26 Oct 2011

Hestia....the grammar Nazi

We all make mistakes when we're typing or writing - and some folks really struggle with their writing skills because of dyslexia and other issues. This post is in NO way aimed at you. 

Sonshine brought home his latest 'Curriculum For Excellence' project for his homework.  Please note that word 'Excellence'.

Aside from the fact that one is supposed to be creating an innovative lantern on an island where it's sometimes impossible to buy a jar of capers, I magically fumed my way to fully-fledged grammar Nazi as I read it  in much the same way as Mild-Mannered Clark Kent ends up with his knickers on outside his trousers.....

I'll let the missing apostrophe on Hallowe'en go....but check out that first 'paragraph':

'Give of some light'  GIVE OF SOME LIGHT???????

Give OFF some light!!!!

'Was this written by a Class Assistant.....or a pupil?' I asked hopefully.

'Nah - it was written by a teacher.'

I was assured that it wasn't HIS teacher that wrote it.  Which is good, seeing as how she's Acting Assistant Head at the Primary at the moment and VERY lovely and Sonshine ADORES her.

Perhaps I should give the teacher in question the benefit of the doubt - perhaps it was just overly quick fingers on the keyboard....followed by a bit of duff proof-reading.

Am I being too pedantic?  Do I need to take a chill pill and worry not about the Western World's slow descent into grammar chaos?  Does text-speak herald the END of civilisation as we know it?  Should I drink weaker coffee in the morning before blogging?   :-)


  1. Its maddening isn't it, particularly from teachers of all people. The best one we had when my daughter was at primary school was a card that said 'Sorry Your Leaving' - I fell about! Often tempted to mark newsletters and send them back! Leaves you with little respect for their own educational standards. Best one was one teacher who actually used to say 'somethink' and 'nothink' - not rising to that one was a great achievement! LOL!

  2. What does "give of some light" mean? I am assuming they meant "give off some light" which makes it a typo adn understandable depdning on how quickly it needed to be knocked up but that does not work massively well either...

  3. Siobhan, yes, I'm always getting my fingers tripping over themselves lol! So at BEST it's a typo....but then, surely someone proofed it before it was photocopied for 34 kids to take home.

    Either way, doesn't fill you full of optimism....

    I used to sit in with P4 sometimes and one day they were given an exercise sheet that was so full of spelling errors and American spellings that the teacher recalled all the sheets and binned them from the Resource Cupboard. No wonder kids are confused!

    And BBC books that have Americanised spellings in them?! What's with THAT?!

    Ali x

  4. It's just about possible it might not be a typo: something can give of light - emit it, or cause light to come into being, but in my experience (dons flak suit) a great many teachers can't spell or punctuate.

    You are not being too pedantic - these things matter!

  5. I am more worried about the lack of capers up there than the typo/spelling error/grammatical error but all would make me hopping mad! My worst one is "must of" instead of "must have", but the more time kids spend on computers and the less time they spend reading, the greater the problem of poor spelling and grammar.

  6. sadly, you will often hear me complaining about similar things. i despise the fact that people no longer care - if i find that what i have written contains an error or a typo and i have posted it on a public forum such as facebook or my blog, i immediately go back and fix it. most people either don't know or don't care or both.

    one of my favourite agonies is listening to people, sometimes even teachers, saying things like "for john and i" instead of "for john and me" and that little pronoun gaffe manages to drive me up the wall. in fact, i'm now so far up the wall it's a wonder i haven't risen above all this b.s. but no, no i haven't.

    as for american spellings, i'm canadian and thus fall under british spelling, but sadly we're being inundated with americanisms too. once, being overly pedantic, i complained to my university when i was presented with a degree in "english honors" instead of "english honours." the bastards!

    and having talked to a lot of teachers in my life, i just thank god i don't have any children. that's all i'm going to say about that!

  7. Just don't....dont...donut..dooknut. Drives me crazy...I resist the urge.. I sit on my hands, even, when missives come from school with Extreme Grammar Abuse. *shudder* *twitch*

  8. It must have been that large cup of coffee.
    You'd go ballistic over here.

  9. Ali I completely agree with you, and I'm a bloody teacher. Some of my younger colleagues struggle with the nicities of grammer (and sometimes spelling) which is why we have needed to get all parental reports proof read before we print them off.

    I blame the schools :=) The old days of parsing and syntax for weeks on end have long gone; education now, is supposed to be about "self-expression" and "having fun"

    Why don't you circle the offending "OF" in red pen and post to the teacher. All education professionals are always keen to get feedback and feedforward.

  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

  11. Oh. Dear. I spotted it immediately. My eyes were drawn to it. I want to mock but I made a glaring apostrophe error in a blog post last week so feel that pointing the finger is the wrong thing to do. Even still, I'd be sending that back with a red circle! Oof!

  12. I put it all down to the reliance on spell check,no need to learn to spell.
    We had a lovely girl working here who is now a qualified teacher-her check writing was hilarious:
    Larger(lager),soop(no explanation needed),lam to quote a few.
    Apparently her class often correct her spelling,she tells them they are deliberate mistakes,designed to test their aptitude..

  13. I feel silly because I read that flyer three times, searching for some abuse of the word "excellence." There are many grammar errors that irritate me. I hate "could of" when it ought to be "could HAVE" and that "here's a picture of Mary and I" thing really bugs me too. It's Mary and me! Would you ever say, "Here's a picture of I"? Also hate hate hate it when the word "home" is used for "house." They're not synonyms! American real estate agents are the worst offenders, listing "homes" for sale.

  14. @Patience_Crabstick: Oh, you have me wondering now. I thought 'Mary and I' was the correct way to write that sentence! Mary and me sounds wrong in my head. I have most definitely been guilty of making this mistake.

  15. He gave the book to Mary and me
    is correct because you would say, 'he gave the book to me'.

    But - Mary and I walked into town, because you'd say, I walked into town - as the subject of the sentence.

    In the first example, you are using 'me' because it's the object of the preposition 'to'.

    I think!

    Ali x

  16. Thank you Ali! That makes sense and will hopefully prevent me from making this blob in future :D

  17. Bad spelling and grammar really irritates me on official documents or posters - to me it smacks of just not caring.
    I appreciate that there are many true dyslexics, but it does become a bit of a joke or excuse for dreadful spelling.
    I care about grammar and spelling and I just wish everyone else did too.
    Excuse me while I just proof read my comment ...

  18. speaking as someone who cannot spell even I spotted that one!! I say carry on .......don't let your standards slip!!x

  19. BTW,
    just came across a very sweet B&B in Glasgow (Denistoun) called

    *roll of drums and bugle fanfare*

    26 Circus Drive, Glasgow G31 2JH, United Kingdom

  20. Alison, I know exactly what you mean, now and again I spot spelling and grammar mistakes written by teachers, and find it worrying. Especially when in school reports. "Boy 2 must concentreat on his spellings". I tell myself they are typos..Mr B tells me to calm down and that I won't endear myself to the school if I start pointing these things out...and yet...


I'd love you to comment, but I get a phenomenal amount of spam comments on here for some reason - so everything is moderated. But only for spam. Any other comment will be posted :-D

Explore the ruined citadel of m'blog: