Wot R U Krayzee?! Texting will make us chimps…again

Thanks to texting we can regress far enough with written English and human evolution to begin acting like chimps and throw feces and bananas at each other.

A British academic in a recent Reuters article has suggested that teachers and grammar hawks should just accept the phonetic spelling of words and throw out that subtle little nuance called ‘correct spelling’.

“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,” Ken Smith, a criminology lecturer at Bucks New University, wrote in the Times Higher Education Supplement, reports Reuters. 

“University teachers should simply accept as variant spelling those words our students most commonly misspell.”

 To kickstart his proposal, Smith suggested 10 common misspellings that should immediately be accepted into the pantheon of variants, including “ignor”, “occured”, “thier”, “truely”, “speach” and “twelth” (it should be “twelfth”).

Why is an academic suggesting UNIVERSITY teachers should be accepting incorrect and lazy spelling of words from UNIVERSITY students. Did it ever cross his mind that those students should not be in university if they are too lazy or dull to know how to spell “their”, “speech” and “twelfth”?

We need to stop having so-called academics and feel-good types suggesting to bend and change normal scholastic and educational standards to meet lazy and unmotivated students. This reminds me of a recent Toronto District School Board policy which abolishes late penalties for homework or projects handed in late or incomplete. Whatever happened to learning about consequence (or is it con-see-qwents)? Apparently late penalties provide “powerful disincentives” to students the TDSB states.

Will the bank be so kind if you are late with your mortgage payment? The tax man? The loan shark? Will 2 + 2 begin to equal 5 and not 4 so we do not hurt a student’s feelings, encouraging them to a life of perpetual mistakes?

I text, a lot. Also, I use all the nutty abbreviations that go with it such as: l8r for “later”, c u “see you”,  r for “are”, u for “you”, n for “and” and the famous lol, lmao and rotflmao. Of course, I have a vested interest in using proper spelling, I am a journalist and career writer and love the proper written word. Spelling words correctly is my literary first commandment.

English is not an easy language to pick up. However, it is one that you can get by with while speaking badly if it is not your first language. However, when the “English” themselves, well, at least one academic from there, is looking for shortcuts for university students, the problem goes beyond texting and accepting recurring mistakes. How about ensuring students can spell and write English properly before moving on in school. How about not suggesting rewrites to the English language to placate lazy students and dare I say lazy teachers.


3 thoughts on “Wot R U Krayzee?! Texting will make us chimps…again

  1. Grant

    Further to what was quoted in the Reuters’ article, in the Times Higher Education Supplement, Dr. Smith wrote: “Teaching a large first-year course at a British university, I am fed up with correcting my students’ atrocious spelling. But why must we suffer?”

    So, Dr. Smith is “fed up” and no longer wants to “suffer” “year after year” doing a job he is paid to do. Instead of making himself look terribly foolish by proposing his idiotic “better idea,” an easier solution would be his resigning his position at Bucks New University. The poor man is obviously burned out. Imagine him, a teacher, being expected to teach students that they are attending university to raise their educational standards, not lower them. His employer is obviously expecting far too much from him. Being the senior lecturer in criminology at Bucks, perhaps this guy would be happier in life curled up on his living room couch, munching potato crisps, and watching reruns of “CSI” on the telly.

    Dr. Ken Smith is surely one lazy and lame excuse for a teacher. That he would even suggest devaluing the importance of English language spelling just so he and other university teachers wouldn’t be inconvenienced at their jobs is not only arrogant, it’s pathetic.

  2. carm

    Wow. He deserves a nice “Worst Teacher of the Year” award. I’m pretty sure I LEARNED things by MAKING MISTAKES and BEING TAUGHT how to CORRECT them. I’m pretty sure that when you make a mistake, you are WRONG, and should be told as much. How long will it be before those “new spellings” are changed even more?
    I’ve got a beef with the kids, too. They have wonderful resources available to them. Use an online dictionary if that’s your thing. Hell, even a real dictionary will do (they still publish them, right?) And proofread, at least once! If you’re lazy, get someone else to proofread! I don’t think the answer is devaluing the quality of the education so it’s easier for students (or for professors!). Getting a degree is about working for it!
    You know, hearing things like this that makes me fear the future.

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