We can spell rite so leav us alone


DCU’s journalism BA course is to devote more time to language skills, to address ‘gaps’ in school-leavers’ English. Snot hour fault, writes student JADE NOLAN

MY NAMEZ JADE and I’ve just finished up in DCU after three years doin journalism. Think it waz three years nyway – countin isn’t mi best talent. Unlyk spellin! It was a deadli coarse; we got to play wit voice recorders and be on d radio and d telly, but now our lecturer has sed to d big papers we can’t spell or use d grammers? Wel a) dats not true, and 2) yeh we can spell n use d grammer rite so leav us alone, rite.

When I started in DCU I taught I waz real gud at spellings n reading n all. I red all d huggy bear books in skool, and I red a Harry Potter buk one yr wen I went on me hols but it scared me, all d violence and fiting and all! And I never miss an issue of Heat magazine. And sher, hu even needs spellings n grammer wen ur gna be a journo? Don’t journos have spell-cheque n all now? N sure don’t dey teech ya how 2 spell in college, rite? RONG!

OK, maybe it is hour fault if we reach the age of 21 or 22 and can’t tell the difference between you’re and your, were and where, and they’re and their. But every1 gets it rong from tym 2 tym, don’t they? Just last weak we heard how yer wan Kate Middleton the Princess spelt “quiet” as “quite” (as in “peace and quite”) in a letter to the peeps at that Wimbledon tennis thingy.

My gener8tion went to skool at a time when we learned about poets and Bill Shakespeare and how the cultural context of a play is more important than learning how 2 spell rite. In six yearz of secondary school I was never taught about capital letters, or them apostrophe yokes, or those semicolon thingys. Most people my age think a semicolon is something that happens if you eat too much curry.

Then agen, how could we be expected 2 know any different wen grammer and spelling is basically ignored in skools? We’re told that it’s more important to know why Robert Frost took the road not taken rather than no about good punctuationz n things.

It can be tragic. Just last week my friend ate her granny because of a punctuation mistake. “Let’s eat Grandma!”/“Let’s eat, Grandma!” See, punctuation saves lives, ya no.

Grammer was virtually ignored when I was in skool. As was basic maths. “Johnny has seven apples; Mary hands him seven more; what does Johnny have now?” I dunno, freakishly big hands?

I think b4 college graduates are slammed for there ridiculous use of spellings, grammar n context, a huge upheaval of basic teaching in primary and secondary school English is needed. Teenagers spend hours everyday on the internet, where “txtspeak” is often seen as the norm. Maybe by tackling issues regarding spelling, grammar and context at an earlier stage, more third level students will be able to spell gud. Rite?

DCU is churning out sum of the most talented journalists in this country. I have bin amazed at the abilities of my classmates, many who now work in some of the most prestigious radio and television stations and newspapers in the country.

I know each and every one of us felt a little hard done by this week when we heard comments regarding our literacy just days before we got our final-year results. I’m sure there are a few people who get confused with there/their/they’re, now/know or quiet/quite every so often. But I don’t think it’s a fair judgment on DCU journalism graduates to assume that we’re all illiterate, inaccurate and sloppy journalists.

And if the future queen of England is allowed to make the odd spelling mistake, surely we are too?