Is spelling and grammar getting worse?

70 Replies

I regularly read through the postings on the forum and notwithstanding the fact that a spell checker has been added, it would appear that one in three contains either bad spelling and/or grammatical errors.On e-bay it gets even worse;every other advertisement contains errors and some are almost incomprehensible.Without doubt the most common spelling mistake is the use of a comma before s to make a plural, as in' Fresh Flower,s for sale'. The use of texting seems to have exacerbated the situation and it worries me that young people are not attaining the communication skills of their (not there!) peers.Am I imagining it or is spelling and grammar getting worse?

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orme-197181 1110548980

Perhaps.  It's difficult to say because not so long ago there was no internet, no texting on mobile 'phones etc, so we were perhaps not confronted with written text to such a great extent.  Those who picked up the 'phone to communicate verbally didn't need to spell.

There was a time, in the UK at least, when my nephews (now in their mid-twenties) were in primary school when the teachers were more concerned that they 'express themselves' than learn how to spell correctly.  The results are there for me to see when I receive letters from them!  It appears that that situation has now been changed and spelling and grammar are back on the menu, so maybe in 10-15 years time there will be less errors.

I have also made errors on posts here, often when I am tapping away (I'm pretty quick on the keyboard) and my fingers and head are not synchronised and errors occur.  A quick read through before hitting the post button doesn't always work - one reads what one expects to read.  Also, having lived in French speaking countries for the last 16 years, I sometimes think I am losing my English!  Maybe others posting here have the same problem.

JonnyB-199687 1110552675

Orme we all make mistakes on postings and these are pretty obvious but there are plenty where it is quite clear that the author is not aware he/she has made a mistake.

MikeP-180526 1110553282

I often make mistakes due to my fingers being even slower than my brain,  but at least I'm aware of these - eventually.  I read my postings back but as Orme says, you read what you expect to read.

We become sloppy because we see sloppy, incorrect English all around us and we no longer notice mistakes. Some of us who work in a multinational environment speak a 'dumbed down' English and lose some of the finer points of the language.  I often find myself picking up a dictionary to check a spelling, something I rarely used to do.

Capitalisation and punctuation (wossat then?) seem to be largely ignored.  (i dont no why.).  I am sure that certainly amongst the younger folk this is due to 'texting'.

By the way the phenomenom that Johnny mentions is called the 'greengrocer's apostrophe',  as in : Fresh Potato's for sale





Steve R-187639 1110554344

I'm really quite anal about spelling and grammar mistakes and I come from the "express yourself" generation mentioned above. It's not so much other people's mistakes - though one particular person who posts on here does spring to mind - but my own. Whenever I spot a mistake I have made in an email (when receiving a reply and I can therefore see my original message) it is literally all I can do to stop myself from writing back to tell the person that I don't normally make such mistakes and that I know the correct spelling. I have actually blushed when spotting a "your" where there should be a "you're".

Even with texting, I can't bring myself to write "UR" instead of "you're", even if it does mean hitting one key 18 times to get the apostrophe. 

OK, I've re-read this three times and spell checked it twice so I deem it fit for posting.

hope-186232 1110554745

A prime example - look at "jonny" surely it should be "johnny" !!


orme-197181 1110557991

He obviously drops his aitches!

JonnyB-199687 1110558717

I'm sorry hope but my name is Jonathan but this can become Johnathan,Jonathen or even Johnathen, hence JonnyB.

jacksong 1110559297

Ditto Steve R,
bad grammar and/or incorrect spelling is one of my pet peeves. Of course, if one one has fat fingers like me, the occasional typo is bound to occur, but postings strewn with bad spelling makes me want to gnash my teeth. The worst suspects are the ones who go off on a ten minute diatribe with all sorts of irrelevant tangents and then further compound our misery with their excruciating syntax.

Note: This rant does not count

JonnyB-199687 1110561463

What about split infinitives,you know "boldly go" "now coming" etc.etc.?

