Monday, 5 January 2009

MEALY-MOUTHED LEARNING

“This is Watercliffe Meadow, a place for learning” says Linda Kingdon, the head teacher at this newly-opened Sheffield educational establishment (actually, primary school). “We decided…we didn’t want to use the word ‘school’ [because] it had very negative connotations for many of the parents of the children here. We want this to be a place for family learning, where anyone can come…There are no whistles or bells or locked doors.”

But according to the Telegraph, the Campaign for Plain English, which opposes ‘the use of gobbledygook in public life’, describes the decision as “ridiculous and part of a political correctness agenda”.

Well, we learned – at school – that a rose, by any other name, would smell as sweet. And a school, by any other name, will be as good or as bad, as pleasant or as unpleasant, as those administering and attending it choose to make it.

In these verbally degenerate days, however, time-honoured names have to be twisted, and even banned, so as to avoid possible offence or hurt feelings. So lollipop ladies become “crossing patrol officers”, teachers are called “knowledge navigators”, and dinner ladies re-emerge as – wait for it! – “education centre nourishment production assistants”.

What such custodians of the language as Fowler and Sir Ernest Gowers would make of all this beats me. The most likely thing I would want an “education centre nourishment production assistant” to pass me is the sick bag.

15 comments:

Merkin said...

Even Summerhill was a school.

zola a social thing said...

Even a college is a universty.

Bodwyn Wook said...

Every college over here is a "university", and there is a stark staring lack of Latin and Greek (and maths!) to prove it....

(Sorry, Merkin, I did NOT mean to traduce your Polish friend the other day, in the Other Place, Wook!)

I am just now re-reading /The King's English/ and boy, are WE in trouble!

glasgowkeelie said...

I done my time at the 'University of Crime'.

See poetry - i learnt iambic lockpicking and other such perameters.

but not spelling, I may add.

Bodwyn Wook said...

'Yer mither's a hoor!'

'She's no a hoor!"

'HOOR, I sez, yer mither's un....'

'She's na' un an' you'll shut it'r I'll shut it fer yers!'

'Aye that, but yer mither's STILL a hoor -- ta th' sojers!'

'Oh aye...ta th' sojers...MABBE!'

zola a social thing said...

Oh me dear Gorky.
How much we needs you.

trousers said...

The sick bag? SICK BAG????

Surely you mean the Nourishment Regurgitation Receptacle?

zola a social thing said...

The meaning of a word is in its use.
White telephone? Anyone.

Bodwyn Wook said...

Colored fountain?

Merkin said...

Golden shower?

zola a social thing said...

Pearl necklace?

Bodwyn Wook said...

Drift of swine...murder of crows? Titter of choristers?

Bodwyn Wook said...

Well, well..Happy Birthday To Me! The 14th and a high of six below to-day, nine below to-morrow (OS), but twenty-one or so fore-cast at the week-end...we ARE having a regulation Winter here for a change, LOTS of snow (I BROKE my shovel the other day!), and Grampa is off up to Mankato thirty-five miles or so, to take Them Grandkids for rides on the carousel in the maul (!) in Mankato, a perfect and hobbitish kind of celebration I say and all the best to you in The Burrow!

Bodwyn Wook said...

Yoo-hoo...?

Bodwyn Wook said...

Here is a jolly wind-up...now don't sprain anything laughing out loud...or, rushing to get ropes and string me up for NON-PC scribblings & droolings!

I had fun anyway, concocting this piece of BS...:

http://bodwyn.wordpress.com/2009/01/26/in-the-old-late-modern-age-on-the-london-bus/

A nice load of 'well-mannered English ogres', how about that?