A levels, A Stars, University places and the pc spellchecker

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    19th August 2010

    I was reminded to dig out this Ode to the Spellchecker (read here and then click ‘back to top) after reading a post at Peter Reynolds’ blog on A levels.

    Since interest in the results at A levels, A stars, A pluspluses and A star super galaxian (What? No-one’s invented them yet!?) is likely to wane soon, I thought I’d better re-air the spellchecker now.

    Telegraph: “The new A* was also awarded to students gaining at least 90 per cent in the second year of the course – a move designed to reward exceptional performance.”

    I do not accept, and this is not intended to detract from the hard work and great achievements of today’s students, that these A stars indicate a raising of standards or intellectual/educational ability. Sorry. I just don’t.

    Some of us remember a time when an ‘A’ grade was given ONLY to those who achieved at least 90%. If the grades needed to be re-calibrated it should have been downwards, not upwards for obvious reasons. The top 10% should still be an “A”.  After all 90 – 100% is as good as it gets in real life, despite the oft-read “I am 1001% against ….” .

    Aside: It’s almost invariably several hundred percent “against” something/someone, seldom “for”. Indicative of the intellectual lack of rigour of those in many ‘anti’ camps? I suggest so. But that’s another issue.

    The resulting kickback on limited university places was inevitable, even though the number of university places this year is higher than ever.

    Employers will continue to ask – ‘but can you spell?’

    It is true that today’s computer-based spell checkers are smarter than they used to be. They now link words to suggested contextual meanings.  So mistakes are at least flagged up as possible.

    AN OPINION/FACT CHECKER?

    Perhaps one day soon, to the great disdain of the troof knowers, we might get opinion being flagged up by smart computer checkers.  For instance, a red underline under such as “Tony Blair is a War Criminal” with links to REQUIRED, helpful reading – such as here.

    An were where we b4 eye in ter up ted me sell?

    (Point of information: on this WordPress spell-checker the previous sentence flags up NOTHING. So they’re not as smartass they tink. Yep, “smartass” and “tink” too passed unnoticed under my spellchecker’s radar.)

    E nuff.  I’ll be ear all dey. Got to get on…

    _______________

    ODE TO THE SPELLCHECKER

    I halve a spelling checker,
    It came with my pea see.
    It plainly marks four my revue
    Mistakes I dew knot sea.

    Eye strike a key and type a word
    And weight four it two say
    Weather eye am wrong oar write
    It shows me strait aweigh.

    As soon as a mist ache is maid
    It nose bee fore two long
    And eye can put the era rite
    Its rarely ever wrong.

    I’ve scent this massage threw it,
    And I’m shore your pleased too no
    Its letter prefect in every weigh;
    My checker tolled me sew.

    halve a nays day. In joy!

    Back to top
    _______________

    Sign the Ban Blair-Baiting petition here

    A recent comment from an Albanian, Mr Leonard Dedej from Tirana – “It takes big leaders to make the hardest turns in peoples life…mr Blair is a big leader and a great man for millions of people in Balkans!!!for stopping a savage war!about Iraq I believe that the press wherever it is has not the right to judge on this issue because it simply is to small to judge!!history will judge mr Blair!as long as it is an ongoing war no one can blame mr Blair,after all he started something for a big reason..the press its often wrong because it fights for audience!!!”




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    6 Responses to “A levels, A Stars, University places and the pc spellchecker”

    1. Peter Reynolds Says:

      Biggest possible news here:

      http://peterreynolds.wordpress.com/2010/08/19/israel-and-palestine-to-hold-direct-peace-talks/

    2. Peter Reynolds Says:

      “AN OPINION/FACT CHECKER?

      Perhaps one day soon, to the great disdain of the troof knowers, we might get opinion being flagged up by smart computer checkers. For instance, a red underline under such as “Tony Blair is a War Criminal” with links to REQUIRED, helpful reading – such as here.”

      Just a little bit OTT there John. Still fantasising about world domination I see!

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