Free Britain

Dr Ken Smith: Ignore Bad Spelling From University Students

Is this what it has sunk to? Students in university that are so bad at spelling that a senior lecturer is calling for an amnesty, to re-categorise these mistakes as merely variations on the word? Teachers are flooded with students of such a low calibre that they must now start making suggestions like this?

This of course plays into the hands of the Communists running the country. A dumbed down population is much more likely to capitulate to authority and not likely to be thinking for themselves or asking pesky questions.

Source: Daily Mail

Dr Ken Smith is urging colleagues to turn a blind eye to the 20 most common slips  –  such as ‘Febuary’, ‘ignor’ and ‘speach’  –  and view them instead as variants of standard spellings.

Writing in the Times Higher Education magazine, the senior lecturer in criminology at Buckinghamshire New University said: ‘Teaching a large first-year course at a British university, I am fed up with correcting my students’ atrocious spelling. Aren’t we all?

‘But why must we suffer? Instead of complaining about the state of the education system as we correct the same mistakes year after year, I’ve got a better idea.

‘University teachers should simply accept as variant spellings those words our students most commonly misspell.’

He added: ‘Either we go on beating ourselves and our students up over this problem or we simply give everyone a break and accept these variant spellings as such.

‘All I am suggesting is that we might well put 20 or so of the most commonly misspelt words in the English language on the same footing as those other words that have a widely accepted variant spelling.’

He said the word ‘judgement’ was already accepted as a variant of ‘judgment’, adding: ‘So why can’t “truely” be accepted as a variant spelling of “truly”?’

Dr Smith said there was no reason many commonly misspelt words were configured the way they were. The word ‘twelfth’, for example, would make more sense as ‘twelth’, he said.

‘How on earth did that “f ” get in there? You would not dream of spelling the words “stealth” or “wealth” with a “f” (as in ‘stealfth’ or “wealfth”) so why insist on putting the “f” in twelfth?’.

Dr Smith is not calling for the words to be changed permanently. But his remarks will heighten concern over the literacy levels of undergraduates.

They come after a lecturer at the prestigious Imperial College released the worst spelling and grammatical howlers by his students.

Dr Bernard Lamb claimed Britain’s brightest undergraduates were worse at English than foreign students.

He said home-grown students were more likely to write essays littered with mistakes such as ‘there’ instead of ‘their’ and ‘been’ instead of ‘bean’.

Dr Lamb had become so concerned at poor English among undergraduates in genetics, he began to keep a diary of mistakes. In little over a term, he had covered 24 sides of A4.

He blamed failings in the school system, declaring: ‘There was little evidence of students having been taught the relevant rules at school, or of the students having been corrected for obvious and frequent errors.’

Jack Bovill, chairman of the Spelling Society, said its national survey had shown up to 54 per cent of people couldn’t spell words such as ‘ embarrassed’, ‘separate’, ‘accommodation’, ‘millennium’ and ‘friend’.

But he said the society did not advocate changing the spellings.


3 Comments so far
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How about buying every pupil a dictionary…
Mark them down for horrible spelling errors…
(Dyslexia obviously gets an exemption from this suggestion)

Better still, sack “Dr” Ken Smith for trying to devolve the English language into a poorer variation of US English.

Comment by ChrisP

This doesn’t surprise me from Bucks New Uni, which is, in itself, a bit of a joke. Now I’m not saying that all the lecturers are so short-sighted and ridiculous in their opinions (indeed, some of them I know are very good) but anyone who thinks that ‘ignor’ is an appropriate way of spelling ignore. As for ‘So why can’t “truely” be accepted as a variant spelling of “truly”?’, well, quite frankly, because it’s wrong.

Comment by Kate

Seems like a common theme in Marxist regimes. Dumb down the next generation. As they begin to miss the required levels, the establishment drops the bar and so continues another few years of dumbing down, while convincing the ever-thick public that the education system is doing a decent job.

Most children leave school these days without rudimentary skills. They’ll make bad leaders (not that leaders from serfdom are wanted by tyrants) but they will make good slaves.

Comment by fmwatkins

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