Nanny Knows Best

Nanny Knows Best
Dedicated to exposing, and resisting, the all pervasive nanny state that is corroding the way of life and the freedom of the people of Britain.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Commas R'n't Us

Commas R'n't UsIn 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 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?



  1. Ken said:

    "Clearly educashun standards have improved...haven't they folks?"

    From my own experiences of dealing with the current crop of school leavers and graduates I can honestly say "No."

    As part of a research group that is involved in projects requiring a high level of mathematical accuracy and the ability to string words together to form a sentence imagine the shock when only four out of over two hundred CVs read and twelve people interviewed for a post showed any of these qualities.

    Apart from the CVs that came from far flung corners of the world, sent by persons desperate for an entry visa, many of the remainder showed an appalling lack of even the basics of spelling, punctuation and grammar.

    Some of my colleagues from other departments have even been heard in the staff common room bemoaning the fact that in a number of cases they have to refer students for remedial lessons in the basics of the subjects they are supposed to be studying at degree level.

    I know I am not always perfect but so much for the mantra of "Education, education, education!" Mr Blair.

  2. Anonymous12:34 PM

    Educashun? I don't need no stinking educashun.

    I speet on your educashun. Pah!

  3. Anonymous1:24 PM

    Schools out for summer,
    Schools out for ever!

  4. I know what would get children learning their punctuation. Make it so that you only graduate secondary school at 16 if you have basic skills. If not you have to stay on until 18. Imagine the humiliation if that happened to you.

  5. Anonymous11:37 PM

    nungy said...

    "You're obviously not a Pink Floyd fan then? haha "

    That occurred to me to ... then I drifted off into thinking how useful a Cambridge education had been to a number of our current millionaires.

    Lord of Atlantis said...
    "Schools out for summer,
    Schools out for ever! "

    Alice Cooper if I am not mistaken? Previously a wild man of Rock, now more interested in golf I believe it has been reported.

    youdontknowme said...
    "I know what would get children learning their punctuation. Make it so that you only graduate secondary school at 16 if you have basic skills. If not you have to stay on until 18. Imagine the humiliation if that happened to you. "

    Now that is an interesting concept and challenging.

    Will it cost me more than or less than the current regime as a tax payer?

    it seems 2 b a reggler okurrants so get entry in email grps and posts on web 4rums thatare toterly unreedable and ave appaulling spellin and no punktwoashun to spk off i have go so f'd up of reddin that sh1te tha i don bovver nomor its jus tooo piggin difekult eavn 2 truy

  6. I tend to overuse commas, but that is probably preferable to being unaware of their existence