Ramblings of a Ringless Wife

Ringless Wife, Messy House, Cluttered Brain. All in a standard day.

May 17: Is English Important?

on May 18, 2012

I was listening to the radio on my late night pilgrimmage to Coles (Dan has Man-Flu, but that’s another post) and the topic was “Is English Important In A Year 12 Curriculum.”

The caller who was on air when I was listening was saying it wasn’t: that it was a useless topic and no one needs it. Her comment went like this:

“I think English is bloody useless. I mean, do ya reckon my daughter needs it to make her resume sound gooder? I mean betterer than it already looks? She speaks English good, I taught her it better than any of them old and dinosaur professor people could ever bloody hope to!”

The host was polite, explaining that maybe the English teachers could broaden her vocabulary to a better state, and get her into University.

“What’s vocabulary? I ain’t never heard that word! People are making words up right and left lately, I reckon they’re all just full of it. They need to speak to the real Aussies, them working class ones that know what they talking about. My daughter already speaks English good, don’t ya darl?”

At this stage, I was in shock. Clearly this was an instance in which English was needed, despite what a person was saying about her daughters gooder resume.

I understand that colloquiallism is a major part in our Australian language, and that “bushy-speak” will never completely die out. But to think that this woman was happy to stunt her daughter academic learning of our language was mind blowing.

My parents were always on at me about my language. Castle’s pronunciation was taught, “ain’t” was not permitted, and a word not to be used unless we knew what it meant.  It was a joke that when I was little, I ate a dictionary. This was made evident as child (and I mean 3 or 4 year old) when I told my mother if she even contemplated something I was going to defenstrate her.

Baby talk was non-existant, and a love of English and reading fostered. I was reading Enid Blyton in grade prep when most kids are reading “Hop on Pop.” This is not to say that I expect all kids to do this, it’s just how I was.

English as a language is already de-evolving. Text speak and appreviations are rampant. I swear to God the next time my sister spells “skewl” instead of “school” I am going to force feed her a dictionary. I understand that  “2”, “BRB”, etc etc are accepted abbreviations, but when children and teenagers are having little to no knowledge on the correct spelling because they only know the text version, it becomes more of a problem.

Now, I know some people have a genuine problem with spelling. But it’s when people don’t even give it a try or refuse to accept that it’s spelt any way other than the text way that I get the irits. Also, when professionals spell things wrong! Hello, you’re getting paid shitloads, you could atleast know the I before E except after C rule!

What are your thoughts? Do you think English is an important subject, do you think it’s de-evolving, or do you think it’s time to go with the flow?

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4 responses to “May 17: Is English Important?

  1. Maggie O'C says:

    The denial that English, that language, correct grammar and punctuation, word definitions MATTER makes me insane. Great post.

    Also FYI, I just pulled out Anne of Green Gables it’s been years!!! Thanks for the reminder!

  2. mum says:

    PMSL. you were 4 when you told me you would defenestrate me and then cracked us up when Kody asked you what it meant and you said “Fwow you out the window”.. Couldn’t pronounce throw but could clearly state defenestration as an option..

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