Friday, October 24th, 2014

I am always right, you are always wrong!

As an Englishman who is living and teaching in the USA, I am still (even after over eight years here) treated as somewhat of a novelty by my students and the greater native population. Of course, it is true that I am a FIERCE defender of my nationality in ALL situations, circumstances and regards, but one particular area remains a pet peeve of mine – language.

Firstly I have worked both hard and consciously to keep my English (NOT British BTW), accent. Given I am in the Deep South of the USA I figured that it was imperative! Secondly the kids always marvel at the pronunciation and spelling of lots of things, but given my profession, especially the word Aluminium [sic]. I simply tell them that since we are speaking English, and that I am English and they are NOT, in that all matters relating to language and spelling I am right and they are wrong – that usually ends the conversation and it has a rather attractive logic (at least for me)!

Well, I hear you ask, why mention this now? Well I happened across the following small piece by Rod Beavon who is the Chief/Principal Examiner for Edexcel A Level Chemistry. Please take a moment to read it; it makes for an interesting two minutes.

http://www.rod.beavon.clara.net/sulphur.htm