The Lost Skills of Spelling and Grammar
As many of you have seen, I like to point out general observations with today’s society and how it continues to gradually slide downhill.
The downfall can be blamed on a variety of reasons from stupid / lazy parents to too much reliance on technology to the dumbing down of our school systems. You can go blue in the face arguing the root cause of today’s problems and if there’s a realistic way to fix them.
One issue that bothers me in particular is the way that more and more people these days have problems with spelling and grammar. The ability to form a coherent sentence apparently challenges too many people. Many high school graduates write as poorly as my classmates and I did back in second and third grade.
Before I go any further, yes, I’m well aware that not all of my articles are 100% perfect with the spelling and grammar. English was never one of my strong subjects. The occasional hiccup still occurs when these writing articles.
About a week ago one of my cousins decided to share a letter that one of her students wrote her at the end of the school year. This was my cousin’s first year teaching. She liked teaching and supposedly had a great time doing so. I’d love to sit in her class for a day, but she’d probably kill me when I offer her (and I would) some constructive criticism and advice. Perhaps it’s better that we live on opposite sides of the country.
Here’s that very letter of appreciation that a HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT wrote to her teacher. All names and references have been removed to protect their identities. If the school system really knew how poorly some of the students wrote, they’d probably fire everybody in the English department.
I think it’s great that a student took the time to write a letter of appreciation for her teacher. How many teachers receive one of those these days? Hell, how many teachers received those letters back in my or my parents’ days of going to school?
From the letter, it sounds like this student thought of her teacher as more of a friend and buddy rather than an instructor, but that’s a different issue. I will say that my cousin is on the younger side of the faculty’s age range and only about seven or eight years older than her students.
My cousin, in all of her infinite wisdom, shared the letter of appreciation to the Facebook world, unknowingly showing off her student’s (which reflects the school as well) incredibly bad grammar and spelling. The letter looks like something a student would have written back in elementary school, let alone middle or even high school. Somehow this student is able to continue passing enough classes to advance with her classmates.
The student’s letter to her teacher reminded me of a classic TV commercial that was frequent in the mid 1990s:
Perhaps that program is being used in today’s classrooms.
The student’s letter wasn’t the only shining example that I’ve seen lately. Take this sign that my girlfriend and I saw when conducting business at a local Pak Mail store.
It looks like somebody is in need of using a spell checker BEFORE printing and posting a sign for the customers. I get it that “inconvenience” can be a tricky word to spell, but in today’s age with spell checking software available in just about every piece of software, there’s really no excuse for poor spelling. Throw in handy websites like Dictionary.com, and you’ll see that it’s incredibly easy these days to check the spelling of a word.
The sign was also missing a comma, but that’s a different issue.