[I] Inquiries VS Enquiries

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April Goodwin-Smith

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Jun 16, 2002, 8:13:20 PM6/16/02
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Dear AFP Resource of Renown

Would the dictionaryophiles and wordites please help
me with the I versus E issue in [X]nquiries?

I do not know if it is only the "nobody is expecting
to help us with our enquiries" routine, but now that
all Microsoft [1] products spell check to the I
version, I feel a strong yearning for the E version.

I suspect this is one of those advice/advise, practice/
practise, licence/license thingies but none of the sources
available to me say anything other than that I is the
dominant form and that E is an alternative spelling, often
obs.

Any illumination of the subject will be gratefully received.[2]

Thanks,
April.

[1] - no getting off into a dissing-MS thread. [3]
[2] - er...footnote forgotten, but no doubt flippant and would
have mentioned beer, bras, or bread.
[3] - okay, they/we deserve it, but still.

--
"Things that try to look like things often do look more
like things than things. Well known fact."
Esmerelda Weatherwax (Pratchett 1988)

Sherilyn

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Jun 16, 2002, 8:30:08 PM6/16/02
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In message-id <3D0D288A...@telusplanet.net>,

April Goodwin-Smith <lor...@telusplanet.net> wrote:
> Dear AFP Resource of Renown
>
> Would the dictionaryophiles and wordites please help
> me with the I versus E issue in [X]nquiries?
>
> I do not know if it is only the "nobody is expecting
> to help us with our enquiries" routine, but now that
> all Microsoft [1] products spell check to the I
> version, I feel a strong yearning for the E version.

Nobody is forcing you to use the suggestion of a piece of software. Why
not just type the word? The en- form is used irregularly but there's
absolutely no reason not to use it, and if some silly program thinks you
shouldn't then all the more reason to use it. Both spellings mean the
same thing.

>
> I suspect this is one of those advice/advise, practice/
> practise, licence/license thingies but none of the sources
> available to me say anything other than that I is the
> dominant form and that E is an alternative spelling, often
> obs.

Here's a nice little summary of the answer to your enquiry.

http://www.xrefer.com/entry/593008
--
Sherilyn
'You are telling a maker of Leather Bondage Gear that *I* should adhere
to "cultural or societal norms" and if I don't then I am "wrong"?!?!'
-Graham M. on afp.

April Goodwin-Smith

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Jun 17, 2002, 1:07:21 AM6/17/02
to
Sherilyn wrote:
> April Goodwin-Smith wrote:
> > <snip> the I versus E issue in [X]nquiries?
> > but now that all Microsoft products spell check

> > to the I version, I feel a strong yearning for the
> > E version.
>
> Nobody is forcing you to use the suggestion of a piece
> of software. Why not just type the word?
>

Hmmm.

>
> Here's a nice little summary of the answer to your enquiry.
>
> http://www.xrefer.com/entry/593008


Thanks. Excellent site.

April.

MP

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Jun 17, 2002, 5:53:06 AM6/17/02
to
On Mon, 17 Jun 2002 00:13:20 GMT, April Goodwin-Smith
<lor...@telusplanet.net> wrote:

>Dear AFP Resource of Renown
>
>Would the dictionaryophiles and wordites please help
>me with the I versus E issue in [X]nquiries?
>
>I do not know if it is only the "nobody is expecting
>to help us with our enquiries" routine, but now that
>all Microsoft [1] products spell check to the I
>version, I feel a strong yearning for the E version.

<snip>

I quote[1]:
"An inquiry or enquiry may be a single question or an extensive
investigation. Either spelling is correct, but inquiry is prefered by
most dictionaries in both Britain and America"

So use whichever you prefer, and if Word is being annoying, either
disable auto-correct, or just add the word to the dictionary...

MP

[1] Troublesome Words, Bill Bryson, Penguin, ISBN 0-140-26640-2
--
AFP Code 2.0: AC/M/E-UK d s: a- U+ R++@ F+++>++++
!h P! OSD--:+ !C M- !pp L+ Ia** W++ c B+>+++ Cn02+
CC P++>+++ Pu* !5 !X MT+ e+>+++ r++ y? end

Sherilyn

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Jun 17, 2002, 6:41:35 AM6/17/02
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In message-id <3D0D6D6F...@telusplanet.net>,

April Goodwin-Smith <lor...@telusplanet.net> wrote:
> Sherilyn wrote:
>> April Goodwin-Smith wrote:
>> > <snip> the I versus E issue in [X]nquiries?
>> > but now that all Microsoft products spell check
>> > to the I version, I feel a strong yearning for the
>> > E version.
>>
>> Nobody is forcing you to use the suggestion of a piece
>> of software. Why not just type the word?
>>
>
> Hmmm.

Don't tell me I did it again.

<sigh>

[...]

Terry Pratchett

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Jun 17, 2002, 4:53:24 AM6/17/02
to
In article <3D0D6D6F...@telusplanet.net>, April Goodwin-Smith
<lor...@telusplanet.net> writes
>Thanks. Excellent site.

It is...ie, it agrees with what I learned as a young reporter:-)

It's interesting to see that distinctions like this are become blurred
now,
as in practice/practise -- we were taught to distinguish practice
(repeated actions in order to learn a skill) from practise (the exercise
of a profession) with warnings that a newspaper had once been sued for
getting it wrong. But now the words appear to be completely
interchangeable. I imagine stationery/stationary will be the next to go.
--
Terry Pratchett

SaintMaryUK

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Jun 17, 2002, 7:38:47 AM6/17/02
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On Mon, 17 Jun 2002 09:53:06 GMT, ju...@bleurgh.net (MP) wrote:

>I quote[1]:
>"An inquiry or enquiry may be a single question or an extensive
>investigation. Either spelling is correct, but inquiry is prefered by
>most dictionaries in both Britain and America"
>
>So use whichever you prefer, and if Word is being annoying, either
>disable auto-correct, or just add the word to the dictionary...
>
>MP
>
>[1] Troublesome Words, Bill Bryson, Penguin, ISBN 0-140-26640-2

Personally, though I think it's probably a matter of personal taste, I
tend to think of an enquiry as a single or small number of questions;
and an inquiry as more of an investigation.

Mary x

--
AFPSaintMary
AFPfiancee to Stuart Quinn-Harvie
Now officially his fiancee in real life - aren't I lucky?

Gid Holyoake

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Jun 17, 2002, 10:07:43 AM6/17/02
to
In article <3D0D288A...@telusplanet.net>, April Goodwin-Smith
generously decided to share with us..

Snippetry..

> I do not know if it is only the "nobody is expecting
> to help us with our enquiries" routine, but now that
> all Microsoft [1] products spell check to the I
> version, I feel a strong yearning for the E version.

If you aren't careful with your enquiry there may have to be an inquiry..

Gid

Torak

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Jun 17, 2002, 10:21:03 AM6/17/02
to
"Terry Pratchett" <Te...@unseen.demon.co.uk> wrote in message
news:D6YXcKAE...@unseen.demon.co.uk...

> It's interesting to see that distinctions like this are become blurred
now,
> as in practice/practise -- we were taught to distinguish practice
> (repeated actions in order to learn a skill) from practise (the exercise
> of a profession) with warnings that a newspaper had once been sued for

"This is Doctor Jim "Flies" Moriarty."
"Does he practise in Harley Street?"
"Yes, but only on the saxophone."

