Archive for Thursday, April 29, 2004

Bad grammar

April 29, 2004

In the letters to the editor column in an area metropolitan newspaper, Sunday, April 4, Jim McDowell, who interviewed college faculty and administrators, stated that to a person, they told him verbal and communication skills of incoming freshman have been declining for years. He also quoted one department head as saying, "It is one of the most serious problems facing education today."
Well done, Jim. I would like to make some additional comments. One columnist/college professor stated in one of his columns that from the evaluations of many sources, that a century ago the average person with a sixth-grade education knew and understood more English words and had better grammar than the average college student of today.
Kansas University "provost," David Schumberger, in an article in the Lawrence Journal-World, April 28, 2003, was quoted as saying, "There hasn't been a focus on writing." An education department professor used the word "atrocious" to me to describe the dissertation writing of his doctoral candidates. Also, when I graduated from college it was required that one pass a written language competency exam.
Recently, I asked about 100 students of high school or college age to correct every grammar mistake in this five-word sentence' "He sure did real good." Only five were able to get it completely correct, and three could not even pick out the subject and verb. Can you correct every mistake?
One would hope with all the educational funding currently being requested that the educational product would be better.
Leo V. Kerwin
Wellsville

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