Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Dumbing Down Again

When we two parted
In silence and tears,
Half broken-hearted
To sever for years,
Pale grew thy cheek and cold,
Colder thy kiss;
Truly that hour foretold
Sorrow to this.

Lord Byron

He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire.

Sir Winston Churchill

You're beautiful, it's true.

James Blunt

All three of the above were pupils at English public school, Harrow.

No-one can doubt their mastery of the English language.

But now Harrow, frankly disappointed with the atrocious standard of spelling amongst its pupils, is to give all its new A-level students a simple literacy test. Any pupil who fails will have to take extra classes in his own time until he is a master of basic spelling and grammar.

In a survey carried out for Geoff Polls, would you believe that 90% of 16 year old boys at Harrow could not spell a simple word like "privilege"?

And that 99% of these kids did not know the correct definition of the same word?

It truly beggars belief.


  1. Now be fair Geoff - 23K per annum isn't much to pay. Especially when you get a good whipping and spelling tuition for free.

  2. And they're both in the boys' own time.

    We used to do homework in our own time.

  3. That's pretty sad!
    They did this geography poll a few years back. There was a frightening proportion of Americans who had no idea what part of the country Massachusetts was in. Or maybe this just says something about Massachusetts...