Gransnet forums


Whatever happened to grammar and spelling?

(231 Posts)
CariGransnet (GNHQ) Thu 27-Sep-12 08:42:20

This week's guest blog post is one to appeal to the pedants amongst us <raises hand enthusiastically>

Do add your comments here.

The authors of the post - Katherine Fry and Rowena Kirton - have two signed copies of their book to give away and will be picking their favourite comments left between now and midday on Thurs 4 October to win them. It goes without saying that comments are welcome at any time - not just up to the closing date.

Bags Thu 27-Sep-12 14:09:52

DD is eleven. She sure as hell knows the difference between text speak and good written English. Why? Because she has been taught at school. She also knows the difference between how she speaks to her friends and how I want to her to speak to me. Why? Because I tell her.

It's utter rubbish to say that kids aren't taught any grammar or spelling.

They are also encouraged to read, which helps with both.

So I'm joining the FedUpWithPeopleMoaningAboutTheYoungerGeneration'sCommunications Gang.

Pish, I say. Just Pish!

Bags Thu 27-Sep-12 14:12:39

I bet that if samples of written work were taken from a cross section of large numbers of The Moaning Generation and similarly large numbers from a cross section of Kids/Young Adults, the resulting proportions of bad and good spelling and grammar would be quite revealing and surprising.

Mamie Thu 27-Sep-12 14:13:20

I am joining your gang, Bags.
And I am starting one that says BeingAnallyRetentiveAboutSpellingAndGrammarOnForumsMakesThreadsReallyLabouredAndBoring.
Pish squared!

Bags Thu 27-Sep-12 14:19:49

Great! I'll join your gang too, mamie. Is that Pish to the Power Four?

Pish to the Fourth.

Pish to the Forth.

Piss in the Forth.

There's a song in there somewhere.

Ahoy! GranSongWriters!

Mamie Thu 27-Sep-12 14:26:24

I am willing to bet that people who complain about textspeak would be hard-pushed to write three not sentences in it.
I challenge them.
Is the song Harry Lauder or McGonagall? No, that was the Silvery Tay...

petallus Thu 27-Sep-12 14:27:27

i'm most definitely joining both gangs. Hurrah!

nightowl Thu 27-Sep-12 14:27:51

I agree. I think I have a good grasp of grammar and spelling which was drummed into me at an early age. I am very particular about my use of both when I am writing reports at work or important correspondence. However, I choose not to be pedantic on here because I see it as chatting with friends and I think it's what we say that matters, not how we say it.

Can't write a song I'm afraid but I would like to join the gang

nightowl Thu 27-Sep-12 14:28:52

Both gangs smile

Mamie Thu 27-Sep-12 14:33:44

U must B gr8 at this b4 U join..
Paralinguistic and prosodic features
Prosodic features in SMS language aim to provide added semantic and syntactic information and context from which recipients can use to deduce a more contextually-relevant and accurate interpretation. These may aim to convey the textual equivalent of verbal prosodic features such as facial expression and tone of voice. Indeed, even though SMS language exists in the format of written text, it closely resembles normal speech in that it does not have a complicated structure and that its meaning is greatly contextualised. (from wiki)

Bags Thu 27-Sep-12 14:35:35

After consultations (yes! we did, mamie! wink), we are amalgamating both gangs and their combined name is Pish to the Fourth.

Bags Thu 27-Sep-12 14:36:25

Oe even Pish2the4th.

Bags Thu 27-Sep-12 14:36:56

That's or, natch. It's my computer wot cant spell 4 toffy.

Mamie Thu 27-Sep-12 14:38:09

I pish on apostrophes. How elegant is your SMS prosody in Pedant's Corner?

nightowl Thu 27-Sep-12 14:40:52

wot??duhhhhh! fink im 2 fik 4 ur gang : (

Bags Thu 27-Sep-12 14:41:00

Hang on. I need to look up prosody in the Dikshunry....

Bags Thu 27-Sep-12 14:42:26

DD says I don't say duh right. Not enough tone and attitude apparently. Sob.

JO4 Thu 27-Sep-12 14:42:31

The sign on the blog page.

Does it suggest the police might be just a little bit plebby? shock

Mamie Thu 27-Sep-12 14:43:21

All hre 4 U no swet

Mamie Thu 27-Sep-12 14:43:54


JO4 Thu 27-Sep-12 14:46:25

"the minister and me – or should that be I…?" That is unwarranted criticism. It can't be easy, when you are speaking publicy, to quickly sort out if it should be "I" or "me". That is unnecessary pedantry.

I didn't read the rest of the blog. Too boring. And I don't like pedantry.

Greatnan Thu 27-Sep-12 14:48:56

I have never corrected any member's grammar or spelling on any forum as I think it would be the height of bad manners. However, I still think that teachers should not make spelling mistakes on reports! If that makes me a pedant, so be it.
Surely there is no dichotomy between good creative writing and correct spelling? O.K. I know that many of our greatest writers were idiosyncratic spellers but many were writing at a time when spelling had not been formalised and many people were illiterate. I think bad grammar and spelling in letters of application could give prospective employers a bad impression. Children should be given the tools to demonstrate their understanding of their native tongue.

Of course I don't understand textspeak - why should I? I have managed to get through 72 years without it and I don't want to 'get down with the kids'.

I never compare today's students unfavourably with those of earlier generations - I think the quality of education has improved immeasurably and I don't think I could tackle some of the A-level papers that my grandchildren have shown me. I agree that many older people left school barely literate - I was a volunteer on the Adult Literacy Scheme in the 1970s when it was estimated that two million UK adults were functionally illiterate. However, I think it is unfair to accept poor spelling and grammar because it puts the students at a disadvantage in later life.

I am sticking to my guns - there is no place for criticism of other members on forums, but good spelling and grammar should still be taught - we all know how the people at the top of the pile look down on the 'plebs' and ungrammatical speech gives them a chance to sneer.

JO4 Thu 27-Sep-12 14:53:48

Oh yes. There's no excuse for teachers.

NannyBarbara Thu 27-Sep-12 14:54:11

Did anyone else out there notice the error in Gransnet's own report on this subject?

"We should be proving that using good and clear English can be liberating and expressive, and that there is be more to life and literature than a rushed-off email and textspeak."


My English teacher taught me perhaps a little too well and I have become quite the pedant on this subject - much to the irritation of some - and frequently have the urge to correct signs, etc. (much like salbristol)! Amongst my pet hates are: apostrophes in plurals and other places where they are not needed, spelling mistakes and something which is becoming more and more commonplace, (even with newsreaders) - the use of "of" instead of "have", for example, I could of (I could have). Grrr!

JO4 Thu 27-Sep-12 14:54:46

I don't use text speak. I tend to include punctuation. Well, I do want them to be able to read it!

Mamie Thu 27-Sep-12 14:57:07

Good spelling and grammar are still taught and taught much better than they have been for many years. Have a look at the literacy framework, I think you will be amazed.
Textspeak is different and used for a specific context, it doesn't make it inferior, just fit for purpose.
Of course there shouldn't be spelling mistakes on reports, that is formal writing.