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I had to share somewhere where I knew people would feel my pain. ;)
Besides it is going that way - anybody read Russel Hoban's Riddley Walker? a modern(ish) classic piece of literature. Well by some definitions.
Riddley Walker, by the way, is an absolutely incredible book. I read it for this crazy English/philosophy class taught by an absolutely nutty professor, and I think it was almost the only thing we were assigned all quarter that I liked at all. It totally blew my mind.
A language is supposed to express ideas, isn't it? IMO any usage which muddles the meaning is to be deplored, and can be a benefit only to politicians and other demagogues.
11jeungyorlip Primeira Mensagem
Don't worry too much about loss of clarity in English. New words will be added to replace those that lost or muddled. English is dynamic; even when it is debased (txt msgs, etc.), it finds some way to thrive and make poetry. Or maybe that's just people...
My goal as their English teacher is to help them improve their communication. I never want to be the dictator about commas and tenses, but I try to explain that the rules are so that others can more easily understand what they are writing. They do catch on to this when they read each others' papers.
my question is: who are you serving? your students or yourself? i taught just one summer at the junior or community college level. I was told by administration they didn't like another teacher nearby because he had a 25 percent dropout ratio. i found that my students tended to average 30 to 35 years of age and were housewifes and workers who hadn't written anything but letters to lovers and families in years. also there were three "students" who didn't understand nouns, verbs, direct objects, punctuation, or the difference between fragments and complete sentences. I went to one student's social science teacher who had given him an "A." She told me that "I don't care if every word is misspelled and there isn't any punctuation at all as long as his subject matter is good." His subject matter was an essay on the civil rights movement. she was a 40-something black woman. Nuff said.
we (adults) are abandoning principles and our future. it is no mistake we have a president for six years who doesn't understand anything but bulls, bait, and bullshit. we have dumbed down and teachers who don't care about english are one of the three main reasons (the other being television and computers). I belong to the Scrabble Internet Club and it just put in a type of play called VOID. With VOID, one has the word researched and authenticated before it can appear on screen. What kind of learning is this? Without pain there is no gain.
Frankly, I think we of 60-plus have to die so society can be rid of us. We love the purity of English way too much!!
By the way, my dropout rate for two classes was 50 percent. I never returned.
Unfortunately, it generally is only the teachers (and mainly the English teachers) who do care about the language. For instance, to address your example, our President, how am I to convey that proper, educated English is important to succeed in life? Have you seen the clip of his discussion of tribal sovereignty (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mi49tvs8jp8)? He became president and yet.... This year we had quite an uproar here in Texas because we had so many students who did not get to graduate because they did not pass the TAKS test. One of the protestors carried a sign that said, "Let are kids walk!!"
So how am I to overcome the laxity of society as well as the apathy of the previous ten or eleven years of schooling? I have accepted that I cannot. I do know that they leave my classroom at the end of the year speaking and writing better than they came in.
Andyray, I wholeheartedly agree with you. It is also playing in the Netherlands, and not only with the language, but with knowledge in general. My parents had more homework, more subjects and more difficult exams in the various courses then I had and other students nowadays in the country. People my age (23) or younger have no interests in cultural things or hobbies whatsoever. It is really sad. The only thing they can is looking and acting like an adult with their mobile phones, notebook, make-up and high heels. But knowledge? Principals? A bit of moral? I am afraid not...
18polutropon Primeira Mensagem
in my daily life among the language deficit, I use street language so I may communicate the important concept of a Loving God to them (I work with drug addicts and alkies). Generally speaking, they can understand Mick Jagger's "I aint got no SATISFACTION" much easier than "the continued usage of crack cocaine may lead you to a life of unrecognizable judgements regarding your surrounding reality, and will definitely make you an emotional cripple."
If I want to communicate with others blessed by Our Loving God to be homo sapiens, I'd better learn their speech, whether it be eubonics or phonetics.
Like, do you dig back in the 1960s when we were groovy and turned on, those over-30 squares said we were messing up our language? Like, man, what a drag! Like, it didn't affect my bros any. any. any. any. any. any. any. any. (sorry -- acid flashback).