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>Our disastrous education system – use of English

>There has been an increase in activity over recent months by the federal government to try and address the parlous state of affairs caused by the Left’s ideological approach to ‘teaching’ our kids. Good luck to them, I say. It’s been something I’ve been banging on about for at least ten years.

My favourite example of diabolical use of the English language came in a resume that included the line in the opening paragraph, “I am a strong communicator with a particular enfaces on attention to detail.” I kid you not. Still brings a smile to my face four years later.

In my job I read a lot; contracts, tenders and resumes all come across my desk and it’s the standard of the latter that has been appalling me so badly. How the heck can people not only go up a grade in school but actually graduate from university and not know how to spell or punctuate at even the most moderate of levels?

Where has the word ‘alot’ come from? A Google search on ‘alot’ returns a mind numbing 75 million entries. Now, people could well have made a typo and left an ‘l’ out of allot but if I Google ‘alot of’, which can only be used where ‘a lot of’ is meant then I get an equally uncomfortable 11 million entries. I’m going to have a stab in the dark and say that the result is not due to one person making the same mistake 11 million times.

Some other common mistakenly spelled words include, with their Google result, definate (1.5 million – correct is definite), sensative (a meagre half million – sensitive) and wierd (a whopping 10 million – weird).

The worst of the worst of the worst, though, is the aberrant use of that simple punctuation mark, the apostrophe. Who would have thought that the little, half bent guy could cause so much confusion? I can nearly understand the fact that people don’t know where to stick one to indicate possession, particularly plural possession, but to simply stick one in where it’s not meant to be probably demonstrates that English teachers haven’t got much of a handle on the subject either. Examples of incorrect use:

When are the girl’s coming to see us?
The three cars wheel’s need replacing.

Can you spot the three errors? I really, really hope so. Young people should understand that many employers cross you off the list when they see these errors on your resume. If you can’t communicate correctly when you’re selling yourself then how professionally will you represent the company? It’s more than a trivial matter.

Other issues are the misspelling of a word due to using one with similar spelling but different meaning. Are you confident in your confidant? Are your compliments complementary with good taste? Do you know where/were/wear/we’re your going? Will you loose you’re shirt at the races today?

That last one reminds me of a gross mistake that has come into the language – the use of ‘your’ when ‘you are’ is meant. “Your going to the shops” is a debacle whereas “You’re going to the shops” is much better.

Another particularly gruesome result of our shameless English teachers is that of writing ‘had of’ when ‘had have’ is meant. Now, you might tell me that nobody uses that to which I’d respond that Google returns 1.2 million for ‘had of’ and the same number for ‘should of’. What sort of reputation do our English teachers have?

Well, you might say that it all goes well for the future of our kids if the government has got its eye on things to which I would respond that it doesn’t at all auger well for anybody when ‘auger well’ is mangled into ‘all goes well’.

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Categories: Education
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