a misspelled word just highlights where a person's weaknesses are when they proof-read, it still allows them to improve.

I doubt that there's one person on this forum who hasn't done a certain amount of code-switching. How many people type on here in the same manner as they would if they were applying for a job at a law firm?

Lack of capitalisation for proper nouns, lack of apostrophes between a single noun and an 's', joining two independent clauses with a comma, omission of commas, even basic spelling errors - there are examples of each of these in this thread alone. Do I see anything wrong with that? No, not at all. We're in an informal setting, where linguistic rules are not as important as they would be in a formal setting.

It goes to show that linguistic rules are flexible. Many of these young people, who use text speak and slang jargon, are actually better at code-switching than most of the older generations, as they've had far more practice. A person using text speak or relying on autocorrect isn't necessarily incapable of forming a proper sentence. They're a little lazy, perhaps, but that's beside the point.
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Re: Officially passed my first year of university

Post by Eleanor on Fri Jun 12, 2015 9:49 am

ella wrote:Well done Mrs happy

Thank you! happy hug
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Re: Officially passed my first year of university

Post by LyndaW on Fri Jun 12, 2015 9:04 pm

"The one thing I find in both Lyddas & my examples is that that speaker comes off getting the message across but appearing less than intelligent or affluent."

I don't want this to be handbags at dawn, but I disagree here. Uneducated perhaps, but that is no reflection on intelligence. And I just would not be able to estimate how much money a person had by the way he speaks or writes!

Ref "fink" - that's basically Cockney-speak. And some people are just physically unable to articulate the "th" sound. If it's written as "fink", that's another matter.

Ref the "sat" "stood" in my examples, they are widely used nowadays by journalists instead of "sitting" "standing", which is why I am concerned it will gain general acceptance.

Oo-er, I'm getting to be such a pedant! (Or pendant, as spellcheck would prefer it sigh )
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Re: Officially passed my first year of university

Post by tracyp on Fri Jun 12, 2015 11:38 pm

laughing
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Re: Officially passed my first year of university

Post by Caryll on Sat Jun 13, 2015 7:57 am

tracyp wrote:Exactly Lydda!

My pet peeve is... "I fink" IT'S Think, & Its not "Askst" it's Asked! It's not "Impordant", it's Important. & "Free" is for no payment required, NOT a numerical value!

& don't start me on kids that can't do long division with a pen & their brain.

Whilst I agree that the examples you have given are atrocious, you must look further than the child, its teachers or even its parents. Children brought up in deprived areas, mixing with deprived peers, will not have a 'proper' speaking voice /accent and that is nobody's fault. It's just the way it is.

But let's face it, we all cut corners in speech! How many times do we abbreviate words? In fact there are many abbreviations in this thread, for example. There's also poor grammar & punctuation in this thread.

As for Spellcheck - despite being quite well educated and well read, I do sometimes spell words wrongly & that little red squiggle lets me know. I think there are very few people in this world who have never misspelt a word or two! I don't like auto correct, but I do use spell check.

When I started school there were no calculators. Simple. Everything was worked out on paper or in your head. In fact, during an exam you received marks for correct working out! However, calculators are here and are used in schools in certain circumstances - children are still, however, taught how to work problems out on paper, in the UK at least.

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Re: Officially passed my first year of university

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