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To think that grammar/spelling standards are not what they were?

(319 Posts)
Meandmarius Fri 22-Mar-13 09:29:34

I'm mid 30's and have noticed that most of my friends/peers are able to distinguish between 'your and you're', 'where, were, we're' and using the words 'have' and 'of' correctly.
I've noticed that in younger generations there just doesn't seem to be the same standard anymore and I wonder why that is.
Not saying for one minute that my own sp. and grammar is perfect - it isn't. I just wonder if there is as much emphasis on it nowadays as there was back in the day..

Meandmarius Fri 22-Mar-13 10:52:52

I think MN is a breath of fresh air because the spelling and grammar on here is mostly great. Isn't that the generational thing, though? Most of us must be late 20's upwards and I'm talking of the generations after that, the standards have definitely changed. Not just on social media but in newspaper articles written by younger journalists, mostly tabloids admittedly.

Of course, grammar isn't perfect on here and you don't expect it to be really. it's basically chatting and sometimes you write as you would speak/write a quick reply/post from phone while on the move etc.

I agree it's those other 'rules', there/they're/their etc that seem to be lacking with the younger generation.

TroublesomeEx Fri 22-Mar-13 10:54:25

I don't blame teachers. Teachers don't set the curriculum or makes the rules about what's currently important. It's the government you want to see about that one!

Teacher's do teach it but unless it's reinforced outside of school too, children quite quickly forget and become confused.

People who think it's important generally get it right. People who think it's unimportant generally don't. It's not difficult to get it right if you are sufficiently interested.

I joined an online dating agency recently and, whilst I'm not looking for perfect grammar and sentence construction - I'm looking for a man, not a robot, I instantly dismiss anyone whose spelling/grammar is very poor. And I do make all sorts of judgements about their education/intelligence based on it.

I suspect I'm going to be single for a very long time.... grin

boxershorts Fri 22-Mar-13 10:55:28

Maybe not. I think schools shud concentrate on 3 Rs We have 2 million adults illiterate But we should not be fussy about spelling on Mumsnet

limitedperiodonly Fri 22-Mar-13 10:58:24

I love threads where people pontificate about appalling standards in grammar and spelling in posts sprinkled with errors.

Takver Fri 22-Mar-13 11:00:54

YABU - we run a small business, and have many older customers by the nature of what we do. I would say that (guessing purely by names / handwriting) the older people are MORE likely to send a badly spelt and incorrectly added up order.

My guess is that on the whole they tended to have left school earlier and in an era when there were more manual jobs available, so less emphasis on reading/writing/basic maths.

And if DD's school is anything to go by, there is a huge focus on reading ability that didn't exist when I was at school in the 70s.

TroublesomeEx Fri 22-Mar-13 11:00:58

Argh Teachers not teacher's!

You're right, limited I even proof read my post, just to be sure hopes there aren't any more glaring errors...


Helltotheno Fri 22-Mar-13 11:01:33

That one's binbound then.

Lol.. you live by the sword!!

Its true about CVs though... if someone turns in a heap of shyte as a job application, that speaks to their whole attitude and I know many people in the position of hiring/firing who won't even read to the end of a CV like that. Proper order ime. It costs very little to have something like that checked professionally and well worth every penny.

Meandmarius I agree, the standards on here are generally high for an online forum.

mrsjay Fri 22-Mar-13 11:03:35

see we all do it grin I think we really need to let it go especially on internert forums and what not

limitedperiodonly Fri 22-Mar-13 11:05:31

It's not particularly aimed at you folkgirl grin.

I do a job in which spelling and grammar is very important but it's not the only skill that's required and it would be shortsighted of me to choose everyone purely on the basis of how pretty their English was.

Buzzardbird Fri 22-Mar-13 11:06:58

Would dyslexia make you put an apostrophe in every plural word you use or make you use 'of' instead of 'off'? Or in your opinion is that just being crap at grammar?

limitedperiodonly Fri 22-Mar-13 11:07:09

Alternatively, spelling and grammar are very important grin

Helltotheno Fri 22-Mar-13 11:08:18

Not understanding correct grammar use Buzzard

boxershorts Fri 22-Mar-13 11:10:38

there alway has been different levels of grammar. It goes with CLASSES Read a tabloid and a broadsheet

Takver Fri 22-Mar-13 11:12:13

Another difference from the past: It used to be the norm to employ secretaries, who by the nature of their job would be expected to have good spelling & grammar. These days everyone writes and sends their own letters & emails.

