Tag Archives: education

The English Language

The other day I talked to a young man and I barely understood what he was saying. I know I am an older individual and my hearing is not getting any better. In fact, it is getting worst at each check-up. I was given hearing aides to help my tinnitus and hearing loss. However, I heard him perfectly, it was the way he spoke. I speak English and two other languages but I have a very hard time understanding badly spoken English (broken).

Here is the problem, it seems that today’s young people believe it is okay and very hip to speak that way. I, of course, do not. Sorry. I guess I am old school but think about this. A few other countries speak English as their language. There are a few other countries that speak English as a second language. There are many countries that have a law that require English to be taught in school, from beginning to end. Broken English is not taught or spoken in any country that I am aware of. Then I must ask the question, why does so many people speak broken English?

English is taught in American schools and a degree can be obtained in college, university. I was in radio and television and I know very correct English must be spoken while on the air. I also know that correct English must be written for all professional media forums. Broken English is forbidden and frowned upon in any form. I attempt to write correctly although at times I fail. I want to be understood because I am aware my blog is in ethernet and can be seen by anyone anywhere in the world.

These people that use broken English, in media form as well as face to face, really believe they are fashionable, understood and there isn’t anything wrong. These same people may one day try for a higher job position and wonder why they were passed over. CEOs do not hire people that may present a poor image and language is one of the deciding factors about which the CEO base on whether to hire or not. The resume is another and if it is filled with writing errors, forget being hired for the job.

The educational system has jumped onto the bandwagon and have acquiesced to the point of students using block letters instead of cursive letters. Will banks accept checks that have a signature using block letters? In writing other things, are block letters a signature? I remember being with the grandkids at a mystery house, looking for clues that will lead the way out, there were many clues that I could read and they could not. The clues were in plain sight but in cursive writings. I showed them, but they still could not read it.

I also remember asking about the content of a speech and not a single child could explain what was said because large words were used. However, a rap song was on the radio, I could barely understand the words, but the kids could understand each word. Language is everything and we, as a nation, is losing our language as well as other very important things. Once this older generation is gone, the younger generation will, among other things, lose this nation’s language and capability to write. Only a few will be able to do the things that make our nation unique from other nations. Something that have been existence from its beginning.

 

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Young People And Education

As usual, my wife and I went on another trip (casino/horseracing), this time to Hollywood Casino in Charlestown, West Virginia. We drove from Virginia Beach, Virginia to Imperial Plaza Senior Living in Richmond, Virginia. I ate breakfast with some old friends, went around the place greeting other old friends. We boarded a bus with the group that was going to the casino and had a pleasant trip. We stayed overnight because horseracing is always in the evening, and that was a lot of fun. We returned before the rain hit and got a hotel room in Richmond.

That same evening, we had a birthday celebration at Outback and had a good time being with a daughter, her husband and three daughters. The food and shenanigans were good which made me really miss seeing them as often as we used to. After saying our goodbyes, we went back to the hotel and I started reading messages on my pad.

The more I read the various messages, the more my mind kept straying to the English language structure and what I was reading. It seems that young people think it is so hip, cool or in fashion to misspell and/or butcher the English language. It is now natural to write in a bad way or to shorten a sentence or word. It is funny to them to write in such a way as it makes a normal person (senior citizen) cringe.

I know cursive writing is not taught in school these days. I’ve been retired from employment for a while and I wonder what employers think about this or are they making amends? I also wonder about banking; are banks making amends? What about misspelled words in the work place (ex: ‘your’ instead of you’re’)? In government as a whole? I remember, when I was in school, a child was graded on penmanship. Not anymore, I guess.

Today, young people write as if they are texting and must minimize the number of letters that are used in a message. Then, after all is said and done, it is a habit as well as ‘cute’, make them stand out among their peers. A few young people have tried to quantify the usage of such writing and have even suggested I should do it because it the way it is done now. I can not see myself putting a ‘z’ in place of ‘s’ or writing shorthand for words.

My own personal thoughts; the USA educational system is going to hell in a handbasket. I have asked college students common, easy questions and can not get an answer because they do not know. They have no idea what I am talking about. Something I knew in high school years ago. I have talked to high schoolers about things I knew in elementary school, they had no idea what I was talking about.

We, as Americans, supposed to have or want to have the best education system among all nations yet we are under-educating our children and putting up with the bad habits that they show. Why? What is the reasoning? Some say that they must try things on their own and become adults. They can not become adults and know right from wrong if they are never taught the right way and the continuous bad way is tolerated. We as older adults and the teachers and the educational system are doing our kids, our future, an injustice. Many other nations are not surpassing our system, they have surpassed our system. Our young people have been dummied down and will stay that way because I do not see any plans to change this.

 

Thinking of MLK

Listening to Martin Luther King’s speeches, for his birthday celebration, made me really think of those days compared to today. What mostly comes to mind is the sliding backwards of the People of color and the Black on Black crimes growing dreadfully fast. There are many reasons for this up tick in these crimes coupled with the flagrant disregard to the mighty works of MLK and others, starting from the first slave bought to these shores until now.

There were always the occasional crime within the Black community. That’s in all communities. However, it was never as frequent as it is now. It usually came from an argument stemming from a night of drinking and partying, as now. It was never the random fracas that happens now. The Peace Marches were all orderly and ALL provocations came from law enforcement or the representation there of. We, as kids to adults, conducted classes on how to registrar to vote, how to vote, etc. We taught, as kids to adults, how to protect yourself against fire department’s water hoses, the police dogs and battery upon the body. I say “we” because I was involved also. This is first hand knowledge.

The one thing that is different today is education. It was instilled in all of us, during those days, to study and study hard. To never give up studying and then more. And, this was happening although we knew that getting to the top rung of the ladder was impossible, that a Black person could only go a little ways up. Today it is not so. A Black person can go as far as possible, even as President of the United States.

Then there is the reason why a Black person can’t go far, other than education. It’s having a criminal record. Not many Blacks, especially men, are without some sort of record. There are not many jobs that does not require background checks and/or security clearances. People are hollering that there are too few Black policemen. How many, that want to be a policeman, can pass a background check? Not many. And, most that can pass a background check prefer some other job. It’s a vicious circle but education is still the center. Martin Luther King talked about that many times and it’s still talked about today. However, kids, today, don’t take education seriously. They study just enough to graduate and no more. They only want to know what is needed, not anything and everything like it was done in days not too long ago. Education was talked about since the sixteen hundreds, when the first Black came to America. That is why it was illegal for a slave to read or have any other type of education. Why do we still have to push this fact? Have Blacks forgotten our history or, even, been taught our history? Why fight/kill each other and hold our people back?

Martin Luther King had a dream as well as all of us. We have gotten far but there is still a long way to go. There should never be an area, in the Black community, I am hesitant to travel. There should never be a time that I look at another Black man and wonder if he is dangerous or not. After all these years, I should never have to listen to a Black person and hear ignorance, an uneducated person. I am perplexed over all of this. After all those peace marches, it was mostly for naught. My scars were gotten for nothing. Why?

I’ve been fighting inequity all my life. This was during childhood, in the military and after the military until today. Don’t believe it is so? Look at the Academy Awards. Again, why? Will this ever get right? World history say…NO. The best we can do is keep it as low keyed as possible and, as I say, “keep on keeping on”. There are inequities all over the world, in every culture and it’s been this way since the beginning of time.