Declining educational standards

In the name of everything holy – what are we teaching our children?

A few nights ago I had a writer/editor tantrum at the following line from my son’s schoolbook: “he had a tail like a monkey, a head like a camel” and so on. Can anyone in the class tell me what is wrong with that?

That is a rhetorical question, I hear you all cry. Oh yes, it was, I cry back at you. The answer is that the sentence implies that the tail would resemble the WHOLE monkey, rather than just the monkey’s tail. That would make said animal truly freakish. If the author had written, “he had a tail like a monkey’s” that would have been correct. I assume that is what the author intended. But if he or she had written it correctly, I would have no one to be angry at today. No bile for my blog. And you would have all been so impoverished by that, no?

My Aspie son looked initially aghast when I stopped him reading, to rant about grammar, logic and declining editorial standards in publishing. But then he joined in the fun, as a fellow pedant and chip-off-the-old-block.

Declining standards. Grumble grumble. Maybe Michael Gove has a point. Grumble grumble. Bring back Latin, cold baths and the birch. Oh merciful heavens, I am morphing into middle-England’s ‘Disgusted, from Tunbridge Wells’. Twinset and pearls. Telegraph crossword.

The moral of the story, is beware what you compare.

Appalled, from East London


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