May 27, 2007

So I’m sitting here, relatively unearly on a Sunday morning, and I stop over to A Teacher’s Education, and read Mrs. Chili’s explanation about why learning is still important, and why it bothers her that her students can’t even get one assignment in, one that isn’t necessarily complicated, turned in on time. I must admit, I am too vexed.

Let’s consider a hypothetical: I go to college. I just want to get my simple little degree in environmental sciences because trapsing around the woods looking at animals sounds like fun thing. Unfortunately, there are things involved in that trapsing that include research, documentation, and probably a written report or two. Now, if I stopped taking English or grammar serious after the fifth grade when I realized that I didn’t acutally need to use vowels t gt m pnt acrss, like so many seem to do, then I’m probably not going to have a hard time being taken seriously when my sentences would look better in crayon. Okay, that’s too cynical.

It’s important to know the very basic part of grammar, which are ingrained in our heads through language. However, there are times when, if you are speaking to someone who actually cared about their classes in school, that you will not be taken seriously, which is important if you want a raise, or to keep your job, or to feel like you aren’t wasting your time slogging through papers on a daily basis. This applies to all classes I think. If you don’t pay attention to the world around you, or the information being flung at you from all directions, you’re just gonna get hit by a cultural truck along the way. It’s very interesting to note how many people in my generation can’t name two bands from the seventies when music is so pervasive in our culture. It also bothers me that people can’t name two novels they’ve ever read, or how many young people try to talk about the news, but have never even picked up a newspaper or clicked to a newsite.

And the number of people who have NEVER listened to the radio?!

Anyway, not taking things seriously, when appropriate, will only make you look stupid. Mrs. Chili pointed out that the stimulus in kids lives recently (TV, internet, various and asundry media) have really affected the way communication and thinking works. Teachers dumb down the content levels and level of expectation. It would be horribly sad if, though we can type partial words and smilies at 150 wpm, we could barely hold a conversation that didn’t have every sentence ending like a question.

(Just think about it… “So, Becky? I totally saw her at the mall. And she was buying that blue dress I liked. And I was like, ‘No, way.'”)

One would think that online communication, for the most part, has made us more intelligent on the whole, yet it has really only made us lazy.

Okay, I think I’ve wandered off the real topic here. I’m gonna call this to a close before I start eating my feet.



  1. KC and the Sunshine Band and the Partridge Family. Although, I suppose, the latter entry could be held up for debate.

    I’ll get back to you with a more educated response to the other things later . *claps hands together in glee*

  2. ‘Bugs! Thanks!

    I REALLY need to engage people about this topic – it’s something that is occupying a lot of my thinking right now.

    I am VERY sad that these students of mine not only don’t have any idea what I’m talking about most of the time, but that they don’t have any desire to LEARN about what I’m talking about. They’re just not availing themselves of the opportunities that college is offering them. I’m feeling a little like I’m shoveling sand against the tide, that my enthusiasm and geeky excitement about my vocation is completely wasted on them and, every once in a while, is looked upon as an oddity.

  3. I went to school as a Chemical Engineer, and I pride myself in my ability to write fairly well. It was amazing how many of my fellow classmates could not do that. Though I suppose it’s all about the formulas and equations in the end.

    I die a little inside each time people write that they tend to “loose” things.

    As for music from the seventies, at the very least I accept when people can at least name Led Zeppelin and The Eagles, though I’m more impressed by Genesis and Pink Floyd… However, I am more of an eighties soul at heart.

    Is it just me, or is vowel-less speak come across at a bit of a grammatical version of an immature and arrogant smirk? I guess it is easy to read and understand though.

  4. Are you asking if I did that on purpose? Yes. Yes I did.

  5. Stll cld ndrstnd y. Texting of the future….*waves arms*

    I tend to loose things…*coughs* But that’s mistyping. Yeah.

    My grammar class last semester was interesting because we did somewhat address the elitism that is framed in situations where one person value grammar and the other does not. There is no problem if communication is clear or if both or on equal footing, but there is the difficulty when there is a class structure imposed by the lack of grammar.

    I wonder about the other version though. Say you are a verbal engineer and you are confronted with a boss who values product above verbal prowess? Talk about baaaaaaad juju.

  6. I believe there is a power to be given to a lack of grammar for good. Talk to advertising people, and sometimes, bad grammar and bastardized grammar are your best friends. Many times have I used a sentence fragment to get a product sold.

    As with most things, it lies in the environment, and when the environment is supposed to be one of understanding and precision, it is best to be precise, and understood.

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