Newspapers, television, magazines. We are surrounded by the media in this modern day and age. The government has worked hard to improve standards of literacy in the country, and we can see this being put to good use all around us every day. After all, the influence of the media is enormous, and this makes it a profitable industry from which many people are able to benefit.
However, would it be as lucrative for an industry to advertise a product using, say, incorrect grammar? How likely would you be to even consider buying a product from a commercial advertising “Great price’s for eye-pods”? The sharper eyes in the land have been trained from a very young age to spot these errors, and even non-“sticklers” will be disinclined to buy this kind of product, simply because the authenticity is in high doubt.
By releasing 16-year-olds into the world with a handful of media studies and childcare GCSEs, and absolutely no linguistic skills so to speak of, what are we giving back to this country which has worked so hard to improve standards of living and the quality of the mediums we are subjected to on a daily basis? If we’re going to be forcibly press-ganged into watching endless advertisements for the same products over and over again when all we want is to catch up with the news on ITV, do we not have any right to at least be able to learn something from them? Or, if not even learn, at least not be subjected to incorrect grammar and spelling which would force our minds to conform to “regional dialects” which are entirely unnecessary. After all, “them young people these days ain’t got no clue about ed-you-cation” - which is precisely why the uneducated forty-somethings of Britain don’t have highly-paid careers in advertising.
So, by offering young people the chance to actually learn something worthwhile in schools, it will lead them down a road where they no longer aspire to become hairdressers. They will suddenly find that a whole new world has opened up to them; one where they will find windows of opportunity even in the council flats where their uneducated forty-something parents have brought them up. Grammar and spelling are such basic skills that even the worst schools should be able to rustle up a teacher or two who actually had a decent education in them.
Obviously, it would be ridiculous to introduce yet another GCSE which could be passed by a baby standing on its head, but clearly learning these skills, if only for half an hour a week, will help the “yoof of today” gain the mental dexterity to be able to actually get somewhere in life – and by “somewhere”, I don’t mean training to be a media studies teacher.