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To be genuinely baffled by what seems like a growing absence of basic spelling skills?

(100 Posts)
LadyStoicIsBack Thu 28-Jul-16 22:09:49

I'm not asking from a judgmental standpoint before I get flamed but rather a very genuine 'I just don't get it' kind of way... confused

I went to a bog standard inner city primary school and before I left, so age 11, knew the difference between words such as you're, your, there, their, and they're (alongside aisle as opposed to isle as another example); yet all of those being used incorrectly seems to be increasingly commonplace. And that confuses me as I know my primary education was nothing special and very def. know I do not know all I'd like to yet I'm (maybe incorrectly?) assuming that all others born into same system would have had the same basic education and thus would know the difference* between their own their/they're/there??? And no, I very definitely did not have any fucking kind of support 'additional parental support' so I don't think that can be the variable either.

So has basic Primary education got worse, or is it I'm just getting old or something and thus noticing it more? Genuinely curious as to other's equally anecdotal observations or their professional experience of this.

[*I'm obviously not referring to anyone for whom English is a second language, nor anyone like DS3 who has SEN]

WorraLiberty Thu 28-Jul-16 22:13:58

Perhaps it's just more obvious now, due to the popularity of the internet?

redexpat Thu 28-Jul-16 22:16:32

Well you probably came from a decent family who supported your education, so that made all the difference.
You can concentrate better when you've been fed breakfast. Not all kids get that.
Your parents probably had books in the house. Not all kids have that.
Your parents probably read to you. Not all parents do that.
Your parents probably had a positive relationship with school, and didnt say things like what you reading that book for? How's that gonna help you in life? School didnt help me!
Your parents probably made sure you had school uniform, got you up in the morning, and made you go to school. Not all parents do that.

Maybe you were just lucky enough to have good teachers!

RoseRuby26 Thu 28-Jul-16 22:17:07

Spelling did fall of the wagon a bit in education. I'd say it's firmly back in the spotlight due to the new curriculum; in primary schools anyway. I totally agree that it's an essential life skill. I also get the rage with apostrophes. I've seen so many "sunny Sunday's" posts! That's not correct is it?!?!

RiverTam Thu 28-Jul-16 22:19:02

red you did see the bit where the OP said she didn't get any support at home? No?

tibbawyrots Thu 28-Jul-16 22:19:43

I know I've always read a lot; I take 14 books away for a 7 day holiday.
I think that reading is invaluable to fix the correct wording/grammar and punctuation in your mind from a young age.

This does not include reading celebrity biographies. hmm

KingJoffreyLikesJaffaCakes Thu 28-Jul-16 22:21:19

I think auto-correct may be responsible for some of it.

But people type quickly, often while doing something else and make mistakes.

It's also been proved many times that the brain can reorganise jumbled up words and sentences.

So, who cares?

Some people can't spell. I can't drive. Peeps are good at different things.

BrandNewAndImproved Thu 28-Jul-16 22:21:48

I know my theirs and you're but my spellchecker doesn't. My grammar however is rubbish especially with things like have, of, would and should.

Quite often I do type the correct there in the sentence but when reading my post after its changed. It has to be my spellchecker as I know I typed the right one.

anyname123 Thu 28-Jul-16 22:22:58

Don't know how old you are OP but I'm 34 and during my primary education they were certainly skills I acquired. Pretty much just the three R's (although I am happy to admit I am still a but baffled about where to put apostrophes at times), but I, and most of my class mates, certainly left for comp able to spell, do arithmetic etc. Wonder if younger people struggle more due to the everyday use of texting, computer spell check etc? That's my theory on it.

0phelia Thu 28-Jul-16 22:23:06

I very much notice the same deterioration in basic spelling and also awful grammar such as "I would of gone"

Education standards have dropped since decades of neoliberal ideology has led to mismanagement in every area of life. It's always profit and fiddled results above actual beneficial things such as learning or quality of care.

NickyEds Thu 28-Jul-16 22:23:09

I can be a bit pedantic but maybe it's because it just doesn't matter very much? In every day use I mean. Say I was to write:

"The people over there are holding there bags in there hands" - If it doesn't change the meaning does it actually matter? Apart from in my head where I'm screaming, obviously!

MadamDeathstare Thu 28-Jul-16 22:23:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

HeyRobot Thu 28-Jul-16 22:24:34

I don't know how old you are but I'm in my early 30s so was at primary in the 90s. We didn't really learn any grammar. Spelling we did in weekly tests but they wouldn't be grouped into homophones so we wouldn't have had the different your/you'res drummed in that way.

I think it's coming back in again but o had to pick all my grammar up from reading and not everyone is able to do that or is interested enough to look it up.

