In the form of a living testament to the failure of Nanny's "Educashun, Educashun, Educashun" policy, it has been revealed that punctuation standards at schools are so poor that pupils taking GCSE English are completing entire exams without using a single comma.
The astute amongst you will have noticed that I have used a few commas in the above...but not necessarily in the right places!
Basic grammatical errors, that used to be "ironed out" of pupils in previous generations, are now common; eg pupils do not understand the basics, such as the difference between "there" and "they're".
Other exam howlers include "been" instead of "being", and using the text message "u" instead of "you".
Impressive isn't it?
No, it's not (ooh, an apostrophe...how very sophisticated of moi).
The Assessment and Qualifications Alliance are none too impressed either, and note that teenagers are able to write entire sentences without the use of single comma.
Rather strangely though, the proportion of A* to C grades rose by 1.2% to 62.4% and A/A* grades increased by 0.7% to 19.1%. This meant that pupils were scoring A or A* in one in five GCSEs, compared to one in ten in 1988.
Clearly educashun standards have improved...haven't they folks?
The Assessment and Qualifications Alliance disagree, and have issued a report that criticises standards in papers, saying that some examiners noted a "decline in technical accuracy".
Standards of grammar and punctuation were worse among pupils who would not go on to achieve high grades.
The report says:
"While the correct use of the apostrophe continues to grow,
the use of the comma (except to differentiate items in lists)
A high percentage of scripts did not involve a single comma.
The semi-colon is making an attempt at re-appearance,
sometimes used correctly."
Apostrophes are popular, and are seemingly "sprinkled across the page at random". Some pupils even consider capital letters after full stops to be unnecessary.
We don't need it cos we have university places, jobs and benefits for life right?