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Lynne Truss, author of Eats, Shoots & Leaves, has some things to say about standards in spelling and grammar in this Telegraph piece. Arguments for Writing English the Right Way are a dime a dozen, but Truss shakes things up with an appeal to social mobility:
If you encourage people to write the way they talk, class divisions are ultimately reinforced, even exacerbated. I’m a working-class girl who read a lot of books and grew up to - well, to write this piece in The Telegraph anyway, so maybe I have an old-fashioned view of education as the instrument of social mobility. But it’s pretty clear to anyone that, if children are taught that “getting the gist” is sufficient, everyone stays where they are.
For more adventures in English debates and argyle sweater-vests, see the excellent In the Penthouse of the Ivory Tower: Three Days in San Diego with Charlie (the bad subject) and Nine Thousand Other Anxious Academics at the 119th Annual Modern Language Association Convention.