Sir, - Attention, all teachers of English. Hands up please. How many would want to read, dare I say enjoy, this prose passage from the Leaving Cert 1998 Higher Level Paper One? None. I thought so. Consider the following excerpt on the dry subject of public statues: "Unlike words on a page, always gesturing at something beyond ink the paper giving them form, memorial icons seem to embody ideas, inviting viewers to mistake material presence and weight for immutable permanence". Yet one amongst you asks students to grapple with such bloated prose.
Merciless, Shane Ross swish your cane. - Yours, etc., Pat O'Dwyer,