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Old 09-19-2005, 11:16 AM   #1
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Default Literacy in schools & Colleges

LITERACY IN SCHOOLS & COLLEGES

Before anyone posts on this subject, if they do, I'd like to point out the reason for starting this thread.
In England there has been a huge debate by the Government lately about the level of literacy in schools & colleges here, according to them, it's at an all-time low, some of it due to what is called the text culture, where foreshortened words are now appearing on exam papers, but also slang, such as "gonna" "aint" "wanna & "shouda" & mixing up words like "they're, "their" & "there", punctuation was also looked at, as was the lower case "i" being used for the first person pronoun. all their words not mine, myself, I only had an elementary education, cut short by the war, two of my schools being bombed, resulting in receiving only a shortened education, it's only since leaving that I've been determined not to let that stop me getting on in life, & concentrated on self-improvement, I still make mistakes sometimes, in spelling, using the wrong words, I blame Adolf Hitler for that!

Sorry about the lengthy preamble, but I thought it neccessary, now to get down to it, members are invited to give their views on this state of affairs which apparently not limited to England, by any means.

I'm confident that this won't start a class war here, you all get on well together, regardless, but if I do see squabbles, this could be a very short-lived topic.

Maurice.
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Old 09-19-2005, 11:59 AM   #2
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Yes, I do wish basic literacy would extend to the majority of the Internet.

It's part of good "netiquette" after all, I'm getting annoyed with forum posts and websites, saying things like "txt ma m8s", "lol", and bad grammar, punctuation, and sentence structure.

A shining example of English used to a relatively high standard is the GameDev.net forums. People there get flamed for not using proper language, however the odd abbreviation such as IMHO and ROFL are tolerated - but IBTL now can result in disciplinary action.

I've seen people on other forums before also getting flamed for not using correct English.

Forums, and indeed the rest of the Internet, use the same languages as we would use in real life, so why don't the real life language rules apply? The answer is they do, but for some reason, "ppl" choose to ignore them.

If only they wouldn't.

The government are right to seriously investigate this - it now seems to be becoming an ever bigger problem.

(Mods and David, get the lock button ready - I foresee flames coming my way)
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Old 09-19-2005, 12:53 PM   #3
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Default Re: Literacy in schools & Colleges

In the US, a lot of slangs and an attempt to change the english language are used as well. An example would be something like, "Sup foo". I mean, what the hell is that? Or someone who has bad breath would get a comment from a friend of theirs, "Dude, your breath smells like straight up ass-crack". It sounds funny, but that is not proper english.

Keep in mind that the term "ass" is not a bad word according to United States standards. You hear all kind of bad mouthing on network television in which at one point, they were banned!!!
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Old 09-19-2005, 12:54 PM   #4
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Default Re: Literacy in schools & Colleges

I have to agree - I've always felt that the grammar of most people today is quite poor. There are definitely certain situations to be more lenient, though. For example, when I chat on AIM, i never capitalize anything, and I'm not as obsessed with proper grammar, but I still stay very clear of abbreviations such as "u" and "lol."

In most other situations, however, proper grammar and spelling is pretty important. Anything less is embarrassing - at least to me. I am currently attending Purdue University, and I see way too many people with broken spelling and terrible grammar. You'd think that by the time one reaches a college level, excellent language skills would be second-nature. Again, there are exceptions. International students, for example, who are still learning the language should be allowed a bit of leniency, but that doesn't excuse them completely.

One of my basic philosophies is that if you want to be treated like a professional, act like one. This definitely extends into your language skills. Confusing words like "their" and "they're" is certainly a hit against your credibility as a professional individual. Exceptions and occassional mistakes aside, I feel that people who don't take the time or put in the effort to show good grammar and spelling wouldn't put in the effort to do well in other areas such as their future career. Unfortunately, this is a growing problem that most people don't seem to really care about. It's not only embarrassing to the individuals, but to society as a whole.

EDIT> In regards to slang such as "werd" or "wuddup," I admit that I use a lot of it. I like to because I think it sets me apart a bit when I interact with people. The problem comes in when these slang words and phrases are used in a professional setting. Terms such as "dawg" or "craptacular" do not belong in an english essay. Popular usage is not an excuse to use incorrect terms.
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Old 09-19-2005, 01:09 PM   #5
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Well I think that most of the ppl in England should know these kinds of things, since I do know most of that stuff and english is not my 1st language, not even the second one, though I speak english way better than swedish.

