Mineral Wells Index, Mineral Wells, TX


June 17, 2013

reflections... on Proper Usage

“Every time someone uses an apostrophe to make a plural, a puppy dies.”


When I was still teaching, and it has been 10 years since my retirement, I noticed a trend.  Teachers were told by administrators that a student could spell a word however he thought it sounded.  Of course, with that definition of spelling, “c-a-t” could be spelled “d-o-g”, and it would mean the same thing. Right? Wrong!

Texting and social media has done nothing to help with this situation, except, I suppose, to promote the educational thinking that whatever goes, goes; if it feels good, do it; and if a cat is a dog, well, that’s OK, too.

In England a director of schools said, “When businesses routinely put signs up with inaccurate English, spelling or apostrophe mistakes, for example, it sends a powerful message to children that formal English doesn't matter and that they don't need to pay attention to it.”

So, what should we do about it? Well, I suppose we should educate those educators who don’t know English, and we should endeavor, ourselves, to use the appropriate words and punctuation, in order to instruct all children in the proper use of

their language.


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