Sunday, June 21, 2009

Things Have Changed

I read this today:

British Government Spells End of 'i before e' Rule
Published - Jun 20 2009 11:54PM CDT by Associated Press

It's a spelling mantra that generations of schoolchildren have learned _ "i before e, except after c."
But new British government guidance tells teachers not
to pass on the rule to students,
because there are too many exceptions.
The "Support For Spelling" document, which is being sent to thousands of primary schools,
says the rule "is not worth teaching" because it doesn't account for
words like 'sufficient,' 'veil' and 'their.'
Jack Bovill of the Spelling Society, which advocates simplified spelling,
said Saturday he agreed with the decision.
But supporters say the ditty has value because it is one of the few
language rules that most people remember.

This reminds me of a discussion I had recently with another homeschool mom, about all the school information that has changed since we were in school. This spring I was studying with the teen for her ACT and I was correcting her on the right way to use commas. The ACT study book insisted I was WRONG! The rule used to be if you wrote a list of 3 (or more) words, you used commas after the first ones but not after the next to last word. IE: I want Jack, Jill and Peter to come to my party. (after Jill, no comma.) Now they're throwing in commas left and right.

Remember in typing class how you always had to hit the space bar 2 times inbetween sentences? Nope. It's faux pas now. Not advised. And now you can even start sentences with the words AND and BUT! What is the world coming to?

Either I or DH read an article recently about a school district some where in the US that allows kids taking the SAT or ACT to use texting abbreviations in their answers. I can't really think of what those would be because I'm not as savvy as my texting teen dd but can you imagine that? Making it easier for the kids with the excuse that they 'know the abbreviations better and we shouldn't penalize them for using that.' They use things like: RLY meaning “really”; R, meaning “are”; Y meaning “why”; UR meaning "your"; and IDK, meaning “I don’t know.” I just don't understand this logic of 'dumbing down' things for our kids. They're not going to be able to compete in this world with a subpar education.

It amazes me the amount of dd's friends who text and don't know the difference between there, their and they're, its and it's or your and you're. My dd is especially 'into' words and spelling so maybe she notices it more than others who don't care about words as much.

It seems to me we're raising a generation of lazy talkers. I'll admit I do text with friends and the teen using abbreviations sometimes, just because I'm a talker and want to fit as many words into my 160 letter spots as I can. But in normal life, and typing emails and such, I use correct spellings and punctuation (as best as I can remember it). We have a generation of teens that still don't understand what things need capitalizing, or the meaning of basic words. There are many words that are in our way of speaking that were not correct a long time ago. Funner vs. More Fun is one example, Ain't is another. It has actually made its way into the dictionary!

Since I like learning I have a hard time wrapping my brain around the fact that there are people in this world that don't particularly prefer learning and are content to stay in their level of understanding without an urge to better themselves. Not that I know it all, by any stretch of the imagination. I just like to discover new things, new words, new experiences. This is one thing I love about homeschooling. We can do more spelling, more math, whatever we need to make sure our kids get the basics or even a higher than rudimentary level of learning. And if they're struggling in something, we can keep going over it until they're proficient and aren't left behind. I've read articles saying the bigger your list of usable vocabulary, the more intelligent you sound to prospective employers and potential mates. I tell my teen this all the time.

I'm getting so confused! What changes will come next? They'll start telling me that 2+2 is 5?


Rhonda said...

About the comma - When I was in school, I learned that the comma in your example (after Jill) was required. Sometime after I left high school, that requirement was removed. I've always used that extra comma, though, so I'm happy that it's officially back. :)

I actively dislike text speak being used in official written communication. Blech.

MamaGeph said...

Amen to your whole post!

My hubby was tutoring a public highschooler in beginning debate. The kid wrote his entire speech in TEXT and got an A+. I kid you not.

Melyssa R said...

I learned the comma change in last year's curriculum for 4th grade and was appalled. LOL I don't know why it bothered me so much but it did. Glad I'm not the only one.

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