Barney Gumble 1110565582

So if another thread is to be believed, humans are rapidly evolving into a bunch of illiterate fatties?

karen.snooke 1110579919

we can't all be perfect . my spelling as a young child was very good , then and now very very bad almost none existent , but lately it is improving quite well even though far from perfect , I don't care though people like me the way I am , The spell checker does not always work and if you make lots of mistakes you are going to look silly , saying things like people can't spell or say things properly makes you a snob , I would sooner be me

karen snooke

orme-197181 1110581122

saying things like people can't spell or say things properly makes you a snob ,

Well not necessarily, it depends how you say it.  It may be just stating a fact.  If it is said with the intent to demean someone else, then that could be called snobbery but if it is just making an observation then it can't.  At least people can do something about not being able to spell or say things properly if they want to (unless they are dyslexic of course).  Also, if a problem like that is identified as being the fault of teaching methods, those responsible for education can actually look into solving it.

kalinka 1110648383

Typos occur, as do stuck keys on keyoards, but generally by reading the rest of what a person has written one can clearly see if that has been the case. I am currently having a problem with the "b" key and keep having to go back and change "uts" to "buts." I often see postings here by touch typists who have not yet mastered an AZERTY keyboard.

Being fluent in other languages causes problems, so thank you for your comprehension when my spelling takes a southerly direccíon when writing about my appartement.

There are many victims of "modern" teaching methods where instead of phonetics they were taught to recognize whole words. My husand's adult daughter was taught this way and avoids reading books, probably because there are too many big words in them.

I have a friend who teaches writing at a university and is faced with students who not only are clueless about grammar, spelling and punctuation, but have no idea how to put their thoughts together and deveop an essay. She is directed not to focus on these difficiencies but to allow them to "express themselves"--something they are incapable of doing. Most of them don't understand why learning to write correctly should even matter.

Texting is also a problem in France. I was told by a teacher that adolescents continue to write their exams as if they were texting: "kwa" instead of "quoi" and all the other shortcuts. It's become so ingrained that they don't even notice their errors.

Articles and forum postings on the web demonstrate that many otherwise intelligent people were never taught to distinguish between "your" and you're" or "there," "their" and "they're." Misplaced apostrophes are rife, so does'nt all this make you wonder whether it's the teachers who are to blame?

After many years of online reading, I have noticed a decline in spelling and grammar as more and more people have access to the internet. It took me years before it clicked that "wallah!" (tea-wallah? water-wallah?) was actually the clueless verion of "voila!" I regularly run into "Low and behold!" (Mooooo!) And people are constantly wondering about and loosing things, asking for advise with baited breath and prolly fixing things with duck tape. Irregardless, noone seems phased about making alot of mistakes. We can definately take it for granite that we will continue to see lot's of errors in grammer and spelling and people reeking havoc with the English language, which appears to be in its death throws. We will just have to except that rather then hoping for an improvement, tho I can't phantom what they are teaching in schools these days and hope that there are still a few teachers who tow the line!

The EU's offical language and Mark Twain on spelling reform:

Another version of spelling reform published in Astounding Science Fiction in 1946:

Ode to a spelling checker:

We may find these cute in children, but in adults..?

kalinka 1110659414

"deveop an essay"

Oops! That should be "develop an essay." It jumped out and bit me on the nose after it was already too late! My bad, as they say nowadays.

danonimes-184717 1110704188

Shouldn't that be "Are spelling and grammar getting worse?" ?

peter57-190654 1110709074

Does it really matter, surley the reason for angloinfo is to get things of your chest, to help others if possible, and to be able to talk to other people here in the same boat, ie stopping people from feeling isolated..

To pick flies on peoples ability to talk proper like the righter of this thread in my opinion is rather pedantic   write....write  so there.

And that's my opinion

Wow I feel so much better now

MikeP-180526 1110710585

Well spotted Danonimes !

Peter I think this thread was started in a genuine desire to find out why, particularly amongst younger folk (not people like you and me!) the standards of spelling and grammar are getting worse.

I don't see it as an attempt to criticise anybody, and have found it interesting to see the opinions expressed here.  Written communication is more important to some people than others.

One of the most intelligent and successful people I know is dyslexic. Such people are generally more motivated than others and compensate in other ways. There are many dyslexic people around whose condition we are not even aware of.  Dyslexia used to be considered a disability, it is now recognised and dealt with as a condition, and in the same way that I hope we would not judge someone harshly who, like me, is too uncoordinated and clumsy to be able to play sport,  we should also tolerate those who cannot write correctly.

What seriously annoys me though,  is lazy sloppy English, such as :

"hello my name is xxx and i am loking 4 a car under 1 thousand euros pls call me 5555555 i lk fwd to hear fm u."  That is inexcusable. 


peter57-190654 1110711798

Ok Danomines point taken, but I do agree with the abbreviation,when you say it is awful, my Ex wife uses it on a regular basis, for example, see ya soon , how much more difficult is it to use the word you, just a pet hate of mine..see why I got divorced now, I think that is grounds for anyone.

