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Illiterate or just jotting

Discussion in 'Teaching overseas' started by German Wolf, Feb 10, 2012.

  1. Dear folks,

    It is with interest that I observe the need of some of our posters to try to help others with their spelling and grammar. Sometimes we are polite, sometimes we are a little blunt and on other occasions we are just a tad rude and patronising. The Hippo recently tried to help someone and the response was awkward to say the least. Nevertheless, the helpful advice was taken and the overuse of exclamation marks was temporarily reduced.

    None of us is perfect and, despite our own (alleged) errors, we persist in trying to support our colleagues. Why do we bother when the rules often conflict with modern practice?

    Let me give an example.

    One of our community, a dear Manmaker, regularly posts in a patronising and self-promoting manner. Her/his postings almost always involve serious grammatical errors of the type that indicate a poor education in grammar. (S)he justifies these errors on the basis that they are simply 'jottings'. IMO the problem is that the public image this person portrays is sloppy in the extreme.

    An example of poor and, in fact, clumsy expression from the English Director of the International School of..... (not the Manmaker) is as follows. Make of it what you will. On my side I am not impressed. How many serious or not so serious errors are there? Does it matter? In my opinion it does. For you, it may not.

    Dear All,

    Welcome to the website for .........

    I have taught in various international schools around the world and when we as a family have a new appointment we buy the various travel guides to that country. As usual the guides give a good picture of the country. We hope that this site does the same thing for our school.

    Information is one thing, but visiting is another. We encourage you to visit our school, for students to spend a day with us. This lets the potential new students have a firsthand experience and can report back to Mum and Dad about the day.

    You will see that the IGCSE Cambridge and the IB Diploma are our external exams of choice. Their academic credentials are well known. We use the UK SATS for the KS1, KS2 and KS3 to give us information on the students? progress.

    We support the Arts with students regularly taking part in plays and productions. After school private music classes are accommodated and Visual Art can be taken at the IB Diploma level. The sporting facilities are second to none in .... and our teams have the opportunity to practice and compete with other schools.

    We see all our traditional academic endeavours, arts and sports as supporting the holistic development of our students.

    I hope that we will meet soon.
     
  2. Dear folks,

    It is with interest that I observe the need of some of our posters to try to help others with their spelling and grammar. Sometimes we are polite, sometimes we are a little blunt and on other occasions we are just a tad rude and patronising. The Hippo recently tried to help someone and the response was awkward to say the least. Nevertheless, the helpful advice was taken and the overuse of exclamation marks was temporarily reduced.

    None of us is perfect and, despite our own (alleged) errors, we persist in trying to support our colleagues. Why do we bother when the rules often conflict with modern practice?

    Let me give an example.

    One of our community, a dear Manmaker, regularly posts in a patronising and self-promoting manner. Her/his postings almost always involve serious grammatical errors of the type that indicate a poor education in grammar. (S)he justifies these errors on the basis that they are simply 'jottings'. IMO the problem is that the public image this person portrays is sloppy in the extreme.

    An example of poor and, in fact, clumsy expression from the English Director of the International School of..... (not the Manmaker) is as follows. Make of it what you will. On my side I am not impressed. How many serious or not so serious errors are there? Does it matter? In my opinion it does. For you, it may not.

    Dear All,

    Welcome to the website for .........

    I have taught in various international schools around the world and when we as a family have a new appointment we buy the various travel guides to that country. As usual the guides give a good picture of the country. We hope that this site does the same thing for our school.

    Information is one thing, but visiting is another. We encourage you to visit our school, for students to spend a day with us. This lets the potential new students have a firsthand experience and can report back to Mum and Dad about the day.

    You will see that the IGCSE Cambridge and the IB Diploma are our external exams of choice. Their academic credentials are well known. We use the UK SATS for the KS1, KS2 and KS3 to give us information on the students? progress.

    We support the Arts with students regularly taking part in plays and productions. After school private music classes are accommodated and Visual Art can be taken at the IB Diploma level. The sporting facilities are second to none in .... and our teams have the opportunity to practice and compete with other schools.

    We see all our traditional academic endeavours, arts and sports as supporting the holistic development of our students.

    I hope that we will meet soon.
     
  3. Syria1

    Syria1 New commenter

    Proofreading is a lost art. Many modern individuals spellcheck their work and send it out to all and sundry without casting a final eye over the product. Does a lack of attention to detail in the written word point towards a lack of attention elsewhere in the educational edifice?
     
  4. wrldtrvlr123

    wrldtrvlr123 Occasional commenter

    Admittedly, it is not an eloquent piece of writing and the Director is no Dickens (or even our very own SMT Dude). To be fair, he is probably no Idi Amin either.
     
