Gransnet forums


Education and grammar.

(43 Posts)
kircubbin2000 Thu 20-Aug-20 16:47:32

I have spent the last hour reading and browsing some local newspaper forums.Although the content was interesting I was appalled by the general spelling,grammar and the inability to debate without resorting to abuse and name calling.Many posters completely misunderstood what the poster was saying and the arguments became very heated.

I think this reflects on the poor standard of education in this country .

Esspee Thu 20-Aug-20 16:55:44

Sounds like a few of the political threads on here. 😄

Spangler Thu 20-Aug-20 16:56:16

Maybe so, but there's also a general lack of reading, of absorbing knowledge simply for the pleasure of it. Spellcheckers and predictive suggestions negate the need for a dictionary, printers negate the need to hand write regularly and because those that post are generally of an age to have grown up with texts, emails and forums, they have no understanding of communication.

Body language is essential when conversing one to one, we use gestures, eye contact, nuances and arm movements. All that is lost with the written word and if you have grown up without the richness gained of the written word, through reading, then sadly, the result is as you perceive, brutal.

biba70 Thu 20-Aug-20 17:00:18

The vast majority of youngsters do not study English beyond GCSEs.

Ilovecheese Thu 20-Aug-20 17:02:57

Abuse and name calling is nothing to do with spelling and grammar though. The two are entirely separate issues. In fact, one could argue that the emphasis on correct grammar, stultifies communication and original thought.
I also agree with Spangler about reading for pleasure.

MawB2 Thu 20-Aug-20 18:04:00


The vast majority of youngsters do not study English beyond GCSEs.

I learned all my grammar, spelling, idioms, metaphors and similes, metonymy, antonomasia, what we called “parsing” or my daughters learned as 5 column analysis, punctuation and appropriate registers of language long before GCSE (or O levels as they were in my day) having enjoyed the benefits of a Scottish primary school.

welbeck Thu 20-Aug-20 18:08:22

now you're showing off.

welbeck Thu 20-Aug-20 18:09:35

it was the luck of the draw that you were born at that time/ place and moreso that you had that schooling.
lucky old you.

MawB2 Thu 20-Aug-20 18:12:01

No I am not Welbeck just saying that it doesn’t have to be laid at the door of secondary school students, Secondary schools or our exam system.
Not is it anything to do with privilege or money - just a traditional, possibly old-fashioned education.

Antonia Thu 20-Aug-20 18:28:29

I completely agree about the generally poor standard of grammar and punctuation. It is perfectly possible to write spontaneously and creatively, whilst maintaining a reasonable level of English. I also dislike the misplaced use of the word 'like' in speech. ( I am old and grumpy!)

Kate54 Thu 20-Aug-20 18:29:16

Pleased to hear mention of five column analysis - I definitely practised it at school (in England!) but could find no mention of it anywhere when searching for resources when I re-trained as an.English teacher. Where is it?!

BlueBelle Thu 20-Aug-20 18:29:22

...but who said it was young people i didn’t see that in the opening post I presume when commenting on a local newspaper article you don’t have to put Bluebelle aged 14
I ve heard and seen many people of all ages who are very Ignorant of spelling, grammar, punctuation or how to debate sensibly

Mamie Thu 20-Aug-20 18:39:45

There have always been a proportion of the population who are functionally illiterate. The difference is that now we see that illiteracy in plain sight on social media.
Nothing to do with the good old days.

kircubbin2000 Thu 20-Aug-20 20:22:01


There have always been a proportion of the population who are functionally illiterate. The difference is that now we see that illiteracy in plain sight on social media.
Nothing to do with the good old days.

