English

As we approach a million words in the English language,

Via the BBC, many children are suffering from "word poverty":

Children are to be offered lessons on how to speak English formally amid fears that many are suffering from "word poverty", it has been reported. But how many words do people tend to know and use?

Do people know more words than they actually use and is having a large vocabulary something you learn or have a natural ability for?

These are burning issues in the worlds of linguistics and education. On Monday it was reported that children in England will have lessons in formal language amid fears that some are suffering for stunted vocabularies.

Somewhat ironically, I have no further comment to add... Linguistic Inflation???

There once was a time when 100% really meant something. That was the top figure you could commit, or the maximum you were allowed for a mortgage, 100% of your house's value.

But then came linguistic - as well as mortgage - inflation. It began in a very modest, British kind of way. Susie Dent, a writer and language expert, has been delving in the old dictionaries and thinks the breach may have come in the early 1980s when British ice-dancing stars were hoping for Olympic glory.

"The first citation comes from a biography of Torville and Dean. It said they were going to put in nothing less than 101%, so possibly that's when things began to edge upwards".

I'll give a 110% effort to keep my mouth shut now...

The Language of Denial: No (Immigrant) Child Left Unobstructed

Hat-tip ricardomath. -- GH Originally posted 2009-03-18 23:45:36 -0500.  Bumped by carol. I missed it yesterday and I was afraid someone else may have overlooked it also.

What the hell are we teaching our children?

More precisely, what the hell are we teaching our children about hypocrisy, about expectations, about fair and equal treatment under the law, about life and about rote idiocy?

From the Sioux City Journal:

Student rejects 'demeaning' test, is suspended
High achiever faces possible expulsion

By Russ Oechslin, Journal correspondent | Posted: Thursday, March 05, 2009

STORM LAKE, Iowa -- Lori Phanachone is a member of the National Honor Society, has a 3.9 grade point average and ranks seventh in the senior class of about 119 at Storm Lake High School.

But school officials have told her she is considered to be illiterate based on her refusal to satisfactorily complete the English Language Development Assessment, a test she says is demeaning and racist.

Why? Because the test is for students who have English as their second language.