My dm would unquestionably be diagnosed as dyslexic these days and her spelling is atrocious to the point that it makes her writing unintelligible. Back in the 50s she was advised to work hard (grammar school girl) and make sure she got a job where she'd have a secretary.

Takver Fri 22-Mar-13 11:13:30

Agree boxer - absolutely a class difference. Perhaps the change is that everyone these days has to communicate in writing. Going back to my DNan, she had no occasion to write to anyone outside of family, who didn't give a toss if her spelling was a bit random.

Meandmarius Fri 22-Mar-13 11:14:29

I blame teachers for not correcting children adequately at primary school (stifles their creativity, apparently)

Wow, is that a general teaching viewpoint or just in your experience, simbo? Surely it will stifle their creativity more if they're unable to express themselves correctly in written form!

I think it's so important to instill a love of books or reading at a young age, first took my DS to the library at about 6 months dozing in his pram, of course

limitedperiodonly Fri 22-Mar-13 11:19:41

boxershorts amongst older journalists there's no difference in the standard of grammar on broadsheets and tabloids. It is all uniformly high. Standards have slipped now but most skilled subs still know their way around a dictionary.

It's arguably more difficult to write for a tabloid because you're condensing stories for readers who probably have a lower standard of education.

When writing for a broadsheet you can use longer words in longer stories because you assume your readers have a higher comprehension. It's a conceit that's not always true.

StrawColoured Fri 22-Mar-13 11:24:48

I despair at declining standards of grammar/spelling, but I'm late 40's and only remember a couple of lessons on this at school. One lesson we were taught nouns/verbs/adjectives etc., and the next lesson we were taught apostrophes. But on every piece of written work, grammar & spelling errors were marked down.

I think I learned most of my grammar/spelling from reading.

In the workplace, too much reliance is placed on spellcheckers.

And I certainly make assumptions about job applicants' abilities based on the grammar/spelling in their CV.

BreconBeBuggered Fri 22-Mar-13 11:26:52

I'm not at all convinced it's a generational thing. I know teenagers (not even my own) who are picky and pedantic about grammar and spelling, and people my own age who couldn't tell 'their' from 'there' if they read the sentence a hundred times. There's something in the theory that everyone has to communicate in writing, therefore shortcomings are more apparent, and, where common, apt to be unconsciously imitated by others who don't have secure grasp of correct usage. I probably see 'definate' more often than 'definite'

BreconBeBuggered Fri 22-Mar-13 11:28:04

...and I had no idea doing that, whatever it was, would post the message without finishing it off.

Nancy66 Fri 22-Mar-13 11:32:07

I agree with 'definitely' ....9 out of 10 people cannot spell that. Even on MN

GoingGoingGoth Fri 22-Mar-13 11:32:42

Early 40's here, and must admit I can't remember having grammer lessons at school. I alway fond it difficult when studying French, that the teacher would refer to a tense such as 'past participial' and I would have no idea what that would be in English.

I've always read a lot, and I have found that in the last 10 years I now actively investigate the correct way of writing (not always successfully)

TroublesomeEx Fri 22-Mar-13 11:33:56

MeandMarius it can depend on what the learning objective for the lesson is. Not all grammar/spelling errors are correcting every single time because sometimes, the child is being assessed on the content or use of vocabulary, when making them nervous about spelling it incorrectly might inhibit them from using it at all. After all, people on here know how frustrating it is when the content of a post is disregarded because of poor grammar/spelling. It's no different for children.

But a lot of schools will focus on grammar/spelling outside of the standard 'literacy hour' lessons anyway and the children might record the rules or the options in a different book that they are encouraged to use when writing.

simbo Fri 22-Mar-13 11:37:32

Actually, my comment on teachers was based on a quote from a teacher when I challenged her about not correcting my dd's spelling in written work. Admittedly, this was in ks1, but I think that her inability to spell consistently well stems from this. My attempts to gently correct her myself resulted in "it's good enough for my teacher, so why is it not good enough for you?" which made her see me as hyper-critical, rather than helpful.

secretscwirrels Fri 22-Mar-13 11:41:28

Oddly I find the worst offenders to be older people. Friends my age (50s) and worst of all my MOTHER use text speak inappropriately. (Not that it's ever appropriate in my opinion).
It makes me squirm. I always use full spellings, apostrophes and grammar when texting and so do my teenage DCs.

I wonder whether it dates back to the early days of mobile phones when the cost of texts was higher with the consequent necessity to use the minimum characters.

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