Leet Speek In Skool

One school has bucked the trend and is discouraging the use of text slang inside the school gates.

Teachers introduced the policy to encourage their pupils, aged from 11 to 18, to use only standard English inside the school gates.

This, I feel is but one small step forward following a series of giant strides backwards that were occurring when I was in primary school. For a brief period during my primary education I was introduced to English grammar. Only briefly, mind. My generation was at the tail end of a very subversive idea; that we should be able to grasp the construction of our own language in order to use it effectively. English grammar not only enables us to communicate more efficiently in our own language, because we all follow the same rules, enabling common understanding, but is also the building block to learning other languages.

The modern, trendy philosophy that says such learning is a barrier to creativity is nonsense. Unless you understand the rules in the first instance, you cannot use the tools you have effectively and it doesn’t matter a fig how creative you are, if no one can understand, your effort is wasted. Basic ground rules are essentials; something I was discussing a while back in relation to constructing an image –  yes, break the rules, but understand them first.

The problem we have (and don’t we see it all too often with Facebook tribute pages?) is an appalling lack of literacy that makes the emotional diarrhea we witness unintelligible. So, this school is making a brave attempt to stem the tide of progressivism, that anathema to enlightenment, and ask that the pupils use English rather than the illiterate, unintelligible language of the text –  not that such is necessary even then as predictive texting makes using plain English when texting a simple affair anyway. Nor is it necessary to use abbreviations when communicating on online fora or blogs. Plain English not only is simple to use, but, importantly, is simple for one’s readers to follow. That, after all, is the point.


The trust that runs the academy said it wanted children to cut out slang words and phrases such as “hiya” and “cheers” in favour of the more correct “good morning”, “goodbye” or “thank you”.


Mrs August said it was preferable for pupils to say “thank you” instead of the more colloquial “ta”, and “goodbye” rather than “see ya”.

These phrases predate the Internet and I use “ta” and “cheers” in everyday chatter. That’s me stuffed, then.

5 comments for “Leet Speek In Skool

  1. February 15, 2012 at 5:08 pm

    It depends how it’d done and whether PCists are running the ban or non-PCists. Inependent schools can do this as it’s a paying clientele but state schools have more trouble. Academies fancy themselves as independent so the jury’s out on that one.

  2. nemesis
    February 15, 2012 at 7:37 pm

    This is a far better way to cure ‘yoof speak’
    A good ol’ mickey take.

  3. February 16, 2012 at 9:56 am

    “These phrases predate the Internet and I use “ta” and “cheers” in everyday chatter. That’s me stuffed, then”

    I do say “ta”, it’s just short for “thank you” (or it’s Anglo-Germanic predecessor word) but I always found “cheers” irritating in any other context than raising your glass and taking the first drink.

  4. Dave K
    February 16, 2012 at 9:04 pm

    One of the minor punishments at my school was to neatly (in ink) repeat a list of difficult words 50 or 100 times depending on the offence. The one that always stayed (not literally) with me was diarrhoea.

    • February 16, 2012 at 9:14 pm

      Someone had to say it – mine didn’t stay, it had a tendency to run.

      Oh I just love this potty talk.

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