Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free

Why is SPaG important? Watch

  • View Poll Results: Should SPaG be assessed in GCSE,A Level or University Exams?
    Yes to All Subjects
    75.00%
    (Yes to Arts Subjects) and (No to Science Subjects except for University Essays)
    12.50%
    (Yes to Arts Subjects) and (No to Science Subjects including for University Essays)
    0
    0%
    (Yes to English) and (No to all Other Subjects except University Essays)
    0
    0%
    (Yes to English) and (No to all Other Subjects including University Essays)
    0
    0%
    No to All Subjects except University Essays
    0
    0%
    No to All Subjects except Arts Subjects University Essays
    0
    0%
    No to All Subjects except English University Essays
    0
    0%
    No to All Subjects
    12.50%

    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    I'm not too fussed about spelling side, but with regards to grammar- learning technical terms such as coordinating, subordinating conj, imperative, subjunctive etc. all come in great use for people learning foreign languages so there is always a benefit there.

    I'll let y'all argue about the spelling :dolphin::dolphin::dolphin::dolphin:
    Offline

    18
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Dalek1099)
    Also, I would argue that the rules of SPaG actually make little sense and are very inconsistent like for example the rule "i before e except after c" which has loads of exceptions and without explanation(I'd argue this for a lot of spellings).
    That's a bad one, in fairness, there are more words that break that rule than follow it...
    Offline

    15
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Student403)
    That is a "rule" people use to help remember things, which happens to have exceptions. It isn't an official rule of the English language
    I read somewhere that more words disagree with the "rule" than agree. :lol:
    Offline

    18
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by ombtom)
    I read somewhere that more words disagree with the "rule" than agree. :lol:
    Oh lovely! XD
    • Thread Starter
    Online

    21
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Inexorably)
    I'm not too fussed about spelling side, but with regards to grammar- learning technical terms such as coordinating, subordinating conj, imperative, subjunctive etc. all come in great use for people learning foreign languages so there is always a benefit there.

    I'll let y'all argue about the spelling :dolphin::dolphin::dolphin::dolphin:
    This is an interesting topic recently the Government decided to make English Grammar learning technical, when I learnt it not many words were used to describe it(I know subordinate clause that was drilled into everyone).

    Often a lot of these words appeared for the first time in the study of foreign languages despite not being taught in English.

    I don't know many technical terms for grammar(this was quite clear when I saw a KS2 test based around it) including most of the words you have mentioned.
    • Thread Starter
    Online

    21
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by ombtom)
    I read somewhere that more words disagree with the "rule" than agree. :lol:
    You are validating my point a lot of English doesn't even follow rules like a lot of spellings you've just got to learn there is no justification to it, no concrete rules like Mathematics and Science.Why should a word be spelt in such a way?Why shouldn't we change English so that it will always obey concrete rules?I can't see why weird is not spelt like wierd I had been misspelling that word for years until I realised.
    Offline

    15
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Dalek1099)
    You are validating my point a lot of English doesn't even follow rules like a lot of spellings you've just got to learn there is no justification to it, no concrete rules like Mathematics and Science.Why should a word be spelt in such a way?Why shouldn't we change English so that it will always obey concrete rules?I can't see why weird is not spelt like wierd I had been misspelling that word for years until I realised.
    We need to have set conventions so that everyone can understand everyone else's messages.

    If you had spelt half of the words in your post differently, I would have struggled to understand you.
    Offline

    18
    ReputationRep:
    You said this in your OP:

    "Therefore, encouraging different non-consistent uses of SPaG that represent a person's individual writing style would actually be a good idea."

    And now you say this:

    (Original post by Dalek1099)
    Why shouldn't we change English so that it will always obey concrete rules?
    Make up your mind
    • Thread Starter
    Online

    21
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by ombtom)
    We need to have set conventions so that everyone can understand everyone else's messages.