Is it possible that a section of the population are just stupid? Nothing can teach them to reason or understand the truth of what is going on.This is why equality can never happen. Statistically there is a range of high to low.

welbeck Thu 20-Aug-20 20:41:13

i have never heard of 5-column analysis.
managed ok without it.
the subject i got the highest mark in was the one we had no teacher for in 5th form, she went awol most of the time, and we just passed the time.
it was english language, even if she'd been there the other half of the class who had the headmistress teaching them, also never heard of 5-column analysis.
i got grade 1 for english language O-Level.
the next year i got cambridge use of english cert, also with no teaching, and A/O-Level General Paper.
also A-Level English, which was literature, 9 works inc chaucer in middle english.
also got A-Level History.
which wasn't bad considering.
no where a peep of even one column, let alone 5, then or since.

Marydoll Thu 20-Aug-20 20:51:48

Just like Maw I gained my knowledge of grammar in a Scottish Primary school, nothing to do with O levels or Highers.

In the Scottish primary I taught in, the teaching grammar featured highly in the curriculum.
Unfortunately, many of the young teachers hadn't a clue, as the teaching of grammar had gone out of fashion when they were at school.

We spent a fortune, buying appropriate materials to support the teaching of grammar.
One of my colleagues even asked me to support her university student daughter, as she kept having essays returned due to poor grammar.

Callistemon Thu 20-Aug-20 21:10:58

The vast majority of youngsters do not study English beyond GCSEs.

But even so they should have a good grasp of grammar and spelling.

Texting is accepted as a normal way of communication today.

Any errors I make are purely down to autocorrect!

Callistemon Thu 20-Aug-20 21:15:59

There have always been a proportion of the population who are functionally illiterate. The difference is that now we see that illiteracy in plain sight on social media.

If the average IQ is 100 then it stands to reason that a good proportion of the population has an IQ below that.
68% fall within an IQ band of 85 and 115.

Everyone, however, is entitled to an opinion and is allowed to air that opinion.

geekesse Thu 20-Aug-20 21:24:41

Few people have ever studied English post-16, but the difference between the past and now is that until the digital age, people had to write adequate English with correct spelling and punctuation for many jobs. With spell-checkers, predictive text and ‘text-speak’, many adults who only ever use phones and computers now don’t actually know how to use capital letters, punctuation or paragraphing. They also often have a limited vocabulary. That doesn’t mean they are thick or uneducated, just that they lack communication skills, or perhaps have them but don’t consider it important to use them.

People who can’t communicate clearly tend to get frustrated because they can’t understand what is being said, or because they can’t get their ideas across, and resort to insults, name-calling and foul language as a way of expressing frustration. They are sometimes very sensitive about their obvious problems, and may become quite abusive to people who do communicate well.

Marydoll Thu 20-Aug-20 21:32:35

Excellent post geekesse.
For those reasons, we should never criticise posters for spelling errors and lack of punctuation and paragraphs.

MissAdventure Thu 20-Aug-20 21:38:07

How does that theory explain the insults, name calling and abuse that happens here then?
Does it mean they're a higher calibre of insult?

Urmstongran Thu 20-Aug-20 21:51:55

Love it MissA!

geekesse Thu 20-Aug-20 22:32:17

MissA, I was replying only to the original post. There are a lot of reasons why people engage in insults, name calling and abuse, and I could - but won’t - speculate on which ones operate on Gransnet :-)

Basically, I have to admit to being a closet language snob. I try not to, but I can’t help making judgements about people based on how they use language. I have a lot of patience with those who genuinely struggle, but even those who struggle could at least try and proof-read by using the ‘preview’ function. I tend to skip over posts which are full of spelling errors, or lack punctuation and capital letters.

JenniferEccles Thu 20-Aug-20 22:48:31

Speaking of higher calibre of insults reminds me of what my husband always says about any yobs here in Berkshire....
“Yes they might swear but they swear with rounded vowels!”

Lexisgranny Thu 20-Aug-20 23:00:47

MawB2 delighted to see the word parsing was talking about it recently and no one had ever heard of it. 5 column analysis sounds way beyond me, though I really enjoyed a good parse in my younger days,