On a more serious note, I have been left school for 32 years and in that time I was a truck driver, so as you can imagine there was no need for spelling or the use of grammar, my girlfriend often pulls me up on my spelling, and I must admit I get quite annoyed, she is from Sri Lanka, lived here for 27 years, and I hate to admit it but her Grammar and spelling is far better than mine.

Ah well hope to speak to ya soon, whoops! it's catching.

peter57-190654 1110711850

Sorry the last letter was intended for my mate Mike P

danonimes-184717 1110713318

Thanks MikeP, surprised none of the other pedants spotted it.

Spelling and grammar are part of the rules of communication. As long as the receiver understands what the sender wanted them to understand, where's the pbm?

Language is language, whether it's TELEX - STP GA; SMS - U OK? ;); industry specific jargon - pax 2 MRS ATL; English, French, Swahili....... TU PIGES?
(Sorry for shouting.)

danonimes-184717 1110713638

Receiving you wall to wall, peter57. 10-4 good buddy :)

peter57-190654 1110716692

Thank you breaker, off for a 10-100 bysee bye I'm gone good buddy oh and time for a barley pop...omg thats worse than text................

MikeP-180526 1110718707

I guess not everybody here is old enough to remember the CB radio craze. It hit South Africa in about 1980 if I remember correctly.  The mindless talking to the mindless. About as constructive as dialling phone numbers at random and talking drivel to the person who answered.  The only difference was that if you dialled a phone number at random there was a high chance you'd get someone sane at the other end!

Runaway-182887 1110720532

I work for the Apprenticeship Team at a college in the UK and can assure the initial contributor that yes, the standard of spelling, and more so, grammar, has declined over the years.

When I see a new learner (we aren’t allowed to call them students anymore) for the first time prior to enrolling them onto the course, the first thing I do is a Basic and Key skill Builder assessment with them and the results are often alarming.  Some of these young people come to us with GCSE grades of C and above yet seem incapable of stringing a sentence together.  They only have a rudimentary grasp of the English language and I don’t think that it’s all down to text messaging and email abbreviations.  Apostrophes are thrown into written work with gay abandon because they know that they should be in there somewhere; colons and semi-colons have disappeared altogether and paragraphs with correct sentence construction are a total mystery to them.  One of the most common mistakes is the incorrect use of so called ‘problem’ words, i.e., there, their, wear, where, father, farther etc.

Similar problems occur with basic numeric skills and I can’t see that being the fault of the modern age of texts and emails either.

My personal opinion is that these youngsters are being let down by main stream education; they are being taught by people who were themselves educated at a time of radical teaching methods in the 80’s and 90’s. Strange ideas were introduced such as, ‘put a child into a room full of books and they will learn to read’, or just to show them pictures and guess what the word said.  This, I suppose, made life easier for the teachers’ but failed at least two generations of children, my own being amongst them if not for my ‘interference’.

As a Further Education college we now have to gather these youngsters up and deliver Key Skills in literacy and numeracy to the standards required by industry, with a lot less funding than the schools get (a growing political debate). Some of them willingly accept that their skills are not quite as good as they had been led to believe and complete their qualifications with dogged determination. Others, however, feel that they have done enough at school and walk away, thereby losing the opportunity not only to gain a vocational qualification, but also the chance to learn the skills to communicate effectively.

Education these days is a political and financial battlefield and the only losers are the children. Changes are being introduced, hopefully for the better. In the meantime it seems to be the remit of F.E. colleges and universities to plug the gaps left by main stream education. 




kalinka 1110721510

What gets posted on a forum is bound to contain a few bloopers, as thoughts tend to run in many different directions. Proofreading (if done at all) is usually just a quick cursory glance.

I've seen many people for whom English is a second language express themselves far better than native speakers. I get annoyed when I receive e-mails from people that are written as if they were texting. I don't value them any less as friends, but I just find it a sloppy way of writing. Personally, I find it requires more concentration to write "r u ready 2 go 4 a drink," than to write it correctly.

Anyone whose writing or speech is peppered with eggcorns is revealing that either they don't read much or that they don't take in what they read.

