Derry, Northern Ireland

Derry, Northern Ireland
A book I'm working on is set in this town.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

American education

I cannot believe how many kids who are in college cannot spell or use simple English grammar. Mine isn't perfect, not by along shot, but I don't confuse what "then" and "than" are for (tho' I have noticed myself accidentally typing one in place of the other, sometimes, but I usually correct it). I also know the difference between "your" and "you're" as well as "its" and it's", yet somehow the few college guys and girls I've chatted with on FaceBook do not.

Okay, those are easy to me but can seem confusing to people, I'm sure. After all, when we moved back from England, it took me years to remember to spell "colour" and "honour" without the "u". That being said, I was cognitive enough to learn it and finally figure out why, (on my own, since not one English teach who marked off for "misspelling" would tell me why). But when it reaches the point where they spell "bible" as "bibel", over and over? Seriously? That is today's college material? Small wonder Rick Santorum makes fun of people going to college; most of the institutions aren't even on the same level as grade school, anymore.

I'm sure the culprit is that period where kids were encouraged to spell words like they sounded, with the assumption they'd go look the word up on their own to find out how it's really spelled, once they found they're doing it wrong. Wrong. They don't care. Tell 'em to get a copy of "Strunk & White" and they shrug. Point out that "it's" is not the third person possessive and they respond, "You understood me." From the context, yes. But try pulling that when you want to program a computer, you little jerk.

So now I'm an old fart who bitches and moans about kids, these days. Yeah, all I need is a lawn so I can start yelling, "Keep off my grass, you little fuckwits!"

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