#SOL18: March 12

How much do typos bother you?

In Blogs?

On Facebook?

On Twitter?

I hate spelling errors in any form of social media.  Some formats are particularly difficult because revision provisions do not exist.  So careful review is necessary before hitting the button that sends the message out into the world.




This tweet . . .

Screenshot 2018-03-11 at 10.54.26 PM.png

is proof that money obviously cannot buy you an education.

Not even billions of dollars.

If this was your mentor text . . .

How many errors can you find?  What needs to be fixed?

Let’s parse it by sentences.

  1. “Great public schools will always work well for many kids, but if it’s not working for an individual child, they should have access to options.”

2. “No one should ever feel trapped or stuck.”

3. “No parent should have to feel like they are settling when it comes to their       child’s education.”

And in case you missed it, here was her interview on CBS 60 minutes last night.

What a train wreck!

And that’s probably the kindest way that I can phrase my complete and utter disbelief!




There are several ways you could “fix” this tweet.  Here’s just one view.

  1. “Great public schools will always work well for many kids, but if it’s the schools are not working for an individual child, they he/she should have access to options.”

2. “No one should ever feel trapped or stuck.”

3. “No parent should have to feel like they he/she are settling when it comes to their               his/her    child’s education.”




3:45 pm correction.  Courtesy of Donalyn Miller: “they is singular nonbinary.”

correction 

  1. “Great public schools will always work well for many kids, but if it’s the schools are not working for an individual child, they  should have access to options.            (error – contraction/possessive/or pronoun) and then 2 and 3 are correct! So there is a reason not to overreact toooooooooo quickly!



And in all fairness to Ms. Betsy, here is her response to 60 Minutes.

:“She asked me one thing about schools, and then another, and another,” she said. “If I had to answer every question she had about schools, I would have had to bone up on education for a month.” (Betsy DeVos, NewYorker)

Well, Duh!  You should have known the answers to those questions before you took the job.  Then you wouldn’t have had to “bone up on education for a month.”  THAT’S YOUR JOB!




This is called pronoun – antecedent agreement.  Khan Academy has a video here.

Practice with the Online Writing Academy can be found here.

Here’s a quiz from Oxford in case one would like to consider a proficiency level.  Link




Data:

Total Words:

  • 50 words
  • 4 errors 1 error
  • 92%   98 % correct grammatically

Pronouns:

  • 4 words
  • 4 errors   1 error
  • 75 % correct grammatically

And what about the message in her tweet?

She was not talking about “failing schools.”  She was talking about “Great public schools” that might not work for an individual child . . .




Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Lanny, Melanie, and Stacey for this daily forum each March. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.                                                                                                      slice of life 2016




Addendum:

This week:  I was going to comment about this . . . but the Washington Post beat me to it.

I had already passed on this . . .

 

12 responses

  1. Glad you got that off your chest. I was compelled to send her some pictures of kids in an actual school . What has the world come to? I know I should end a sentence with a preposition.

    1. Unbelievable. Thank you for sending her pictures What a strange world!

  2. My polite phrase of late has been “Oh boy! Are you kidding me?” Secretly hoping it is a joke.
    Errors are inevitable – maybe a mistyped word or left off comma – but this? Inexcusable for such a well educated person!

    1. You said it more elegantly. . . how does this happen? These aren’t just “little errors” . . .

  3. I love this! My eighth grade students are working on pronoun-antecedent agreement now. I may have them try these sentences 🙂

    1. Beth, Just trying to explain what those sentences “mean” can be a challenge. That’s why incorrect pronouns are such a problem!

  4. I wonder if she considers herself to be an education success story.

    1. That’s such an interesting thought. I wonder also! She used the word “fair” at least a dozen times last night in her interview. I want to hear what she thinks “fair” means.

  5. Fran, this is great. Did you see the Harvard video? And the part in the 60 Minutes interview where she says, “Maybe I should [visit a tough school in Michigan]”? It’s sad. I love your grammatical geek-out here– I’m like you, I want everything I send to be correct!

    1. Lanny,
      I will admit to errors. That’s human. But this. It was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

      I fully expected to hear (AGAIN) that schools might need guns because of bears!

      However, I’m also not the Ed. Secretary. I’m not at the $217,000 salary range.

      I will have to look for the Harvard video. 🙂

  6. Somehow I don’t think Betsy would be able to explain the rationale behind Donalyn’s correction about the use of they as a singular nonbinary pronoun. The rationale behind that evolution in our language progressive and inclusive. Sigh.

    1. Correction: Somehow I don’t think Betsy would be able to explain the rationale behind Donalyn’s correction about the use of they as a singular nonbinary pronoun. The rationale behind that evolution in our language is progressive and inclusive. Sigh.

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