    If you had spelt half of the words in your post differently, I would have struggled to understand you.
    No you wouldn't have I'm sure I have seen text where only the first and last letter were correct(something to do with dyslexia) and yet you could pretty much understand it all.

    Our comprehension ability is also shown through our study of foreign languages, I'm sure most people like me when they did the reading tests couldn't read the text properly but they could understand some of it and get the correct meaning of the text through deduction(I got 100% in the French Reading exam as well).
    • Thread Starter
    Online

    21
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Student403)
    You said this in your OP:

    "Therefore, encouraging different non-consistent uses of SPaG that represent a person's individual writing style would actually be a good idea."

    And now you say this:



    Make up your mind
    I am saying that if we are to try to force people to write English in a certain way, it at least should follow concrete rules like Maths and Science.Forcing people to write English in a way that makes little sense as it doesn't even seem to follow concrete rules is very stupid.

    I generally think we should forget about forcing people to write English in a certain way but if we are to do that it at least should make sense.
    Offline

    18
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Dalek1099)
    No you wouldn't have I'm sure I have seen text where only the first and last letter were correct(something to do with dyslexia) and yet you could pretty much understand it all.

    Our comprehension ability is also shown through our study of foreign languages, I'm sure most people like me when they did the reading tests couldn't read the text properly but they could understand some of it and get the correct meaning of the text through deduction(I got 100% in the French Reading exam as well).
    In both of these, it is much harder to understand. Yes it is possible, but it's a hell of a lot easier when it is consistent
    Offline

    18
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Dalek1099)
    I am saying that if we are to try to force people to write English in a certain way, it at least should follow concrete rules like Maths and Science.Forcing people to write English in a way that makes little sense as it doesn't even seem to follow concrete rules is very stupid.

    I generally think we should forget about forcing people to write English in a certain way but if we are to do that it at least should make sense.
    The Oxford dictionary actually states under which circumstances that rule applies
    • Thread Starter
    Online

    21
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Student403)
    The Oxford dictionary actually states under which circumstances that rule applies
    The Oxford Dictionary features three words for which it can't justify the spellings though based on that rule?, which is precisely my point.Those words are spelt that way because someone decided they should be and that everyone should have to do the same because someone else decided to, language is sort of like a dictatorship.
    Offline

    18
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Dalek1099)
    The Oxford Dictionary features three words for which it can't justify the spellings though based on that rule?, which is precisely my point.Those words are spelt that way because someone decided they should be and that everyone should have to do the same because someone else decided to, language is sort of like a dictatorship.
    Language is language.. It evolves but it follows general sets of rules and in very few occasions is there actual doubt in what to write if you are aware of all the conventions.
    • Thread Starter
    Online

    21
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Student403)
    Language is language.. It evolves but it follows general sets of rules and in very few occasions is there actual doubt in what to write if you are aware of all the conventions.
    Are all these conventions taught in school though?I don't think so you were just given lists of words to remember the spelling of for next weeks test.

    We should probably get back to arguing why forcing people to write in a certain way is a bad idea, instead of arguing why the current use of language is stupid.
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    It's important to have a standard way of communicating. Using it correctly and effectively is vital. I don't think any special measures to improve it at GCSE need to be taken though: you'll naturally have learned it beforehand by reading books etc.. You'll need to use spelling, grammar and punctuation correctly and effectively to produce clear mathematics.

    You do make a good point that it's an imperfect system with many irregularities, but it's the system we have. There are other languages that are more ordered in spelling and in other ways, so you might want to learn one. There's also American English if you prefer its spellings.
    Offline

    18
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Dalek1099)
    Are all these conventions taught in school though?I don't think so you were just given lists of words to remember the spelling of for next weeks test.

    We should probably get back to arguing why forcing people to write in a certain way is a bad idea, instead of arguing why the current use of language is stupid.
    No I wasn't... I was taught grammar rules. Maybe you were taught differently.

