Me fail English? That's unpossible!

Article published on Aug. 11, 2008
community published
Article published on Aug. 11, 2008
It has not been a good few weeks for the English language. First Countdown was plunged into crisis and then a lecturer at New Bucks University suggested that common spelling mistakes be allowed as variants. This really annoys me.

Yes some people have problems with spelling, but if general literacy standards at schools and universities are slipping then they ought to be addressed, not just accommodated. Do these people just have to text ‘dgree’ to be accepted on a course?

Sadly such tolerance of laziness and ‘dumbing down’ is symptomatic of a wider malaise across many sections of society. Why let historical fact get in the way of a Hollywood adaptation? Why learn another language, because others are sure to speak English? Why vote, because ‘they are all the same’? It makes my blood boil.

What is particularly annoying about this state of affairs is that, more than ever before, the solution to many answers is only a Google search or a spell-check away. It is pure laziness and ignorance. Of course language, like civilisation or democracy, is a living entity. Language evolves, mutates and changes over time as new words enter our daily vocabulary. Yet that does not mean that we ought to tolerate sloppiness. To do so degrades our linguistic traditions and the role that language plays in our lives.

I suspect that I will be called an intellectual snob (though hopefully spelt with two l’s) for having such views, but I am not…

Dumbing down jst rlly irit8s me.