Saturday, 20 July 2019
Education

English proficiency required

I know that people responding to blog articles may not necessarily spell-check everything they write, but they should at least read over what they’ve written before posting it.  It is very irritating reading a bunch of misspellings and incorrect words and trying to get an understanding of the writer’s thoughts.  If this is what the English education has churned out, it’s no wonder people complain about the standards of education declining.  If you think Americans speak pidgin English, you should read some blogs and their responses.

Typos are common.  Even the best typist can sometimes interchange letters while typing very fast.  Not all these mistakes can be caught right away.  Incorrect usage of homophones are also very common, but they are usually quite apparent if you read over it once.  Some common mistakes are “their” and “there”, or “your” and “you’re”, or “its” and “it’s”.  However, sometimes when I read some of these blogs and responses, it appears that the writer doesn’t even have a clue that they’re using the wrong homophone, because they are continually making the same mistake.  Another mistake is the incorrect usage, or lack thereof, of the apostrophe.  One of the biggest mistakes I’ve read involve the word “of” when the correct word (whether the writer knows it or not) is “have”.  Examples: “they should of” instead of “they should have”.  The correct contraction is “should’ve”, pronounced “should of”, but is really “should have”. 

I’m not an English teacher, and I learned American English.  So, of course, there will be differences in spelling and pronunciation of many words, not to mention the differences in vocabulary.  But I cannot believe that some basic English rules, such as the above, could possibly be that different.  For other things, such as, “noone” and “no one”, I still don’t know if the British accept alternate spellings.  No one in the US would spell “noone” on purpose unless it was someone’s name, and it would be pronounced “noon”.

Why do I bother?  Because English was not my first language, but it has become my primary and only language.  I can understand if someone is learning the language and genuinely makes a mistake; but for native speakers to make those mistakes is aggravating.  If they don’t bother to learn it well, why should a foreigner?  If I have to prove to prospective employers that I can read, write, speak and listen in English proficiently, just because I’m an immigrant in this country, I’d like to see that the natives can do even better.

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