English is a difficult language even for the English. A recent survey estimated that U K business loses £6 billion every year through badly written business letters alone. 31 percent of the subjects of the study said that they had sought other business partners when their communication had revealed too many grammatical mistakes. That’s just on the letters.
Last edited by David L.; 14-Nov-2008 at 15:47.
The Writing and Editing Shop - How to kill your business
It appears to be an annual survey, with similar results since 2001. Google 'royal mail survey business grammatical"
(I had come to the feeling of being reduced to a bleat, resonating in my own collapsing cranium of a supernova mind , that I was still driven to utter as a distress signal out of love of the language......when you scream in inner space......and then... there are others out there.............................
Actually, I saw an interview with Alan Bennett, where he succinctly pointed out that there are some in the world who actually take pleasure in the use of language, as opposed to its being merely a utility.
Last edited by David L.; 14-Nov-2008 at 16:09.
Australian schools have recently begun to teach grammar, spelling and punctuation again after a few decades of "critical literacy". In fact, English never used to be that hard when it was taught in the schools. But unfortunately, English teachers have never been taught the fundamentals, and so, naturally, they can't teach them.
English teachers not teaching English must have seemed a good idea at the time!
One of the reasons why I was glad to leave Australia
...and quite a few Australians behind to boot! /behind, to boot...for other reasons!
(Hmm - what a difference a comma can make...I prefer the subtlety of the meaning without!.)
Last edited by David L.; 14-Nov-2008 at 16:56.
I'm sure your leaving Australia and returning to UK was a sad time for many.
I read a book about the French a while back, it suggested that one reason for it being far more likely to have your French corrected in France than it is to have your English corrected in England is because of the opposing attitudes the two cultures have towards their native languages.
The book suggested that in france, language is an art. In England (or any other English speaking country no doubt) it's purely a way of communicating; if you're understood then there's no problem. I don't like such broad and general statements, but I do think there is some truth in this one.
While at the pub recently I spoke to a young French lady. I mentioned the above idea and she wholeheartedly agreed; she said - implying that no one bothers to correct the English of foreigner's - that she "thanked" the first English speaking person who corrected her English. (And if it was anything like the bar-side reenactment she offered me, her manner of gratitude was extremely enthusiastic and sincere!)