  5. SMT dude

    SMT dude New commenter

    Just seeing my name in the same line as the inimitable Boz has made my day, no, my whole weekend, wldtrvlr. A tearful 'Thank you' from Ruritania.
    Anyone finding themselves in Borisburg this year should visit the Museum of London near St Paul's and the Barbican, to see its Dickens centenary exhibition. The permanent museum is also a model of its kind.
    Back to the thread. I don't leap on people's typos and solecisms, because of glasshouse and stones and so on - who knows what howler I may commit one day. A few years ago I made a mistake in French which was duly and firmly corrected for all the world to see: I took a week off school to get over the shame.
    It's perfectly acceptable for M-Maker to regard his posts as 'jottings', and frankly his rough-hewn forthrightness and the virile boisterous way he cuffs the ears of other posters and the English language is part of the charm of his unique persona. There is evidence elsewhere on the web that he can command an effective narrative prose style, rather on the spare, bleak side, but then so was Beckett's.
    On this forum, "I am not what I am" as Shakespeare's vilest villain had it. Were we all to meet at a conference, there would be some surprises, that's for sure. M-Maker would almost certainly turn out to be a smooth polished grandiloquent dandy, a Beau Brummel meets Henry James meets Oscar Wilde.
    (There's an idea for you, TES mods - invite the top fifty overseas forum posters to a booze-up in London, flights and hotels at your expense)
    The head's introduction quoted above is not a polished piece, but in the photograph he looks like a sympathetic, energetic and capable young man who has other strengths to bring to his school. It's a confident 'can-do' pose, and the only uneasy thing about it is his grip on the pen, as if further to prove that this is not, as he would say, his 'resource of choice'.
    Now I'm late for the Year Four assembly.
     
  6. This forum has been rather dull of late. This particular thread exemplifies that.
    .
    .
    I hope it's merely a bad 'spell'.
     
  7. yasimum

    yasimum New commenter

    I thought my contributions were rather scintillating actually!
     
  8. Good morning MisterManmaker,

    How many seconds does it take from your hefty schedule to correct this unfortunate phrase in a column about spelling and grammar?

    'When writing on TES forums, there is limited time for review and revising, and the consequence of errors is no more that annoying folk that are irrelevant'.

    If you hadn't noticed, try swapping the unfortunate second 't' in the twenty second word for a 'n'.

    'on the otherhand', - the longest word does not exist. ;-)

    'She commits errors by the dozen in her opening remarks'. Such as...? Rather exaggerated claim, methinks even by your standards.

    Love and kisses - you big hunk, you! How's mallasia?

    GW
     
  9. If someone has a spelling mistake, so what? This isn't an application form. Who exactly are we trying to impress here?
    If others want to fret about my bad spelling, punctation and grammar so be it. Obviously they have nothing better to do.
     
  10. Just teasing the fatuous Mistermanmaker. So patronising and rude but doesn't like it when he has the mirror held up to him. No-one is purrfect, least of all me.
     
  11. yasimum

    yasimum New commenter

    Colonel Klink! Good one Alexander Brandy!
     
  12. GW, I hate this olde English sh7t. I think it is as pretentious as Dude and M and all the other old blokes yapping on in latin. However, and to concurr with you, about your thrust, I really cringe when people write 'me thinks' -that's not olde English, that's people who did not attend school.


     
  13. Mainwaring

    Mainwaring Established commenter

    Methinks (which, by the way, doesn't mean 'I think') may be olde English (which is as spurious a phrase as 'ye tea shoppe') but certes 'tis not Old English which is a synonym for Anglo-Saxon.
     
  14. Might as well be Latin... [​IMG]

     
  15. yasimum

    yasimum New commenter

    What does methinks mean?
     
  16. It sort of reminds me of the way my ex-wife speaks when in a philosophical mood (she's from Cha'am) --- "me-thinks me-does therefore me-is"
     
  17. Whew! At least I didn't separate it into two words in my post in the Brunei thread!
    Mainwaring,
    what DOES it mean (though, obviously, I'm going to look it up in an actual dictionary now)?

    And you all have to cut me some slack for use/abuse of the English language - I'm American!
    (This is what one calls "takin' da **** of myself" in British - one of the many wonderful phrases I've learnT while teaching in the British system for the past 13 years!)
     
  18. wrldtrvlr123

    wrldtrvlr123 Occasional commenter

    Cut you slack for being a Yank? Not on your Nelly!
    Being in that unfortunate state often means you have two strikes against you before you start around here. Although I am fairly certain that the piss taking is (mostly) in good fun.
     
  19. SMT dude

    SMT dude New commenter

    Used to make a point of forcing a Latin or French tag into posts here, with a view to infuriating the Makebelieve Monarch and one or two other 'educationalists' who, alarmingly, hate the fact that there are teachers who know stuff, who are proud of knowing stuff, and who like to pass it on.
    (An attitude found in a resentful minority of Brits and Antipodeans, but almost unheard-of in the Americas, North or South, where wide learning and culture command respect rather than attracting hecklers)
    Then I stopped, because all 13 of the Latin catchphrases remembered from school had been used, and because other posters got bored of replying angrily.
    Ask any school bully - you get much less fun out of being a smug arrogant taunting pig if your victim doesn't react.
    But one can still rouse the soon-to-be-mummified beast over in Cairo by calling him a custos balnearii.
     

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