Chat rooms are the internet equivalent of CB radio.

orme-197181 1110736313

Maybe it's done on purpose.  Keep them dumb, keep them on the border-line of illiterate and they will be unable to read and inform themselves properly, then they will accept whatever is told to them by someone speaking their (reduced) language. LOL (I've only just found out what that means).

Seriously though, when my son was learning to read, he asked us once 'why?' and we told him that in books, literature, internet etc there is knowledge.  To be able to access that knowledge means you are more able to make up your own mind about something and less likely to be duped by others.  The same with writing correctly: as Danonimes says, it is to communicate, but when we go further than simple 'see you later' messages, it becomes necessary to be able to write in a more complete way than G a.

MikeP-180526 1110736953

Maybe it's done on purpose.  Keep them dumb, keep them on the border-line of illiterate and they will be unable to read and inform themselves properly, then they will accept whatever is told to them by someone speaking their (reduced) language

An interesting theory but it's belied by what took place in the communist dictatorships of Eastern Europe and Cuba, where education, literacy, and culture were highly promoted.  Of course they were only given access to what the regimes wanted them to know, but they got smart enough to realise that there was a real world of BBC, Voice of America, Radio Liberty, and so on, out there,  hence the fall of Communism.

JonnyB-199687 1110739463

When I started this thread the intention was not to upset anyone and it certainly had nothing to do with snobbery.There is nothing snobbish about good plain English or French for that matter but when you see some of the job offers and replies in Anlophile for postions such as clerical assistants,P.A,s and web designers you would expect the employers and applicants to,at least,have a grasp of the language.If I have offended anyone then I am sorry.

JonnyB-199687 1110739591

Just noticed the missing g in my last post!!!!!!

karen.snooke 1110742724

see how easy it is to make mistakes ?...................

karen snooke

peter57-190654 1110796693

The other question is,  I know a couple of accountants, and if I ask the question what is 16x9 they can not work it out in there head ?

just a thought

kalinka 1110809702


Communism did promote a love of culture through all levels of society and the powers that be (were) spent a lot of money on the (approved) arts.

Maya Plisetskaya, had to fight to be allowed to dance Carmen Suite because the official outlook was, "Who wants a ballet about a whore?" despite the fact that the ballet was choreographed by a Cuban communist, ballerina Alicia Alonzo's husband. Only Plisetskaya's prima ballerina asoluta status, as well as the high status of her husand, Rodion Shchedrin, the composer of the instrumental version of Bizet's music, made the Minister of Culture finally relent.

As soon as communism fell, the metro was full of people reading Jackie Collins translations. Since that time there have been many excellent films produced, as well as an enormous amount of crap. And a lot of Russian rock music is pretty good.

Radio Liberty, based in Munich, provided excellent programming, unlike Voice of America. You may find this interesting:

tanyamoose2000 1110810607

Well you know, i'st alerady bene pvoren taht lettre odere deos'tn mkae any dieffrecne , teh brian raeds waht it wanst to raed so who craes abuot spleling?


Barney Gumble 1110812894

Letter order does make one crucial difference - when words are all jumbled up like that my brain may be able to decipher them, but it also finds it highly frustrating to have to do so. I wouldn't bother reading a book or a magazine if it was full of spelling mistakes.

jamesh19 1110820021

I was always made to understand that one of the English language's greatest strengths was its ability to adapt and evolve.

Contrast this with other languages' tendency to protect (eg. French Academy).

I never liked full stops anyway...

simonwynne 1110823039

many years ago, I had to type /email weekend department reports to the head of department in adding useful comments, ah yes all written on a sunday evening when tired from the slog with no refrain from the send button...the references of difference between there's their now there's a point or now theirs in point....

however happerly today on the cda's french politess one wonders of the erreurs that the french make or do they !!!

Simon Templer

Sam the clam-189505 1110823605

      Prior to The publication of Samuel Johnsons' dictionary, the fashion was to fpell wurds  the way ye 'eard 'em. English, after all, is just a mixture of bastardised  Latin and Germano/Scandinavian dialects with a touch of Celtic and Gaelic thrown in. In other words, just about anyone who came over for a bit of rape and pillage, left a few words behind when they parted for sunnier climes. 

      If you think we English don't know how to  spell, just look at those Americans! But there again, that's a different language nowadays, yeah? In fact, the spellchecker on my computer lists nineteen different versions of English. so one might say that spelling today is a bit of a grey area - or should that be 'gray'? To whom should one make enquiries, I might inquire? oodya ge'in tutch wiv, eh?


cuckolds and muscles alive, alive - oh!