> getting it wrong. But now the words appear to be completely
> interchangeable. I imagine stationery/stationary will be the next to go.

That'll be the day. I fear it.


David Chapman

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Jun 17, 2002, 11:11:29 AM6/17/02
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The following message was found tattooed on SaintMaryUK's buttocks:

> On Mon, 17 Jun 2002 09:53:06 GMT, ju...@bleurgh.net (MP) wrote:
>
>> I quote[1]:
>> "An inquiry or enquiry may be a single question or an extensive
>> investigation. Either spelling is correct, but inquiry is prefered by
>> most dictionaries in both Britain and America"
>>
>> So use whichever you prefer, and if Word is being annoying, either
>> disable auto-correct, or just add the word to the dictionary...
>>
>> MP
>>
>> [1] Troublesome Words, Bill Bryson, Penguin, ISBN 0-140-26640-2
>
> Personally, though I think it's probably a matter of personal taste, I
> tend to think of an enquiry as a single or small number of questions;
> and an inquiry as more of an investigation.

I tend to think of an enquiry as asking about what someone
knows, whereas an inquiry asks them what they've witnessed.

--
"Pack it in, you're acting like kids."

"Well, he started it!"


Terry Pratchett

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Jun 17, 2002, 11:12:27 AM6/17/02
to
In article <veirguga3kbkvggfi...@4ax.com>, SaintMaryUK
<Ma...@ChezMary.com> writes

>
>Personally, though I think it's probably a matter of personal taste, I
>tend to think of an enquiry as a single or small number of questions;
>and an inquiry as more of an investigation.

That's pretty much the official distinction:-)

The trouble with matters of personal taste, though, is that they wish
some odd constructions on the world. A large number of letters I get
now have 'thankyou' as one word. That is spreading. So is 'Dearsir'.
These little stupidities get passed on...
--
Terry Pratchett

Torak

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Jun 17, 2002, 11:58:15 AM6/17/02
to
"Terry Pratchett" <Te...@unseen.demon.co.uk> wrote in message
news:rLyPiIAb...@unseen.demon.co.uk...

There's a big debate in Sweden about "särskrivning", where combined words
(is that the term in English?) are written as two when they should be a
single word. It's not a pretty sight.


Peter Ellis

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Jun 17, 2002, 1:21:00 PM6/17/02
to
On Mon, 17 Jun 2002, Terry Pratchett wrote:
>
>The trouble with matters of personal taste, though, is that they wish
>some odd constructions on the world. A large number of letters I get
>now have 'thankyou' as one word.

Interesting - I've always used it like that in context, and I'm pretty
sure it's been around since way before typewriters and thus "missing the
space bar" errors.

Used as a verb with a subject ("I am writing to thank you for..."), I'd
write it with two words. Used with an implied subject ("Thankyou for your
talk"), I'd usually write it as one word. I suppose that's by analogy
with the noun form of that sentence. ("Thanks for your talk")

>
>That is spreading.

Wouldn't life be boring if we were all the same. I ask you ... (contd
p.94)

>
>So is 'Dearsir'.

That, however, is mere abomination.

Peter

MP

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Jun 17, 2002, 1:43:57 PM6/17/02
to

Thankyou is just about bearable, I find, having seen it so many times.
Dearsir is just silly. Mind you, the best I've seen was something that
was obviously typed on a pc (Word - the filename had been left on the
bottom), yet this person had obviously managed to turn off all spell
checking. There were constant mistakes, including the name of the
restaurant. The best part was that it was a response to a complaint a
friend of mine had written to them about caterpillers in the food,
which they claimed were "a teribble mistack". Oh, and before anyone
asks, it was an English restaurant, and the letter was written by the
manageress.

MP

Nigel Stapley

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Jun 17, 2002, 2:27:31 PM6/17/02
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"Terry Pratchett" <Te...@unseen.demon.co.uk> wrote in message
news:D6YXcKAE...@unseen.demon.co.uk...

> In article <3D0D6D6F...@telusplanet.net>, April Goodwin-Smith
> <lor...@telusplanet.net> writes
> >Thanks. Excellent site.
>
> It is...ie, it agrees with what I learned as a young reporter:-)
>
> It's interesting to see that distinctions like this are become blurred
> now,
> as in practice/practise -- we were taught to distinguish practice
> (repeated actions in order to learn a skill) from practise (the exercise
> of a profession) with warnings that a newspaper had once been sued for
> getting it wrong.

Perhaps they insulted someone by describing him as a "practicing"
homosexual, implying that he still wasn't very good at it....


--
Regards,

Nigel Stapley

nsta...@gwrthsbam.lineone.net

(remove <gwrthsbam.> to reply)

"A dirty mind is a thing of beauty and a joy forever"


gra...@affordable-leather.co.ukdeletethis

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Jun 17, 2002, 3:57:21 PM6/17/02
to
Hi there,

On Mon, 17 Jun 2002 09:53:24 +0100, Terry Pratchett
<Te...@unseen.demon.co.uk> wrote:

>I imagine stationery/stationary will be the next to go.

Well I'd have thought it would stick around for a while...

But I wont because IGMJ...!

Cheers,
Graham.

MegaMole

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Jun 17, 2002, 4:32:14 PM6/17/02
to
In article <rLyPiIAb...@unseen.demon.co.uk>, Terry Pratchett
<Te...@unseen.demon.co.uk> writes

>The trouble with matters of personal taste, though, is that they wish
>some odd constructions on the world.

And constrictions. Of grammar, meaning and what has previously been
accepted as sense.

>A large number of letters I get
>now have 'thankyou' as one word. That is spreading. So is 'Dearsir'.
>These little stupidities get passed on...

And don't even get me started about "alot". Is it me, or has literacy
gone down the tubes in the last 20 years?

Shit, I'm only 29. And I'm already thinking like a 50 year old.

Grrr.
--
MM

MegaMole

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Jun 17, 2002, 4:33:39 PM6/17/02
to
In article <hHnP8.18579$dT3.7...@news.chello.be>, Torak <torak@andrew-
perry.com> writes

>There's a big debate in Sweden about "särskrivning", where combined words
>(is that the term in English?) are written as two when they should be a
>single word. It's not a pretty sight.

And could some kind froggie (FiX, perhaps, or Sylvain) explain to me why
French marketing people think apostrophes are cool and English?

Leading to the strange situation where a small badge-onna-safety pin is
called a "pin's".

Oui! Gratuit! Un pin's pour votre very own.

It's only waffer theen...
--
MegaMole, the Official Enrico Basilica
\\\\\ laaa! mo...@lspace.org mo...@music.slut.org.uk
\\\\\\\_o / www.countertenor.demon.co.uk for Stuff
__ \\\\\'c/__ Hitting the high notes with hedgehogs since 2001

Ingvar Mattsson

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Jun 17, 2002, 4:47:59 PM6/17/02
to
"Torak" <to...@andrew-perry.com> writes:

Especially not when commited in stone, costing noticeable amounts of
memory and manages to turn a celebration of the 20th anniversary of
something into 20 years of celebration on its behalf. Saying that, it
*was* at school of engineering so it may well have been literally true.