    I don't think I'm going to argue with you anymore because it doesn't seem like I can change your mind about the current conventions of English being fine and consistency being necessary. Have fun with your plight, though!
    • Thread Starter
    Online

    21
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by morgan8002)
    It's important to have a standard way of communicating. Using it correctly and effectively is vital. I don't think any special measures to improve it at GCSE need to be taken though: you'll naturally have learned it beforehand by reading books etc.. You'll need to use spelling, grammar and punctuation correctly and effectively to produce clear mathematics.

    You do make a good point that it's an imperfect system with many irregularities, but it's the system we have. There are other languages that are more ordered in spelling and in other ways, so you might want to learn one. There's also American English if you prefer its spellings.
    I don't like reading books though, I don't think I have read a full book that wasn't given as homework(which was rare except for those short stories you were given in Primary for homework and you read with your mam, most reading was done as a class with you reading some of it).I read study books but I don't think that's the same a lot of them have mathematics instead of being filled with words.

    I usually find myself bored after a chapter and I am not even that sure whats going on(I can understand what the text says but I can't really remember much of it and understand it well at school the teacher would tell you what was going on in the book so you would understand), I like pictures in the books most novels and a lot of books don't have much pictures and are just loads and loads of text(I probably have word phobia if it exists I do read short articles and text though and understand them).

    I have done tests that indicate my vocabulary is very poor I usually get about 10,000 words apparently I should know twice as much ,they don't test scientific vocabulary though.My SPaG was very poor I got below average in the English Language exam on it(I don't know what I got on the Geography/RE assessments of it), my writing was very poor probably about B/C but for coursework I prepared my last writing piece beforehand to get everything correct and memorised it you can check SPaG and vocabulary with the internet or spell and grammar checks.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Dalek1099)
    I don't like reading books though, I don't think I have read a full book that wasn't given as homework(which was rare except for those short stories you were given in Primary for homework and you read with your mam, most reading was done as a class with you reading some of it).I read study books but I don't think that's the same a lot of them have mathematics instead of being filled with words.

    I usually find myself bored after a chapter and I am not even that sure whats going on(I can understand what the text says but I can't really remember much of it and understand it well at school the teacher would tell you what was going on in the book so you would understand), I like pictures in the books most novels and a lot of books don't have much pictures and are just loads and loads of text(I probably have word phobia if it exists I do read short articles and text though and understand them).
    You said earlier that you read by saying each word in your head - this might be why you don't enjoy reading, because that is a very slow way to read.
    I wish that I had been taught the names for tenses (imperfect, pluperfect etc). It would have meant I actually knew what foreign language teachers were trying to teach us when they set us lists of subjunctives to learn.
    Personally, I'm dyspraxic, which is similar to dyslexia in many ways. It does also mean I have poor short term memory, so if a sentence is structured poorly, either in writing or speech, I will get confused and not understand the meaning.
    SPaG is essential. It is a landmark of how communication has progressed. Originally, humans will have just made sounds, which then evolved into words, and so on. SPaG is a framework to fit words into. If we removed sentence structure, spelling and punctuation, communication would be incredibly difficult.


    Posted from TSR Mobile
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Dalek1099)
    We don't use punctuation for speech and this is something that confuses me why do we use it for text and not speech?
    We have other tools in speech that we can't use in text e.g. the time gap between one word and the next, tone of voice, facial expression etc. And so sometimes we use punctuation to represent those features of vocal conversation that are absent in text.

    One thing I don't understand is why we need to have both capital letters and lowercase letters. We have no equivalent in spoken English, and several languages exist in which there are no uppercase or lowercase letters. So I don't really see it as serving much of a purpose in English, or think it matters if people make a mistake.
 
 
 
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • Poll
    What's your favourite Christmas sweets?
    Useful resources
    Uni match

    Applying to uni?

    Our tool will help you find the perfect course

    Articles:

    Debate and current affairs guidelinesDebate and current affairs wiki

    Quick link:

    Educational debate unanswered threads

    Groups associated with this forum:

    View associated groups
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

    Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

    Quick reply
    Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.