Spelling disaster?

More proof that those who run the country don’t care about standards of literacy in the UK.

The minister responsible for education (repeat: for education) has been criticised for having a blog rife with spelling mistakes.

It’s obvious Jim Knight’s blog is written by someone else (an exploited young graduate of a new university, no doubt), because the minister himself went to Cambridge when that institution still demanded decent English in its students. (Something that’s not necessarily the case now – a friend who teaches at Oxford once told me that he’s expected to award marks for correct spelling and grammar in lit crit essays).

No wonder we “word warriors” are a growing band, according to this article.

4 comments so far . . . come and pitch in!

  1. Helen Baker says:

    Hello Clare,

    This made me smile; I wonder if it’s particularly rife on tools such as blogs because some institutions still do not apply the same importance (and therefore rigorous editorial checks) to new forms of online communication as print media?

    However, I’d also just like to mention that some young graduates have a better grasp of grammar and spelling than communications ‘professionals’ with enough years’ experience to know better!


  2. Clare Lynch says:

    Well I have to admit that some of the worst writing I’ve ever read was in the magazine for an organisation called Communicators in Business.

    So I’m with you on the point that branding yourself as a ‘professional communicator’ doesn’t necessarily make you a good writer.

    Nice use of the apostrophe after ‘years’, by the way. I’ve come across several communicators in business who don’t seem to know that it’s needed there – in fact that’s a bugbear of mine I’ve been planning to blog about for a while!

  3. Helen Baker says:

    Thanks Clare! Funnily enough, I belong to the CiB but I’m currently reconsidering my membership. I’m trying to find an organisation that sits well with what I do (web-focused content). I’d be interested to know what organisations you are a member of, if any? Especially any international ones (I work from Spain).

  4. Clare Lynch says:

    The free copy of the CiB magazine they sent me to entice me to join actually put me off joining altogether (though I did find it a useful source of examples of bad writing).

    I’ve since joined the CIPR but I don’t really make use of my membership and will probably cancel it.

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