//Ingvar
--
Warning: Pregnancy can cause birth from females

Peter Ellis

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Jun 17, 2002, 5:00:51 PM6/17/02
to
Mega...@lspace.org wrote:
>In article <rLyPiIAb...@unseen.demon.co.uk>, Terry Pratchett
><Te...@unseen.demon.co.uk> writes
>>The trouble with matters of personal taste, though, is that they wish
>>some odd constructions on the world.
>
>And constrictions. Of grammar, meaning and what has previously been
>accepted as sense.
>
>>A large number of letters I get
>>now have 'thankyou' as one word. That is spreading. So is 'Dearsir'.
>>These little stupidities get passed on...
>
>And don't even get me started about "alot". Is it me, or has literacy
>gone down the tubes in the last 20 years?
>

Not really. Neologism by concatenation has been a feature of English
for centuries. Or do you write to-day, to morrow and week end?

PeterEllis

Torak

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Jun 17, 2002, 5:18:12 PM6/17/02
to
"MegaMole" <Mega...@lspace.org> wrote in message
news:thbMMKAO...@countertenor.demon.co.uk...

> And don't even get me started about "alot". Is it me, or has literacy
> gone down the tubes in the last 20 years?
>
> Shit, I'm only 29. And I'm already thinking like a 50 year old.

I'm only 20, and I've been thinking like a 50-year-old for the last 18
years.


Torak

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Jun 17, 2002, 5:21:09 PM6/17/02
to
"Ingvar Mattsson" <ing...@cathouse.bofh.se> wrote in message
news:873cvlo...@gruk.tech.ensign.ftech.net...

> "Torak" <to...@andrew-perry.com> writes:
> > There's a big debate in Sweden about "särskrivning", where combined
words
> > (is that the term in English?) are written as two when they should be a
> > single word. It's not a pretty sight.
>
> Especially not when commited in stone, costing noticeable amounts of
> memory and manages to turn a celebration of the 20th anniversary of
> something into 20 years of celebration on its behalf. Saying that, it
> *was* at school of engineering so it may well have been literally true.

"20 års jubileum"?

"Fryst kycklinglever" Vs "Fryst kyckling lever" - "Frozen chicken liver" Vs
"Frozen chicken lives"
- One of the many wonders of sär skrivning...


Torak

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Jun 17, 2002, 5:22:45 PM6/17/02
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"MegaMole" <Mega...@lspace.org> wrote in message
news:pxQN4UAj...@countertenor.demon.co.uk...

> In article <hHnP8.18579$dT3.7...@news.chello.be>, Torak <torak@andrew-
> perry.com> writes
> >There's a big debate in Sweden about "särskrivning", where combined words
> >(is that the term in English?) are written as two when they should be a
> >single word. It's not a pretty sight.
>
> And could some kind froggie (FiX, perhaps, or Sylvain) explain to me why
> French marketing people think apostrophes are cool and English?
> Leading to the strange situation where a small badge-onna-safety pin is
> called a "pin's".
> Oui! Gratuit! Un pin's pour votre very own.

Yes, I hate that. And so many Brits have adopted the Dutch practice (with a
C) of using apostrophes for plural "I saw several car's today"...

And why do people (Seabrooks Crisps, in particular) use quotation marks for
emphasis?

Only "the best" Salt And Vinegar "Crisps"...


Daibhid Chiennedelh

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Jun 17, 2002, 5:32:00 PM6/17/02
to
>Subject: [I] Inquiries VS Enquiries
>From: April Goodwin-Smith lor...@telusplanet.net
>Date: 17/06/02 01:13 GMT Daylight Time
>Message-id: <3D0D288A...@telusplanet.net>

>
>Dear AFP Resource of Renown
>
>Would the dictionaryophiles and wordites please help
>me with the I versus E issue in [X]nquiries?
>
>I do not know if it is only the "nobody is expecting
>to help us with our enquiries" routine, but now that
>all Microsoft [1] products spell check to the I
>version, I feel a strong yearning for the E version.
>
>I suspect this is one of those advice/advise, practice/
>practise, licence/license thingies but none of the sources
>available to me say anything other than that I is the
>dominant form and that E is an alternative spelling, often
>obs.
>
>Any illumination of the subject will be gratefully received.[2]

Well, the question's been well and truly answered, but I was wondering if
anyone else had noticed that when the "National Enquirer" moves to the
Discworld it becomes the "Ankh-Morpork Inquirer"?
--
Dave
Re-elected for a *third* glorious term as Official Absentee of EU
Skiffeysoc http://www.eusa.ed.ac.uk/societies/sesoc

"Doctor, is that you?"
"Let's pretend it isn't, and see what happens."
Doctor Who: All Consuming Fire, Andy Lane

Terry Pratchett

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Jun 17, 2002, 6:16:57 PM6/17/02
to
In article <WrsP8.18603$dT3.7...@news.chello.be>, Torak

>
>Yes, I hate that. And so many Brits have adopted the Dutch practice (with a
>C) of using apostrophes for plural "I saw several car's today"...

They don't adopt it because it's the Dutch practice. They do it because
they are dumb.
--
Terry Pratchett

Terry Pratchett

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Jun 17, 2002, 6:38:10 PM6/17/02
to
In article <MPG.17785e5ea...@news.cable.ntlworld.com>, Peter
Ellis <pj...@cam.ac.uk> writes

>
>Not really. Neologism by concatenation has been a feature of English
>for centuries.

This is true. But what we have seen over the past thirty years, I
think, is a decline in the teaching of English, linked with a general
belief that any old spelling or punctuation is okay provided that you
believe in yourself.

We are not talking about the natural evolution of a language here, but
of its mangling at the hands of people who really are not at ease with
it but are nevertheless in positions of some influence. I am not
referring only to basic sentence construction and grammar, but even to
vocabulary. They simply water the currency of expression (but they
probably feel good about themselves...)
--
Terry Pratchett

Brian Howlett

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Jun 17, 2002, 6:46:35 PM6/17/02
to

Yes. I find that sort of thing happens alot these days...
--
Brian Howlett
-------------------------------------
Gareth Hunt - actor or rhyming slang?

Lady Kayla

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Jun 17, 2002, 7:03:56 PM6/17/02
to
On Mon, 17 Jun 2002 23:38:10 +0100, Terry Pratchett <Te...@unseen.demon.co.uk> wrote:

[...changing english]


> This is true. But what we have seen over the past thirty years, I
> think, is a decline in the teaching of English, linked with a general
> belief that any old spelling or punctuation is okay provided that you
> believe in yourself.

During the last school half-term, I spent one hour a day in my 7 year
old son's class. He has been having problems with behaviour and
concentration. I noted that the lesson time that was most disrupted
was the "literacy hour" class, so I suggested to the school that I go
in and try and keep him focused on his work and reduce the disruption
to the rest of the class.

His class teacher resigned just before Easter, couldn't cope with the
class. The deputy head teacher has been filling in ever since.
David's behaviour was getting worse, and I was willing to do whatever
it took, and whatever the school would agree to.

Now, remember that this teacher is the deputy head at the school....

She spells "really" with only one "l". She told the children, when
reading a story to them, that "Turks from Turkey" meant "turkeys, the
food you eat at christmas". She has asked me several times to explain
things to the class because she doesn't know them. I've had to
explain the difference between homonyms and homophones, for example.
She didn't know that a poem they were studying was a limerick. I'll
let her get away with mispronouncing some placenames ("Parramataa,
Oodnadatta" - I probably mis-spelled at least one of those myself
*g*), and she did ask me in front of the class what the correct
pronunciation was.

