Letters - May 1, 2018

Robert Halfon, chairman of the Education Select Committee, has identified five challenges that hold the key to improving school standards.
Robert Halfon, chairman of the Education Select Committee, has identified five challenges that hold the key to improving school standards.
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Have your say

We’re dealing with fall-out of academia

I must agree with Neil Inkley (Your Say, Gazette, April 27) regarding the omission of the ‘t’ in words and can only conclude that, in order to be trendy, people start talking as if they are from Essex, whose accent both leaves out the ‘t’ and also that ‘er’ at the ends of words are pronounced ah e.g. lettah, bettah instead of letter and better.

Consider this though. How would they pronounce a male big cat with a harems of females? Cheatah cheetah perhaps? Oops, sorry, no! It would be cheaah cheeah. It just grates!

My pet peeve are the expressions ‘would of’, ‘could of’, which are born out mispronunciation of would’ve and could’ve, and then written also as ‘would of’ and ‘could of’. As one linguist/grammar expert said, “That’s just plain ignorance!” I agree.

Then there are the lazy ones who use ‘there’ for any of the three homonyms of ‘their’, ‘they’re’ and, oh yes, ‘there’, and thus leave the reader having to translate which of the homonyms it should be in order to make sense of what they have written.

So where does all this mispronunciation and poor grammar come from? I was a teacher, and it seemed my secondary school English colleagues were more interested in literature, adding that, by reading, somehow by the process of osmosis pupils will pick up correct spelling and grammar. Utter drivel! Does staring at a piece of wood make someone an expert carpenter? Of course not. One has to learn to use the correct tools of one’s trade such as chisels and saws and, in like manner, a writer has to use, for example, verbs and adjectives.

When the National Curriculum first came out in the 1980s, little teaching of grammar in secondary schools was being done. The fall out is now plain for all to see.

Neil Swindlehurst

via email

ENERGY

Good for those making a stand

How good to see the people standing up to No Fracking in this part of the country.

Do you know I was getting a little ashamed of how the British people are turning out.

Reading about some of the so-called British going against the referendum vote, condoning what these other countries are telling us what to do, selling us down the river for a few dollars more gets me so concerned and amazes me.

Up with the silly British, we are getting too soft.

Paul Jones

Anchorsholme Lane
Anchorsholme

LIBRARIES

What’s happened to the repairs?

The total lack of progress re the library repairs in St Anne’s is shocking. Lancashire County Council admittedly is mired in scandal, but is there no-one there to ensure that our elegant, well used and needed library is put back into use?

Would a petition from readers in St Anne’s help?

Anne Fielding

Clarendon Road

FARMING

Can you help lift animal standards?

Can Gazette readers help to change the lives of billions of farm animals for the better?

The RSPCA believes that the current minimum legal standards for farm animal welfare are just not good enough. For example, meat chickens can be housed in near darkness without natural daylight; hens which lay eggs can be kept in cages with each allocated with less usable space than an A4 sheet of paper and no way of dustbathing properly.

But we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to change that. The government is drafting a new Agriculture Bill at the moment – in anticipation of us leaving the EU – and it wants to encourage the public to contribute their own thoughts and ideas.

This is a fantastic chance for animal lovers to persuade the UK government to include policies and incentives that will improve farm animal welfare in England.

We know that the public cares about how the farm animals that produce their food are treated. For example, 65 per cent of people living in the north west of England believe that animal welfare is important when deciding which meat products to buy, according to our recent Kantar poll.

If The Gazette’s readers really want to make a different to the lives of farm animals they can tell the UK Government what they believe the future of farming should be via our action page at www.rspca.org.uk/farmanimalaction

Marc Cooper

Head of Farm Animals, RSPCA

EDUCATION

It’s high time we stopped pandering

So UK schools are removing analogue clocks and replacing them with digital ones as the students cannot read analogue ones.

It is one of the many examples of dumbing down so indulged youth will not suffer.

Perhaps, as well as personal responsibility, it’s time to bring back sundials.

Dennis Fitzgerald

via email