Recent Posts



Monday, 30 June 2008
Britain - a nation of f***wits

To those readers offended by foul language, I say f*** off - and earn points for it. Dumb Britain dumbs down still further. From The Times:

Pupils are being rewarded for writing obscenities in their GCSE English examinations even when it has nothing to do with the question.

One pupil who wrote “f*** off” was given marks for accurate spelling and conveying a meaning successfully.

His paper was marked by Peter Buckroyd, a chief examiner who has instructed fellow examiners to mark in the same way. He told trainee examiners recently to adhere strictly to the mark scheme, to the extent that pupils who wrote only expletives on their papers should be awarded points.

To gain minimum marks in English, students must demonstrate “some simple sequencing of ideas” and “some words in appropriate order”. The phrase had achieved this, according to Mr Buckroyd.

So if he'd written "off f***," would he still have got the points?

He also acknowledged that the language was inappropriate – but added that using the construction “different to” would also be inappropriate language.

That's right. It's just like confusing "may" and "might" or using an Oxford comma. And who are we to judge? Philip Larkin started with the F-word and worked it up into a whole poem.

The choice phrase, given in answer to the question “Describe the room you’re sitting in”, on a 2006 GCSE paper, was not punctuated. “If it had had an exclamation mark it would have got a little bit more because it would have been showing a little bit of skill,” Mr Buckroyd said, “We are trying to give higher marks to the students who show more skills.”

Words fail me, but what the f*!$%%, who needs them?

Posted on 06/30/2008 11:40 AM by Mary Jackson
30 Jun 2008
Special Guest
Memory fault: core dump 0x25e269f28.  Segmentation fault: Missing ')' at line 26, near 'Kopfweh mit Schlag'.

30 Jun 2008
Send an emailreactionry
The Book Of Malphemisms For Love
"off f***"?
For all I know (a cliche, to be sure, and I don't remember much about the little German* I took, and as may, or might, be obvious, not a lot about the English either), the Krauts say something like "auf gef*ckt," but the bloody nonsense of ending a sentence or explicative with a obscenity rather than a preposition or object is the sort of thing which one should try to put off. (hat tip to Ol' Water Closet)
*In the process of finding this:
I came across this YouTube of someone who would surely be tossed off a panel of judges at a Camel beauty contest:
((((The above is somewhat longish, and towards the end, veers (ahem) cough topic, as did my earlier post about "Twelve Cambridge Apostrophes."  Grammar, like  FORTRAN, which my Old Man tried to teach me (parenthetically speaking) over four decades ago, gives me a headache, or as Mary might put it, a Kopfweh mit Schlag)))

30 Jun 2008
Special Guest

Ah yes, that would be Oxford, Ohio, no?

And no, not every Tom, Dick, and Harry;  it is a sign of effetism (to coin a malapropism) and fastidiousness here in the States.

And now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to f*** off.

30 Jun 2008
Send an emailMary Jackson

...and quietly hung...

By his participles.

Special Guest, the Oxford comma is used by every Tom, Dick [,] and Harry - in America. But it's wrong in the Queen's English.

30 Jun 2008
Special Guest

It's just like confusing "may" and "might" or using an Oxford comma.

That is at least the second time that I've seen the Oxford comma disparaged in these hallowed halls.  I understand that some may think them unnecessary and outdated, but inappropriate?

To my jaundiced eye, it looks like a jumbled mish-mash without it.  I work in software, where a missing comma, or semicolon, or worse still, transposing a comma with a semicolon, has a very significant impact.  And let's not even get into Hugh's use of mismatching parentheses when writing at full speed.

Inappropriate?  They are appropriate, proper, elucidatory, and beneficial.