The excuse from the school was that "she's really a science teacher",
and that english wasn't her first language! Which I pointed out was
no excuse. What appears to be happening, with more than one teacher
at that school, is that they are teaching from standard books but the
teachers themselves don't actually understand what it is that they are
teaching.

> We are not talking about the natural evolution of a language here, but
> of its mangling at the hands of people who really are not at ease with
> it but are nevertheless in positions of some influence. I am not
> referring only to basic sentence construction and grammar, but even to
> vocabulary. They simply water the currency of expression (but they
> probably feel good about themselves...)

Natural evolution of the language is one thing, I'm not entirely happy
about it (must be a sign of advancing years), but it's a really bad
sign when it's the primary school teachers that are making such simple
mistakes. Kids of that age tend to accept what the teacher says,
simply because "he/she's the teacher, so must be right" - trying to
explain to a child that "no, your teacher is wrong about <foo>" isn't
easy. Doubly so if you don't want the child to turn around to the
teacher at some point in the near future and say "You're an idiot, you
don't even know <foo>". BTDT, got the phone call from the school
asking me to go in immediately.

And before anyone suggests it, yes, Ofsted are aware of the problems
at the school. The school is on "special measures" and they have sent
a new Head Teacher in to try and drag it up to standard.
--
Lady Kayla http://designs.ladykayla.org/
"Does anybody else think that W2K actually is doing what Y2K only
dreamed of?" - Larry Sheldon on nanog

dragon prince

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Jun 17, 2002, 8:10:39 PM6/17/02
to
In article <slrnagsqmr.6...@bunnywub.megabitch.org.uk>,
lady...@suespammers.org says...

> And before anyone suggests it, yes, Ofsted are aware of the problems
> at the school. The school is on "special measures" and they have sent
> a new Head Teacher in to try and drag it up to standard.
>
hope for the sake of D and k that the new head boss gets it
sorted soon, if not sooner...
--
"Keyboard error. Type Hamlet's soliloquy to
continue" in order to test more keys.

Glenn Andrews

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Jun 17, 2002, 9:09:23 PM6/17/02
to
In article <WrsP8.18603$dT3.7...@news.chello.be>, Torak
<to...@andrew-perry.com> says...

Could be legal reasons. Putting them in quotes makes them figures
of speech rather than facts. Stops lawsuits saying brand X is
really "the best".

Or something like that.

Glenn

--
"Kill the man and the ship will keep coming at you.
Kill the ship and its missile will keep coming at you.
Kill the missile, and watch for the shadow.
When a viper bites, it clings." The Dark Wheel, Robert Holdstock

Glenn Andrews

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Jun 17, 2002, 9:09:23 PM6/17/02
to
In article <20020617173200...@mb-bg.aol.com>, Daibhid
Chiennedelh <daibhidc...@aol.com> says...

> Well, the question's been well and truly answered, but I was wondering if
> anyone else had noticed that when the "National Enquirer" moves to the
> Discworld it becomes the "Ankh-Morpork Inquirer"?

Ankh-Morpork is a city state. As such it is a nation in itself.

The "National Enquirer" never does say what nation they're
enquiring about/for.. Good thing as given their.... imaginative
reporting, it probably doesn't exist.

"America doesn't exist???" Oh, gods, I'm in for it now ;-)

Regards,

Bjorn Bjornsson

unread,
Jun 18, 2002, 12:27:31 AM6/18/02
to
Lady Kayla <lady...@suespammers.org> scribed:

>Now, remember that this teacher is the deputy head at the school....
>
>She spells "really" with only one "l". She told the children, when
>reading a story to them, that "Turks from Turkey" meant "turkeys, the
>food you eat at christmas". She has asked me several times to explain
>things to the class because she doesn't know them. I've had to
>explain the difference between homonyms and homophones, for example.
>She didn't know that a poem they were studying was a limerick. I'll
>let her get away with mispronouncing some placenames ("Parramataa,
>Oodnadatta" - I probably mis-spelled at least one of those myself
>*g*), and she did ask me in front of the class what the correct
>pronunciation was.

That is one of the most horrific things I've heard on afp, that isn't
actively a crime. Come to think of it, it probably is, in the
sense that there's probaly somewhere on the books that
children should get good education.

I'd want to say that 'This doesn't happen *here*' but have
the sneaking feeling it is happening.

*shudder*
Bjorn
--
Bjorn Fridgeir Bjornsson http://www.undo.com/bjorn

My afp Photo Album is at http://www.undo.com/bjorn/photos/afp/

April Goodwin-Smith

unread,
Jun 18, 2002, 1:11:22 AM6/18/02
to
Terry Pratchett wrote:
>
> I imagine stationery/stationary will be the next to go.
>

Now this is one that I have wrestled with also. I know there
is a difference, one stays in one place and the other is
paper, and I have even tried to remember that stationEry is
the one for papEr, but, naturally pAper could also be for
stationAry by that sort of logic.

I just spent a few moments googling, looking for the
etymology [1] and found this:
http://www.geocities.com/etymonline/s11etym.htm
and it appears that both forms come from an origin of
staying in one place. *That's* a great help. The Ary one
was for plAnets and the Ery one was for books...er...
manuscripts...er...litErature. This just isn't going to
work, is it?

April.

[1] - wanted to spell it entymology, which makes sense in a
trees become paper become books with words that have
origins kind of way, but never mind

--
"Things that try to look like things often do look more
like things than things. Well known fact."
Esmerelda Weatherwax (Pratchett 1988)

flesh_eating_dragon

unread,
Jun 18, 2002, 1:27:24 AM6/18/02
to
Terry Pratchett wrote:

> A large number of letters I get now have 'thankyou' as one word.

I approve of this. "Thankyou" is *not* a contracted form of "thank
you" - it's a contracted form of "I thank you". There's a difference.
The literal meaning of "thank you" would be an imperative - it would
be the sentence better transcribed as "thank yourself".

Therefore if you object to the removal of the space from "thank you",
then you should also object to the removal of the subject from "I
thank you". The loophole, of course, is to concede the subjectivity
of your preferences.

That's logic, no?

> That is spreading. So is 'Dearsir'.

This, however, just looks lazy.

Adrian.

"Write me a letter."
"A"
"That's not a letter, that's an article."

Gid Holyoake

unread,
Jun 18, 2002, 2:19:12 AM6/18/02
to
In article <3d0e1ef7...@News.CIS.DFN.DE>, MP generously decided to
share with us..

Snippetry..

> The best part was that it was a response to a complaint a
> friend of mine had written to them about caterpillers in the food,
> which they claimed were "a teribble mistack".

If they were talking about "caterpillers" then it probably was a
"teribble mistack".. doesn't agent have a spollchucker?.. :-)

Gid

Torak

unread,
Jun 18, 2002, 2:38:25 AM6/18/02
to
"Terry Pratchett" <Te...@unseen.demon.co.uk> wrote in message
news:zRypkQBZ$lD9...@unseen.demon.co.uk...

Yes. Either way, it is evil.


Torak

unread,
Jun 18, 2002, 2:41:22 AM6/18/02
to
"Lady Kayla" <lady...@suespammers.org> wrote in message
news:slrnagsqmr.6...@bunnywub.megabitch.org.uk...