C-food rools.... 


MikeP-180526 1110825751

Spell checkers are an interesting subject. I've set mine to South African English as the default,  but it often does three things which infuriate me.  I'd like to be able to wring its neck and permanently disable it but this does not seem to be possible.

  • It changes to US English and tells me that 'neighbour' or 'customise' are wrong, with the dreaded wavy red line.

  • It automatically changes spellings and I don't always notice. This can and often does change the meaning of a sentence from that intended.

  • Even when set to SA English it refuses to accept words such as 'braai' which although not technically English, are so commonly used in SA English that there is really no equivalent.

I do wonder if the prevalence of these spell checkers,  upon which people rely heavily, is one cause of declining standards.

Paul Carmel-190537 1110827306

I am dyslexic ( yep! the wife spelt the d word out for me ) Spell checkers are useless! 5 ways to spell a word that I can't spell in the first place.

It does not stop me taking part in AI or any other forum........U got a prob with that.........tuff


orme-197181 1110832300

As a dyslexic, doesn't it ever annoy you that people who are not just can't be bothered to spell correctly?  We have dyslexics and dysorthographics in the family and I sometimes get cross when I see things spelt wrongly because it doesn't help them at all to see incorrect spellings so often.  It just reinforces their bad spelling.

JonnyB-199687 1110884244

To make things even more difficult nowadays the kids are bastardising English words which changes the whole meaning as in "wicked" which apparently means good. "Gay" which started off life meaning happy,spent 20 or so years meaning homosexual and now means odd,strange or some such thing.Then there is the use of the word "like".From what I can gather this is an apostrophe or causes an apostrophe or perhaps it means I am quite incapable of stringing a sentence together.

Danonines you are quite correct I should have said 'are grammar and spelling..........Hoisted on my own petard and all that.!!!

Having got that out of the way,I do not agree with those who are suggesting that full stops are not important or that we should write as we speak because punctuation is something we do naturally in the spoken language but a string of words written down often makes no sense until it has been read several times.

I also agree with Orme on the subject of dyslexia.Dyslexics have enough difficulty assimilating words in well written prose it must be 10 times worse with spelling mistakes and no punctuation.

jamesh19 1110887352

My favourite example of a loanword is lekker . Plus ca change, rien ca change...

danonimes-184717 1110906744

and that's Danonimes, not Danonines

JonnyB-199687 1110967257

Now there's no need to get picky dano whatever!

Φ 1110989025

Jonny, I see you have an answer to the old argument about whether to put one or two spaces after a full stop.

I don't think spelling and grammar are getting worse, but the Internet forces more people to write, and also forces more people to write in a foreign language.

Twenty years ago, anyone who had left school and didn't want to write, didn't have to.

So I think the average level of spelling and grammar is getting better, it is just that we see more evidence of people learning.


Mike V-188564 1111019008

The biggest problem when somewhat dyslexic is stopping to try to decide if a word that has just been read has been spelled right or not. Can be very confusing.
Also the quest for time saving encourages the use of acronyms that are often totally incomprehensible.

What is an SUV? Or, the often heard on police programmes, IC1 (or should that be "eye see won")?

Mike V

SammyT-194551 1111043531

SUV=Sports Utility Vehicle or 4x4, as they are commonly known here.  They're pretty much enormous cars that use lots of fuel.

Φ 1111049791

I like TLAs.

The point about a TLA is that if you dont know what the acronym means, you probably wont be any wiser if it were spelt out in full.

For example, if you dont already know what GMT or a CPU is, having someone explain that they mean Greenwich Mean Time and Central Processing Unit won't help.

In the IT industry, judicious use of TLAs can cut weekly meeting time (WMT) by 50% or more.

φ this man walks into a bar, it was an iron bar-201194 1111050269

Me & my m8's fink u r bang out off ordor havin a go at yung peeples spellin & our grandma. We left skool knot nowing how 2 reed and rite proper be cos the teechers r undur presure wif the skool ........curic, currik, currric, kuri, coric....... lessons & we get know help wif our 3 R's from our parrents anymor, knot like in the auld days wich my grammar told me bout wen we wus there yesturday wiff herr.

