A bird's eye view of the vineyard
How Russia Implements the Minsk 2 Agreement, by Scott Humor Mon Feb 20, 2017 05:03 | Scott
A few years ago, I was having coffee with my then-business partner. He happened to be in the middle of a process called “enrolling your child in a private school.”
Moveable Feast Cafe 2017/02/19 ? Open Thread Sun Feb 19, 2017 23:00 | Herb Swanson
2017/02/19 23:00:03Welcome to the ‘Moveable Feast Cafe’. The ‘Moveable Feast’ is an open thread where readers can post wide ranging observations, articles, rants, off topic and have animate discussions of
US vs Iran: a case of rotten apples vs rotten oranges Sun Feb 19, 2017 16:39 | The Saker
by Anwar Khan I was reading a recent article by our most esteemed Saker, ?US vs Iran ? a war of apples vs oranges?, which examined the potential outcomes and
Trump dreams vs Trump reality ? hopes still permitted! Sun Feb 19, 2017 05:09 | The Saker
This article was written for the Unz Review: http://www.unz.com/tsaker/trump-dream... For a lot of Trump supporters the past week has been a painful one. Whether we chose to react with abject
Iran and Hezbollah respond to Donald Trump Sat Feb 18, 2017 21:59 | The Saker
by Sayed Hasan Since his election campaign, Donald Trump has not hidden his fierce hostility to the international deal on Iran’s nuclear program, calling it the worst of the agreements
The Saker >>
Hague Justice Journal: Call for Papers Mon Feb 20, 2017 11:13 | GuestPost
Reflections on the Citizen?s Assembly (3): The Presentation of Dr. Joan McCarthy Tue Feb 14, 2017 14:01 | GuestPost
Reflections on the Citizens Assembly (2): The Presentation of Bobbie Farsides Tue Feb 07, 2017 05:44 | GuestPost
Languishing in Direct Provision: Rights in ?Reasonable? and ?Unreasonable? Times Mon Feb 06, 2017 18:10 | Liam Thornton
The Story of King Tex: A Modern Allegory Fri Feb 03, 2017 06:20 | GuestPost
Human Rights in Ireland >>
For lefties too stubborn to quit
Policing stories 14:47 Mon Feb 20, 2017 | WorldbyStorm
Poll projections? 12:45 Mon Feb 20, 2017 | WorldbyStorm
Left Archive: RSYM Position on Recent Developments (IRSP) ? c.2009 02:21 Mon Feb 20, 2017 | leftarchivist
The Fine Gael leadership race? Who much cares? 13:00 Sun Feb 19, 2017 | WorldbyStorm
Sunday Independent Stupid Statement of the Week: DIY 09:22 Sun Feb 19, 2017 | Garibaldy
Cedar Lounge >>
Life should be full of strangeness, like a rich painting
Notes for a Book on Money and the Irish State - The Marshall Aid Program 15:10 Sat Apr 02, 2016
The Financial Crisis:What Have We Learnt? 19:58 Sat Aug 29, 2015
Money in 35,000 Words or Less 21:34 Sat Aug 22, 2015
THE WRATH OF KANE: BANKING CRISES AND POLITICAL POWER 09:32 Fri Jan 30, 2015
ALWAYS THE ARTISTS: WEEK THREE OF THE BANK INQUIRY 23:11 Thu Jan 22, 2015
Dublin Opinion >>
Ireland's latest batch of graduates can't punctuate- but they're not the only ones
Articles about the shortcomings of recent graduates appeared in all of last weekend's papers. This is a response to those articles from one of those illiterate graduates.
I sat my leaving cert in 2004 and was conferred with my degree in 2008 which makes me part of a generation that, according to Google’s John Herlihy, have severe literacy problems. I’m not about to argue with this assessment- it hasn’t escaped my attention that the majority of my peers do not have a grasp of basic grammar. When I was at college a couple of lecturers took my class to task for the number of grammatical errors we were making in written assignments, and quite rightly so- we were the students of an Honours degree in English. These tutors weren’t lecturers at one of Ireland’s top universities but employees of a lowly IT.
Human Resources consultant Rowan Manahan, who like Herlihy spoke to the media about receiving error-ridden CVs, told the Irish Independent’s Kim Bielenberg that when he was hired by a law firm to go through 1,100 CVs he could not find one without a mistake:
“This means that our leading universities must tolerate poor spelling and grammar.”
However, as a job-seeking graduate I know that there is more to this story than college leavers who don’t read enough books because it is also very rare to come across an advertisement for a job that doesn’t contain an error. I regularly browse through the classifieds pages of several different newspapers as well as Irish recruitment websites and many of the advertisements I see are punctuated incorrectly. On one occasion, frustrated that I was receiving nothing but rejection letters when responding to badly written ads, I decided to correct an ad, while at the same time begging for a job. The ad specified that the job would be suitable for ‘candidate’s’ with good proof-reading skills. I decided to prove my skills by informing my prospective employers that they were, in fact, just seeking ‘candidates’. I was rewarded with a job interview and met with an awestruck recruitment consultant who was delighted to have found someone who could tell her where to stick her apostrophes, “because even I wouldn’t know that”.
It turned out that despite receiving both a second and third level education my most laudable skill was something that had been drummed into me in primary school.
I have been asked, by former employers, to write letters or news on the business which they would then read and adapt as required. Sometimes mistakes were added.
It has occurred to me, during my long job-hunt, that there may be a problem with my own CV. I was tempted to look for professional help with it but the expert offering help with ‘CV’s’ through columns and ads in my (already frequently grammatically incorrect) local paper seemed to have so many problems articulating her own skills that I dismissed the idea.
It’s not just in the classifieds section that Ireland’s growing literacy problems shine through. In particular the mastery of apostrophes seems to be out of reach for many- they are being misused in newspapers, magazines, advertisements, CD covers, and the list goes on. Meanwhile the rise of meaningless phrases such as ‘going forward’ and ‘executive’ everything means that a coherent sentence is hard to come by on a recruitment website.
As Professor Colum Kenny pointed out in the Sunday Independent even Batt O’Keefe is described as the Minister “of education” on his department’s website.
Yes, Ireland’s recent graduates have a problem with the English language, but it seems they’re far from being alone.