> On Mon, 17 Jun 2002 23:38:10 +0100, Terry Pratchett
<Te...@unseen.demon.co.uk> wrote:
>
> [...changing english]
> > This is true. But what we have seen over the past thirty years, I
> > think, is a decline in the teaching of English, linked with a general
> > belief that any old spelling or punctuation is okay provided that you
> > believe in yourself.
>
> The excuse from the school was that "she's really a science teacher",
> and that english wasn't her first language! Which I pointed out was
> no excuse. What appears to be happening, with more than one teacher
> at that school, is that they are teaching from standard books but the
> teachers themselves don't actually understand what it is that they are
> teaching.

In Sweden there was recently an outcry from teachers, because they were
bringing in a requirement that those who teach Swedish should be fluent in
Swedish. Various unions and things said that this would discriminate against
immigrants.

Who cares? The kids should be taught *proper* Swedish, not some teacher's
own little variation on the theme.


Torak

unread,
Jun 18, 2002, 2:44:47 AM6/18/02
to
"flesh_eating_dragon" <morgan...@netyp.com.au> wrote in message
news:732e2927.02061...@posting.google.com...

> Terry Pratchett wrote:
>
> > A large number of letters I get now have 'thankyou' as one word.
>
> I approve of this. "Thankyou" is *not* a contracted form of "thank
> you" - it's a contracted form of "I thank you". There's a difference.
> The literal meaning of "thank you" would be an imperative - it would
> be the sentence better transcribed as "thank yourself".
>
> Therefore if you object to the removal of the space from "thank you",
> then you should also object to the removal of the subject from "I
> thank you". The loophole, of course, is to concede the subjectivity
> of your preferences.

No offence, but that's nonsense. "Thank you" is the accepted and correct
English phrase, meaning (as you say) "I thank you". "Thankyou" is an
abomination.


MEG

unread,
Jun 18, 2002, 3:08:00 AM6/18/02
to
"Terry Pratchett" <Te...@unseen.demon.co.uk> wrote in message
news:ciASIcBS...@unseen.demon.co.uk...

> But what we have seen over the past thirty years, I
> think, is a decline in the teaching of English, linked with a general
> belief that any old spelling or punctuation is okay provided that you
> believe in yourself.

Common practice at my daughter's school is to allow the children to spell any
way they want. When they're comfortable with writing, sentence structure and
constructing a story, the problem of spelling is addressed. I can't comment on
its affect on my children as they seem to be coming out of it unscathed
(possibly because we're all avid readers by default) but I worry about the
number of pupils which leave primary school unable to spell February.

They have a "nobody loses, everybody wins" policy at school sports day too.
Phhtt!

- MEG


Joerg Neidig

unread,
Jun 18, 2002, 3:44:04 AM6/18/02
to
Terry Pratchett wrote:
>
> In article <MPG.17785e5ea...@news.cable.ntlworld.com>, Peter
> Ellis <pj...@cam.ac.uk> writes
> >
> >Not really. Neologism by concatenation has been a feature of English
> >for centuries.
>
> This is true. But what we have seen over the past thirty years, I
> think, is a decline in the teaching of English, linked with a general
> belief that any old spelling or punctuation is okay provided that you
> believe in yourself.

It is interesting to hear that this happens to other languages as well.
In Germany I have noticed the decline of teaching of German. People are
not aware that there are differences between the words
"schwer/schwierig" (heavy/difficult) or "effektiv/effizient"
(effective/effizient). What is one supposed to think of people who apply
for a job and have 5 or 6 errors in their resumee. The worst thing is
when you ask the people about those mistakes they think it doesn't
matter. They really do not see why I make such a fuss about it.


Joerg

Simon Waldman

unread,
Jun 18, 2002, 3:47:48 AM6/18/02
to
Bjorn Bjornsson wrote:

> That is one of the most horrific things I've heard on afp, that isn't
> actively a crime. Come to think of it, it probably is, in the
> sense that there's probaly somewhere on the books that
> children should get good education.

Things were brought home to me a year ago when my SO-of-the-time started
studying to be a primary teacher. Her classmates were having to be
taught how to go about long division, and even what fractions are,
because the majority didn't know.

Maths examples here because my ex had formerly been a physicist, but I'm
sure it's not restricted to that area...

--
"When people are free to do as they please, they usually imitate
each other." -- Eric Hoffer
---------------------------------------------------------------
Simon Waldman, England email: swal...@firecloud.org.uk
http://www.firecloud.org.uk/simon
---------------------------------------------------------------

Cybercat

unread,
Jun 18, 2002, 4:05:33 AM6/18/02
to
On Tue, 18 Jun 2002 08:08:00 +0100, "MEG" <MEG...@lineone.net> wrote:

>constructing a story, the problem of spelling is addressed. I can't comment on
>its affect on my children as they seem to be coming out of it unscathed

It even seems to have an effect on you ;)

>(possibly because we're all avid readers by default) but I worry about the
>number of pupils which leave primary school unable to spell February.

Michel
--
Watashi wa neko desu.

Sherilyn

unread,
Jun 18, 2002, 4:09:25 AM6/18/02
to
In message-id <MPG.177827078...@netnews.attbi.com>,

Glenn Andrews <vetit...@attbi.com> wrote:
> In article <WrsP8.18603$dT3.7...@news.chello.be>, Torak
><to...@andrew-perry.com> says...
>> "MegaMole" <Mega...@lspace.org> wrote in message
>> news:pxQN4UAj...@countertenor.demon.co.uk...
>> > In article <hHnP8.18579$dT3.7...@news.chello.be>, Torak <torak@andrew-
>> > perry.com> writes
>> > >There's a big debate in Sweden about "särskrivning", where combined words
>> > >(is that the term in English?) are written as two when they should be a
>> > >single word. It's not a pretty sight.
>> >
>> > And could some kind froggie (FiX, perhaps, or Sylvain) explain to me why
>> > French marketing people think apostrophes are cool and English?
>> > Leading to the strange situation where a small badge-onna-safety pin is
>> > called a "pin's".
>> > Oui! Gratuit! Un pin's pour votre very own.
>>
>> Yes, I hate that. And so many Brits have adopted the Dutch practice (with a
>> C) of using apostrophes for plural "I saw several car's today"...
>>
>> And why do people (Seabrooks Crisps, in particular) use quotation marks for
>> emphasis?
>>
>> Only "the best" Salt And Vinegar "Crisps"...
>
> Could be legal reasons. Putting them in quotes makes them figures
> of speech rather than facts. Stops lawsuits saying brand X is
> really "the best".
>
> Or something like that.
>
This only works in Accidental Death of an Anarchist.
--
Sherilyn
'You are telling a maker of Leather Bondage Gear that *I* should adhere
to "cultural or societal norms" and if I don't then I am "wrong"?!?!'
-Graham M. on afp.

Victoria Martin

unread,
Jun 18, 2002, 4:39:05 AM6/18/02
to

On Tue, 18 Jun 2002, MEG wrote:

> "Terry Pratchett" <Te...@unseen.demon.co.uk> wrote in message
> news:ciASIcBS...@unseen.demon.co.uk...
>
> > But what we have seen over the past thirty years, I
> > think, is a decline in the teaching of English, linked with a general
> > belief that any old spelling or punctuation is okay provided that you
> > believe in yourself.
>
> Common practice at my daughter's school is to allow the children to spell any
> way they want. When they're comfortable with writing, sentence structure and
> constructing a story, the problem of spelling is addressed.

