Thursday, November 18, 2004

Scrabble to become part of National Curriculum!

As a former Association of British Scrabble Players ranked player (I've retired from competition now having been thrashed far too soundly by a bunch of 90 year olds...), I am delighted to find the game popping up in this week's media-murmurings about the English Language. Okay, so it's not ACTUALLY going to become part of the National Curriculum (shame...), it was just a suggestion, but it was all part of today's Guardian article about spelling.

This is in the news because of the BBC's new programme The Hard Spell - aka "Swot Idol"! Make sure you catch an episode and/or check out the movie "Spellbound" which documents the (barking mad?...) proceedings of the national American spelling bee. The article, meanwhile, raises some important issues about language, albeit in a very lighthearted way. It questions how much spelling accuracy matters, and laughs at the common assumption that spelling accuracy is somehow an indicator of intellectual ability, leadership potential, moral decency, and personal hygiene. It gives you a "do try this at home" spelling test of 10 really tricky words, and the results of 5 public figures who agreed to take the test. Their reactions to their results are also interesting in revealing the levels of anxiety we commonly have about our orthographic practice.

You'll like the bit about nude Scrabble too, so read it!!

"Ooh, I know this one!"

Results for Stephen Twigg, Jackie McLeod, Alain de Botton, A German, Joyce Cansfield


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