It's just mostly of knowing where to use proper grammar and where it really doesn't matter. Like when chatting online I use "words" like "u", "lol", "prolly" and that kind of stuff. But when it comes to something like school work u shouldn't use that kind of language.
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Old 09-19-2005, 02:16 PM   #6
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Default Re: Literacy in schools & Colleges

Quote:
Originally Posted by malbuc87uk
Yes, I do wish basic literacy would extend to the majority of the Internet.

It's part of good "netiquette" after all, I'm getting annoyed with forum posts and websites, saying things like "txt ma m8s", "lol", and bad grammar, punctuation, and sentence structure.

A shining example of English used to a relatively high standard is the GameDev.net forums. People there get flamed for not using proper language, however the odd abbreviation such as IMHO and ROFL are tolerated - but IBTL now can result in disciplinary action.

I've seen people on other forums before also getting flamed for not using correct English.

Forums, and indeed the rest of the Internet, use the same languages as we would use in real life, so why don't the real life language rules apply? The answer is they do, but for some reason, "ppl" choose to ignore them.]
If only they wouldn't.

The government are right to seriously investigate this - it now seems to be becoming an ever bigger problem.

(Mods and David, get the lock button ready - I foresee flames coming my way)
Just what was needed for the first reply, don't worry, I've warned against squabbling, I'll deal with any flack. I didn't mean to leave out Scotland, the article in the Daily mail only dealt with English GSSE's etc.
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Old 09-19-2005, 03:40 PM   #7
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Default Re: Literacy in schools & Colleges

Theres an error in maurices post above this, at the end it should be GCSE.

Anyway,

I think that its stupid that people do this. I quite often for some reason find myself putting this in school work, but as soon as i realize, i remove it, i suppose it comes down to to much texting and using msn messenger slang. Although i find myself doing it, i was watching over my friend in a disco filling out a form to win a prize and she was using slang for all her writing, i was thinking how the hell are the people marking these going to know what she actually means, becuase some of these little slang words can mean many things, and all in all these didnt actually make any flowing sentences, although i am more worried about learning at school than having friends, i want to do well until i leave school.

Thats all from me, keep this thread clean,
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Old 09-19-2005, 04:07 PM   #8
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Default Re: Literacy in schools & Colleges

I think literacy is at a low in the UK, people like neochivers proove this... at twelve you should be able to put together basic sentences/spell out words correctly. which he cant... I read that article in the Daily Mail the other day, how the examiners let them get an A grade, while using that text language is beyond me, i would have thought that they would want the kids to be able to spell/write sentences, instead they reward them by giving them top grades, personally, i think its the education system thats at fault... i was lucky enough to go to a good school, because of my grandparents paying out for me to go there, but the state schools around here are, well, crap...
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Old 09-19-2005, 04:18 PM   #9
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Default Re: Literacy in schools & Colleges

Humans are by nature a social species. Most people want to be part of the herd. Kids do crazy stuff just to "fit in" or be popular. L337SP34K (Leetspeak) is considered cool online, hence a lot of kids use it. I myself do, sometimes. Besides, it serves a purpose when indulging in cybersex. The problem starts when you mix up leetspeak with the real english language!

Ofcourse, a good vocabulary and grammar is essential to be able to communicate amicably. I somewhat agree with the measure that the schools have taken to improve literacy among students.
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Old 09-19-2005, 05:01 PM   #10
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Default Re: Literacy in schools & Colleges

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven12
Theres an error in maurices post above this, at the end it should be GCSE.

Anyway,

I think that its stupid that people do this. I quite often for some reason find myself putting this in school work, but as soon as i realize, i remove it, i suppose it comes down to to much texting and using msn messenger slang. Although i find myself doing it, i was watching over my friend in a disco filling out a form to win a prize and she was using slang for all her writing, i was thinking how the hell are the people marking these going to know what she actually means, becuase some of these little slang words can mean many things, and all in all these didnt actually make any flowing sentences, although i am more worried about learning at school than having friends, i want to do well until i leave school.

Thats all from me, keep this thread clean,
[Not that it matters here, but you have used the small i, as for what you say, I wish there were more young people like you, & the others posting here.
[/B]
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