How can you be comfortable with writing if you can't spell??? Anyway, this
has to be putting the cart before the horse, because learning how to spell
is much easier than learning how to write whole sentences. If you wait
till kids have matured intellectually to the point where they can write an
entire story, they'll have missed out on several years' worth of
practising English spelling.



>
> They have a "nobody loses, everybody wins" policy at school sports day too.
> Phhtt!

I don't mind everyone winning at sports day, especially if they're only at
primary school. It seems a policy likely to increase the general sum of
happiness. To my mind the modern version of Pass the Parcel, where
everyone gets a chance to unwrap the parcel and there's a present in every
layer, is a great improvement on the older version as well. But everyone
winning at sports day is an entirely different issue from not teaching
spelling, so that only those children who come from literate, academically
interested households, ever master the spelling system properly.

Victoria

Richard Bos

unread,
Jun 18, 2002, 5:11:03 AM6/18/02
to
"Torak" <to...@andrew-perry.com> wrote:

> "Fryst kycklinglever" Vs "Fryst kyckling lever" - "Frozen chicken liver" Vs
> "Frozen chicken lives"
> - One of the many wonders of sär skrivning...

I've always wondered about the English as well... do they really think
they've got a room that lives? And if not, why don't they spell it
"living-room"?

Richard

Richard Bos

unread,
Jun 18, 2002, 5:11:02 AM6/18/02
to
"Torak" <to...@andrew-perry.com> wrote:

> "MegaMole" <Mega...@lspace.org> wrote in message
> news:pxQN4UAj...@countertenor.demon.co.uk...

> > Oui! Gratuit! Un pin's pour votre very own.
>
> Yes, I hate that. And so many Brits have adopted the Dutch practice (with a
> C) of using apostrophes for plural "I saw several car's today"...

Goodness knows, but it isn't correct Dutch practice to use apostrophes
for _all_ plurals in the first place. "Cars" would be "cars" in Dutch,
were "car" a Dutch word with a plural in "-s". We use apostrophes only
where necessary, i.e., when a word ends in a single long vowel that
would be shortened if the apostrophe were not there.

> And why do people (Seabrooks Crisps, in particular) use quotation marks for
> emphasis?
>
> Only "the best" Salt And Vinegar "Crisps"...

Because they're not the best at all. Neither are they, actually, crisps.

Richard

Terry Pratchett

unread,
Jun 18, 2002, 5:22:43 AM6/18/02
to
In article <732e2927.02061...@posting.google.com>,
flesh_eating_dragon <morgan...@netyp.com.au> writes

>I approve of this. "Thankyou" is *not* a contracted form of "thank
>you" - it's a contracted form of "I thank you". There's a difference.
>The literal meaning of "thank you" would be an imperative - it would
>be the sentence better transcribed as "thank yourself".
>
>Therefore if you object to the removal of the space from "thank you",
>then you should also object to the removal of the subject from "I
>thank you". The loophole, of course, is to concede the subjectivity
>of your preferences.
>
>That's logic, no?
>
>> That is spreading. So is 'Dearsir'.
>
>This, however, just looks lazy.

Of course, that's just subjective:-) And that is why I dislike
'thankyou'; it's an ugly form that has been created by people with no
real idea that it is *not* one word. They are wandering around their
own language without a clue. I get business letters from them all the
time; they don't know the difference between 'accept' and 'except', or
where the hell to put a comma or even what punctuation is *for*. I've
got one here that finishes (properly printed and probably spell checked)
'Your sincerely'. I've seen that before. It means the writer is
copying mystic symbols, without any understanding.

The 'subjectivity argument' is too smug. It stands there smirking as
readability and coherence are gradually whittled away. What we are
seeing is only 'evolution' if taking a shotgun to a rare species is
'natural selection'.
--
Terry Pratchett

Terry Pratchett

unread,
Jun 18, 2002, 4:40:51 AM6/18/02
to
In article <fbqtgu4q9u434vm5v...@4ax.com>, Cybercat
<elect...@theglobe.com> writes

>On Tue, 18 Jun 2002 08:08:00 +0100, "MEG" <MEG...@lineone.net> wrote:
>
>>constructing a story, the problem of spelling is addressed. I can't comment on
>>its affect on my children as they seem to be coming out of it unscathed
>
>It even seems to have an effect on you ;)

Hmm. I was a sub-editor for years, a job in which you pick up
affect/effect. inquiry/enquiry, past/passed and all the others because
you are constantly handling the copy of those who don't. We all get them
wrong at times, I suspect. Those whose job it is to educate [1] the
rest of us, however, should not.

[1] a term, m'lud, meaning 'to prevent from wandering the streets and
nicking things during the day.'

--
Terry Pratchett

Richard Bos

unread,
Jun 18, 2002, 5:42:42 AM6/18/02
to
morgan...@netyp.com.au (flesh_eating_dragon) wrote:

> Terry Pratchett wrote:
>
> > A large number of letters I get now have 'thankyou' as one word.
>
> I approve of this. "Thankyou" is *not* a contracted form of "thank
> you" - it's a contracted form of "I thank you". There's a difference.
> The literal meaning of "thank you" would be an imperative - it would
> be the sentence better transcribed as "thank yourself".
>
> Therefore if you object to the removal of the space from "thank you",
> then you should also object to the removal of the subject from "I
> thank you". The loophole, of course, is to concede the subjectivity
> of your preferences.

The main problem with that reasoning is that it is much more common,
both historically in all kinds of languages and in English itself, to
leave out the subject from a short sentence than to leave out spaces. In
other words: been there - done that - got the T-shirt.

> That's logic, no?

It is. And _therefore_ it is bad linguistics.

Richard

Ingvar Mattsson

unread,
Jun 18, 2002, 6:07:52 AM6/18/02
to
"Torak" <to...@andrew-perry.com> writes:

> "Ingvar Mattsson" <ing...@cathouse.bofh.se> wrote in message
> news:873cvlo...@gruk.tech.ensign.ftech.net...


> > "Torak" <to...@andrew-perry.com> writes:
> > > There's a big debate in Sweden about "särskrivning", where combined
> words
> > > (is that the term in English?) are written as two when they should be a
> > > single word. It's not a pretty sight.
> >

> > Especially not when commited in stone, costing noticeable amounts of
> > memory and manages to turn a celebration of the 20th anniversary of
> > something into 20 years of celebration on its behalf. Saying that, it
> > *was* at school of engineering so it may well have been literally true.
>
> "20 års jubileum"?

"Detta momument restes till minne af I-sektionens 20 års
jubileumsfirande". This should, (obviously!) have been "20-års" and I
would probably have left the togetherwritten words written separately.

//Ingvar
--
(defun m (f)
(let ((db (make-hash-table :key #'equal)))
#'(lambda (&rest a)
(or (gethash a db) (setf (gethash a db) (apply f a))))))

Peter Ellis

unread,
Jun 18, 2002, 6:25:58 AM6/18/02
to
On Tue, 18 Jun 2002, Victoria Martin wrote:
>On Tue, 18 Jun 2002, MEG wrote:
>>
>> Common practice at my daughter's school is to allow the children to spell any
>> way they want. When they're comfortable with writing, sentence structure and
>> constructing a story, the problem of spelling is addressed.