I fought the 3 r's wur stupid wots that all bout? Reeding (fine), Riting, (thats fine as well) but aRithmatic (thats stupid know wunder theres probblems, its all arse, bout face)

Gotta go now, 4 my 3 R's

1. Riting my name on the formms in the Conexions ofice (job center to u's aulder than 17)

2. Ridin me bike round the nayborhood (I cant pass me drivin test, sumthin bout needin to pass a practikal test, wich inckludes big words, b4 i can get to drive me convurted Pugeot 205 GTI SXI B&Q. I drive it anyweigh but juste dont tel know one)

3. Reely fit women, like Beyoncee & J Lo and me woman

I S Cool & his m8's

JonnyB-199687 1111054853

Artist formely known as one eye I don't get what you mean about full stops and spaces afterwards. Please explain.

JohnD-185075 1111059991


Have a read of this link:

jamesh19 1111062801

Patents have been granted for the Question Comma and the Exclamation Comma. Wonders will never cease...

Φ 1111070428

"Artist formerly known as one eye."

Are you referring to me? Can't people spell insults properly anymore?

You can just call me Phi if you don't know how to type φ.


Mike V-188564 1111113132

Thanks to SammyT I now know what an SUV is, I think. Does an Audi quattro qualify?

So much for acronyms. Maybe phi is right but why, in a forum like this, try to confuse people? What is a TLA?

More annoying is the trend, even amongst people who should know better, to say, or write, things like "The government are......" Grammar is getting worse.

Mike V

Φ 1111137635

Three Letter Acronym


tanyamoose2000 1111145774

But one can say the Government is and the Government are and the  Police is and the Police are - it's the same for all bodies...

But, what would you say Mr One Eye, (artist formerly known as "φ" ) to the following question:

Does one say none is or none are....?



MikeP-180526 1111147278

1) A large number of people IS opposed to higher taxes


2) A large number of people ARE opposed to higher taxes

I think 1) is grammatically correct but sounds wrong, whereas 2) is what most of us would say or write but it is grammatically wrong.


tanyamoose2000 1111149448

Hmm, I'd say it's the same as "none".
Is it the quantinty (plural) or the noun "number" (singular) that we're interested in?
The answer to the "none" question is in the signification of the speaker/writer. Depending on how he feels both are correct.


kalinka 1111152438

But one can say the Government is and the Government are and the  Police is and the Police are - it's the same for all bodies...

It's been my observation that in the US one tends to see "the Government is" while in the UK it's more common to see "the Government are." Perhaps with the rest of the world getting more and more exposure to American TV and films and Americans hearing lots of UK news sound bytes, we are now seeing a lot of mixed usage. If you hear something enough times it begins to sound right. It's a bit like fashion; when women's pointy, needle-nosed shoes first hit the streets they looked weird, but after awhile most people get used to seeing them and they are not as shocking to the eye.

There is more use of "there's" when followed by a plural than the correct "there're," at least in the spoken language. I don't know if the BBC is/are still sticklers for correct English, but in the US errors are becoming standard English. this man walks into a bar, it was an iron bar-201194 1111154107

MikeP, maybe neither, they could say....

"A large number of people oppose higher taxation"    :-)

Although I gained a dubious pass at GSCE English Language at a Grammar school (just a couple of years ago ;-)), I cannot recall some rules (well okay, almost all of them) eg. does either of the sentences you posted have to be correct, I just don't know?

Also surprised nobody responded to my friend I S Cool & his M8's posting on P13, apart form MikeP by email. There was/is (see I don't know what to even type now!) a serious, but subtle message lying within (obviously too damn subtle!).

Just SOME of the problems are......

1) My parents used to read, write and generally take an interest in the 3 R's with both my sister and I. Well okay that arguement is not rock solid in my case, but my sister is literate!

2) There are more single parents now and I was always told that you should never let the amount of children in a household outnumber the parents/adults (reasons included; discipline, teaching and making sure you could watch a TV programme you wanted to watch and NOT some teen rubbish).

3) Even with two parents there has been so called "Life pressure" changes and the pace of life and the way parents deal with this, has impacted on the education of children within the home.

4) At school the curriculum has changed so much with a wider range of lessons and teaching. Larger class sizes allow less time for those at the back of the class, metaphorically speaking, I think - now questioning ALL that I type!