I don't think that primary should be all learning by rote but I think my peers missed out a lot. We only really got to grammar when we studied French at secondary and it was a bit too late for some people then.

Nannawifeofbaldr Thu 28-Jul-16 22:25:20

The worst spelling and grammar I see is from people in their thirties and forties (peers in other words). I think it's more noticeable because we're all publically writing more than ever before Due to Facebook and other social media.

FastWindow Thu 28-Jul-16 22:26:59

Only 14 tibba? grin

I have probably read several hundred books, for sure. It helps to love a good (or even a mediocre) read, ill read the back of a shampoo bottle.

I can tell you that my dc6 primary corrects his spelling, they write the word out below his work and he then copies it out three times. I'm so pleased to see that, i hadn't realised they had raised their game.

Apostrophes now <sigh>

honeysucklejasmine Thu 28-Jul-16 22:27:26

I moved schools in year 4. At my new one we had a new subject I had never done before - "comprehension". Whether it was just done differently at my previous school, or not done at all, doing it very formally certainly helped my reading and writing. (I can remember my teacher berating someone for spelling something wrong. "It's written right there in the text, you wally!")

As pp said, reading is also really important to help cement this sort of thing.

MadamDeathstare Thu 28-Jul-16 22:27:36

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

lalalalyra Thu 28-Jul-16 22:28:19

I think there's so many different aspects to the curriculum now that teachers don't get the chance to focus on things for as long as they used too.

I remember when around half of us failed a spelling test on mostly the same words. Our teacher binned her plan for the next day and we did nothing, but basic spellings, re-learning how to put words together etc all morning and we had a 'games day' in the afternoon - Scrabble, Boggle etc, basically we were conned into spelling all day long and it really helped. I honestly don't think teachers would be allowed to do that now. Lessons are planned and set strictly and for reasons I'll never understand they've reduced the decision making that individual teachers are allowed to do for their individual classes.

practy Thu 28-Jul-16 22:29:11

There was way less support for children whose parents did not support them in the past, than there is now days. There is also much more support for less severe disabilities these days, than there was in the past.

I suspect OP that because of the internet, you are just noticing it more. I am aware we don't get Government funded TV adverts and schemes to teach adults to read and write, and I can remember these in the past.

MadamDeathstare Thu 28-Jul-16 22:31:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

auberginefrog Thu 28-Jul-16 22:31:57

I reckon it's because some teachers don't have good grammatical skills themselves so it's impossible for the kids to learn (my husband's a teacher and he says a lot of his colleagues can't differentiate between "there" "their" etc

There should probably be a push for higher standards in teachers but lots of shortages and no money will mean that standards will inevitably slip

MarklahMarklah Thu 28-Jul-16 22:33:05

Picked up a leaflet at a local garden recently which had a trail for kids.
"Why not wonder down to the flower boarders?"

Proof reading seems to have gone to the dogs too!

Foxyloxy1plus1 Thu 28-Jul-16 22:34:28

The advent of text messaging for one thing, has, I think, had an impact on spelling and grammar. People using phones, tablets and laptops, type quickly and use a kind of shorthand, which over time, becomes absorbed as the norm.

I agree OP and I bite my tongue or sit on my hands at every there/their/ they're wrongly attributed, as well as all the other frequent mistakes. It often gets a flaming though and lots of people think it doesn't matter any more and that language evolves. I suppose that is true, but I think it's important, even if others don't. Wrongly placed apostrophes are a particular bugbear, as well as that stream of consciousness writing that has no punctuation and is difficult to understand.

I think there are plenty of reasons. The need to communicate speedily, a feeling that it's not important, inadequate teaching of the basics, lack of support, uncaring attitudes.

But then I'm an ex teacher and very much feel it's important. I get enraged by official documents that are badly spelled and grammatically poor. Supermarkets and department stores whose placards are wrong, particularly irritate. House of Fraser's 'homewears' and Oasis dental care's 'patient's parking area' have recently irritated. Just the one patient at that practice then. House of Fraser acknowledged the incorrect spelling, but have failed to correct it.

CodyKing Thu 28-Jul-16 22:35:01

Written English is linked to spoken English - get the pronunciation wrong and you can't spell.

Fought - thought
Diffrent - different

It's really noticeable with children's speech.

Grammar is different again because word do have different meanings and if you correct some adults they don't want to learn to put it right. Coz u no what I meen like?

Nanny0gg Thu 28-Jul-16 22:35:16

It's mostly down to predictive text as so many use their phones to post. Then there is the incorrect or uncorrected spellchecker.

Finally, the total lack of proofreading before pressing Post.

Oh and of course, the Couldn't-be-Bothereds who argue that it's not important anyway...

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