I take it that when you say "sentence structure" above, you don't mean
parsing of grammar, subordinate clauses and whatnot, rather things like
"Sentences start with a capital letter and end with a full stop"

Similarly, "constructing a story" means "using several sentences to tell
someone what happened and how you felt about it" rather than analysis
of pacing and plot structure.

>
>How can you be comfortable with writing if you can't spell???

Easily. Ask any child of 5-6 who's carefully produced something like
the following little story:

"Last nite was my birthday. There was presents. I had a train. We et
jely and ice cream we sang hapy Birthday. I love Mummy I love Daddy I
love partys."

(They got 'Birthday' right because it's long and complicated and they
asked someone to help)

>
>Anyway, this
>has to be putting the cart before the horse, because learning how to spell
>is much easier than learning how to write whole sentences.

I'm sorry, but rubbish. There's nothing mystical about stringing words
into sentences at all. You learn to do it when you learn to *speak* in
sentences, which is in almost every case *well* before reading or writing.
Always remember that writing's nothing more than solidified speech,
pickled for posterity.

>
>If you wait
>till kids have matured intellectually to the point where they can write an
>entire story, they'll have missed out on several years' worth of
>practising English spelling.

Definitely wrong. First of all, before anything else, you have to engage
the child's interest, to make them *want* to learn to read and write. And
that means showing them that what writing is _for_. It's for
communication - for telling stories. It's not for learning spellings of
words by rote and then not knowing how or why to use them, that is
*absolutely* cart-before-horse and forest-for-trees.

The child in my example above has written a story and communicated a
message, notwithstanding the numerous spelling, grammatical and
punctuational errors.

I'm not saying you should let the errors pass - but to insist that correct
spelling must be in place *before* writing stories is like telling your
baby off for saying "mama" instead of "maternal parent" as its first words.

Peter

Ingvar Mattsson

unread,
Jun 18, 2002, 6:29:11 AM6/18/02
to
"MEG" <MEG...@lineone.net> writes:

> "Terry Pratchett" <Te...@unseen.demon.co.uk> wrote in message
> news:ciASIcBS...@unseen.demon.co.uk...
>
> > But what we have seen over the past thirty years, I
> > think, is a decline in the teaching of English, linked with a general
> > belief that any old spelling or punctuation is okay provided that you
> > believe in yourself.

> Common practice at my daughter's school is to allow the children to
> spell any way they want. When they're comfortable with writing,
> sentence structure and constructing a story, the problem of spelling
> is addressed. I can't comment on its affect on my children as they
> seem to be coming out of it unscathed (possibly because we're all
> avid readers by default) but I worry about the number of pupils
> which leave primary school unable to spell February.

It's OK for a short while. We had "spelling errors are noted and
looked for, but doesn't count against you as long as teh text is still
readable" for (I think) two years. After that, there was one or two
years of "OK, this has errors, please try better next time",
progressing to "This has errors, I want you to correct them, it will
not affect your score as long as you try".

This policy was *not* in effect for "words of the week"[1], seeing as
how it *was* indeed a spelling test.

> They have a "nobody loses, everybody wins" policy at school sports day too.
> Phhtt!

Group hug!

//Ingvar
[1] List of 20-odd words, check them in the dictionary, rephrase the
explanation on your worksheet, hand in 10-odd sentences using the
words correctly; every friday, have teh words read out by the
teacher, write them down, sign and hand paper in. fail one point
per mis-spelling. There was care not to have homophones on the
list.
--
(defun m (a b) (cond ((or a b) (cons (car a) (m b (cdr a)))) (t ())))

MP

unread,
Jun 18, 2002, 6:31:19 AM6/18/02
to
On Tue, 18 Jun 2002 04:27:31 +0000, Bjorn Bjornsson <bj...@undo.com>
wrote:

>Lady Kayla <lady...@suespammers.org> scribed:
>
>>Now, remember that this teacher is the deputy head at the school....
>>
>>She spells "really" with only one "l". She told the children, when
>>reading a story to them, that "Turks from Turkey" meant "turkeys, the
>>food you eat at christmas". She has asked me several times to explain
>>things to the class because she doesn't know them. I've had to
>>explain the difference between homonyms and homophones, for example.
>>She didn't know that a poem they were studying was a limerick. I'll
>>let her get away with mispronouncing some placenames ("Parramataa,
>>Oodnadatta" - I probably mis-spelled at least one of those myself
>>*g*), and she did ask me in front of the class what the correct
>>pronunciation was.

It can be worse. At my mum's school (she's a teacher), the English
co-ordinator was failed by the last OFSTED[1], purely on the basis of
3 English lessons. Her other subjects were fine, but the English was
so bad, it was enough. She took early retirement the next term (took
some wrangling by the head to do that though).

>That is one of the most horrific things I've heard on afp, that isn't
>actively a crime. Come to think of it, it probably is, in the
>sense that there's probaly somewhere on the books that
>children should get good education.

Yes. But the current education system in the UK can't do that. There
aren't enough teachers, the expulsion system doesn't work, there
aren't enough support units (for children with Special Educational
Needs or with Disruptional Behavioural Problems), there isn't enough
money in the system and too many people are driven out of it by the
stress.

>I'd want to say that 'This doesn't happen *here*' but have
>the sneaking feeling it is happening.

Oh, probably. Although, I'd hope, not to such an extent...

MP

[1] OFSTEDs fail schools, but can single out teachers as being failing
--
AFP Code 2.0: AC/M/E-UK d s: a- U+ R++@ F+++>++++
!h P! OSD--:+ !C M- !pp L+ Ia** W++ c B+>+++ Cn02+
CC P++>+++ Pu* !5 !X MT+ e+>+++ r++ y? end

LynneM

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Jun 18, 2002, 6:42:45 AM6/18/02
to
"Torak" <to...@andrew-perry.com> wrote in message news:WrsP8.18603

> Yes, I hate that. And so many Brits have adopted the Dutch practice (with
a
> C) of using apostrophes for plural "I saw several car's today"...
>

Oo! Don't get me started on the apostrophe. I went to a school with 3
of them in the name, and our first job on our first day was to learn about
the proper use of apostrophes and where they went in the school name.
As a consequence of this, I get really irate at people who use them
incorrectly or, worse, inappropriately. It almost warrants multiple
exclamation marks.

So I still use them properly, otherwise The Haberdashers' Aske's Hatcham
Girls' School would make no sense. Actually, it probably never did.

LynneM


LynneM

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Jun 18, 2002, 6:48:25 AM6/18/02
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"Peter Ellis" <pj...@cam.ac.uk> wrote in message

> Used as a verb with a subject ("I am writing to thank you for..."), I'd
> write it with two words. Used with an implied subject ("Thankyou for your
> talk"), I'd usually write it as one word. I suppose that's by analogy
> with the noun form of that sentence. ("Thanks for your talk")

Actually, I was always taught that "I am writing to thank you...." is
written
as separate words whereas "Thank-you for your card" is hyphenated.

Running them together is literary abuse and all who do it should be
hunted down and made to have Miss Applegate for English. That'd
learn 'em!