5) Society is changing and this has not only influenced the broader range of lessons (and hence the diminishing educational importance of English and Maths as core lessons), but it has also meant that being IT LITERATE is now maybe of equal or higher importance in the corporate world than being LANGUAGE LITERATE. There are many young people who are only happy communicating with either a computer or their M8's (!), ask them to communicate with a normal human being of adult years and they struggle.

Now am feeling brave..... am going to post this..................................... without reading again or.........................................................pressing Check Spelling !

Life in the fast lane!

Note from I S Cool & his M8's: If u fink wot is sed in this poste is rong then i fink u is barkin up the rong lampost. My teecher told me their r 3 tipes of mathameticons.... those that can do maths and those that cant. Phrophetic words eh!

Dept 22

JonnyB-199687 1111158815

Kalinka I think the B.B.C. are tending to follow the 'English as it is spoken' approach. For example different from is often replaced with different to which strictly speaking is incorrect. I feel sure old Phi will have an opinion on this as he seems to have had great fun dissecting my comments so far.

By the way Phi,perhaps I should have said the artist formally known as one eye.

mike-179830 1111160841

2) is what most of us would say or write but it is grammatically wrong.

Er... No it isn't. Grammatically wrong, I mean. It's called "subject-verb agreement" by grammarians.


Φ 1111162375

I feel sure old Phi will have an opinion on this

You've hit the nail on the head Jonny.  Anyone who tries to write correctly is obviously some old duffer who wears a suit.


tanyamoose2000 1111397310

Things aren't going to improve either because the approach to English as a Foreign Language is not to correct all the grammar misakes but to encourage speaking and communication. After all, who wants to listen to a speech made by someone who has perfect grammar but who is a bore? It's much better to hear a speaker who makes grammar mistakes but who has the knack of capturing the audience's atttention and who is an effective communicator - no?


kalinka 1111434523


Teaching English as a foreign language is a somewhat different kettle of fish where communication is the key. When someone is travelling, it doesn't help them to know all the different tenses of the verb "to be" without having learned the present tense of any of the other basic verbs. Believe it or not, I have actually seen a language school where this was the teaching method! If you learn the present tense of common verbs, you can get a lot of mileage out sentences like "I go to doctor yesterday," and still be understood. When speaking a foreign language it's usually best to say something with a grammatical fault than to stand there waffling while the listener loses interest.

I think we were discussing the demise of English in native speakers--particularly in the written language. If someone has something interesting to say but what they have written is full of errors, it detracts from the message.

tanyamoose2000 1111482048

Absolutely, there's no excuse for native English speakers making some of the errors that they do but I was just thinking about how and why the language has evolved. Some of the things my students say make me stop and think "Now, is that correct or not?" 

My language has changed since I've been in France and I'm sure I make mistakes in prepositions. For example, I might hear "It's near to the shops" and I don't necessarily correct it - I think it's perhaps American English and so let it go and then start using it myself...

This is how language evolves - but of course there will never be their etc.


MikeP-180526 1111482237

It doesn't just apply to English.  I received this in an email from a French friend :

"Je crois que l'on ne sait pas trop compris hier...."

She is a supposedly well educated adult and the scary thing about this is that she is a teacher!

SammyT-194551 1111483761

If you think that's bad MikeP, check this out (unedited email from a friend en stage in Canada):

"salut l artiste pour moi le froi c termine (juska -32) ici le travail sympa koi k 1 peu long il fo k j prenne le rytme mè ca va l ferme la j bosse en kasi non stop juska la fin du mois j suis in repos mercredi é j repar cela ne me dérange trop pa mè colègue de france sont pa enkor arrivé donc j leur ren c service kar ils ont 1 pb de min d oeuvre les canadiens veulent pa travailler donc ils vont prendre 1 otr francais dans les semaines à venir"


orme-197181 1111485473

Mixing sait and s'est (and why not c'est) is pretty appalling for a teacher.  I mean, we all make mistakes when we're not concentrating as we should, but what message does this send to her pupils?  That error is not just spelling, it alters the whole meaning of the phrase.

SammyT-194551 1111485914

I realize it's not quite the same thing, but this man is also educated, which is why I was so shocked by his email - it's not like he's a 15 yr old kid, he's a grown man. 

And it always irritates me when my French friends send me textos or emails like that - they know it's not my first language, and sometimes it takes so long to decipher their messages.  When I write to foreigners in English, I write properly and don't use slang, I guess I just expect the same courtesy from them. (And yes, I have told them that).

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