LynneM

Conversation between my mother and a neighbour.
Neighbour: "Don't your Lynne talk nice! Who learnt her?"
Mother: (Tongue firmly in cheek) "I done it"


Peter Ellis

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Jun 18, 2002, 6:50:23 AM6/18/02
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On Tue, 18 Jun 2002, Terry Pratchett wrote:
>
>Of course, that's just subjective:-) And that is why I dislike
>'thankyou'; it's an ugly form that has been created by people with no
>real idea that it is *not* one word.

Hmmm. Possibly. Actually, in speech it *is* used as one word,
particularly when it's being used as a formality rather than
genuinely felt thanks. Sometimes you'd even swear the word was 'queue'.

Speaking as one on the sharp end of your tongue, I went and had a look in
the OED - the vast majority of cites are for two words, however it has
been kicking around in hyphenated form and very occasionally as a single
word since 1900 or so.

Of course, there's also the adjectival version of the phrase, as in "I
sent a thank-you note", which has no citings as anything *other* than
hyphenated.


Wandering a little further back in time, we find the same happened to
"thank ye", becoming "thankee" in speech, and thus in written depictions
of speech. It doesn't look like that was ever written as such outside
reporting of speech, though.


Peter

LynneM

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Jun 18, 2002, 6:57:39 AM6/18/02
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"Terry Pratchett" <Te...@unseen.demon.co.uk> wrote in message
>
> This is true. But what we have seen over the past thirty years, I

> think, is a decline in the teaching of English, linked with a general
> belief that any old spelling or punctuation is okay provided that you
> believe in yourself.
>
> We are not talking about the natural evolution of a language here, but
> of its mangling at the hands of people who really are not at ease with
> it but are nevertheless in positions of some influence. I am not
> referring only to basic sentence construction and grammar, but even to
> vocabulary. They simply water the currency of expression (but they
> probably feel good about themselves...)
> --

The trouble is, English Language, and particularly grammar and
punctuation, are no longer taught in schools in the way that they
were when I was there. Then again, there were 40 in my class at
junior school and 30 at secondary. Consider then that none of my
teachers had assistants and no child moved into junior school unable
to recite their alphabet, count to 20 and write their own name at the
very least. This was not a "middle class" school where you would
expect standards to be higher. This was a "working class" inner city
area. Bermondsey in South East London in fact.

Apparently we need to reduce class sizes because standards
are much lower now than they were then and smaller class sizes with
at least one teaching assisant to each class is the way to improve
educational standards.

So just which mathematical genius worked that one out? Not saying
that larger classes are better, just that something has happened to
teaching. Probably all that paperwork they have to spend 70% of
their time on.

LynneM


LynneM

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Jun 18, 2002, 7:01:34 AM6/18/02
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"Lady Kayla" <lady...@suespammers.org> wrote in message

> And before anyone suggests it, yes, Ofsted are aware of the problems
> at the school. The school is on "special measures" and they have sent
> a new Head Teacher in to try and drag it up to standard.

Know how you feel. Just because the teacher's first language isn't English
doesn't mean she can get it wrong. After all, she'll be teaching children
who predominantly do have English as a first language and those who
don't will need to learn it properly. A teacher without a clue won't be of
any use to them in that regard.

As for the special measures, our whole borough is on special measures,
so you have my sympathy.

LynneM


LynneM

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Jun 18, 2002, 7:06:46 AM6/18/02
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"MEG" <MEG...@lineone.net> wrote in message

> Common practice at my daughter's school is to allow the children to spell
any
> way they want. When they're comfortable with writing, sentence structure
and
> constructing a story, the problem of spelling is addressed. I can't
comment on
> its affect on my children as they seem to be coming out of it unscathed
> (possibly because we're all avid readers by default) but I worry about the
> number of pupils which leave primary school unable to spell February.

At my son's infants school they have a certain number of new words to learn
each week. They have to be able to read and spell them and use them in
context, and so have to construct a sentence using each word. When they've
learnt each word (is it learnt or learned BTW? You see? There's another
one) they get given a new one. Depending on which literacy group they're
in, they might get one or two words or up to five in a week. This seems to
work pretty well and even the slower readers in his class have at least 50
words each that they can read and write confidently. He's in Year 1 BTW.

> They have a "nobody loses, everybody wins" policy at school sports day
too.

Shame they're not learning much about how life really works then.

LynneM


Melody S-K

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Jun 18, 2002, 7:21:55 AM6/18/02
to

"LynneM" <lynnes...@btinternet.com> wrote
>news:aen44c$215$1...@library.lspace.org...

> At my son's infants school they have a certain number
> of new words to learn each week. They have to be able
> to read and spell them and use them in context, and so
> have to construct a sentence using each word.

I consider myself lucky that Sophie (11) and Conor (8)
have always attended schools that actually teach spelling
and grammar. Sophie read a book recently (she reads
about 10 a week ) in which the grammar and even the
punctuation was so bad it actually offended her :)

My older children , who went to school during the late 70's
and 80's were never given spellings to learn and didn't
have the spelling mistakes in their work corrected..they are
still not au fait with the rules of either grammar or spelling.

I was taught (in the 60's) grammar , spelling and punctuation
at RAF schools ...I am not sure whether state schools in the UK
were or not.

Anyway , the point being that fads come in and go out , as fads
are wont to do ...let us all hope that the *dearsir* and *thankyou*
fad will burn itself out , quickly.....

Melody

--
Hey, if you cut off your foot, you wouldn't keep putting it
in your mouth, but your body wouldn't be the same, would it?

Tony Sheppard

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Jun 18, 2002, 7:57:03 AM6/18/02
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"Terry Pratchett" <Te...@unseen.demon.co.uk> wrote in message
news:U7AAOQAT...@unseen.demon.co.uk...
My wife's pet hate at the moment with her students is the use of "txt msgn"
abbreviations in English Language and Literature essays

She also groans at every misplaced or misused apostrophe we see.

Our road is called St. Anthony's Road on our deeds and at the Land Registry,
yet why is the road sign St. Anthonys? Some organisations don't have a
problem, yet others do.

Other problems that crop up are "use two" instead of "you two" and the like.
I quite often have to turn my music up loud to block out the shrieks of
indignation when she is marking students' work.

She wouldn't mind, but some students do actually turn round and tell her
that she is wrong because "well, they don't do it that way in the advert for
$company!"

GrumbleDook
--
Slypdexia Stirkes


Terry Pratchett

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Jun 18, 2002, 7:17:21 AM6/18/02
to
In article <aen3j3$1el$1...@library.lspace.org>, LynneM
<lynnes...@btinternet.com> writes

>
>So just which mathematical genius worked that one out? Not saying
>that larger classes are better, just that something has happened to
>teaching. Probably all that paperwork they have to spend 70% of
>their time on.

At my primary school a class of 30 was considered small. But, without
trying to sound like 'Disgusted' of the Daily Telegraph, it's probably
true that behavioural standards were better. Kids were more in awe of
the teachers, television was not a major factor in anyone's lives...it
was a different world.
--
Terry Pratchett

John Tierney

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Jun 18, 2002, 8:12:54 AM6/18/02
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In article <thbMMKAO...@countertenor.demon.co.uk>, MegaMole,
Mega...@lspace.org graciously shared with us ...
>
> Shit, I'm only 29. And I'm already thinking like a 50 year old.
>
> Grrr.
>
You mean clearly, concisely and with precision I assume!
IGMC
--
The Senior Wrangler

Bluebottle

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Jun 18, 2002, 8:22:57 AM6/18/02