Sunday, 23 January 2011

The Language of Precision



My brother popped in for a Skype chat last night during which conversation his 11-year old son popped in a few times to ask questions about his homework. I asked my brother how this child is now getting on at school. It depends what you mean, mused my brother, explaining that M doesn’t see the world in the same way as everyone else. This is not to say that he has ADT or any other of the fashion complaints, he just genuinely has his own way of looking at things and if others (teachers) don’t see things his way that is just too bad. M also can’t bear imprecision in the use of language - I blame his parents for having drummed this into both their boys -. Take his latest geography test for example: a map was presented along with six questions phrased along the lines of “Consider the following points of reference on this map and identify what they represent.” M duly wrote six times: ‘I have considered… I have considered etc..’ End of story. Now one could perhaps fault the teacher’s question in this instance – if any of other pupils had written similar answers – but no, everyone else duly wrote ‘church’ or ‘school’ or ‘cutting’. I feel sorry for my brother. All I could think of saying was that Einstein and Winston Churchill didn’t get on well at school either.

1 comment:

  1. Chuckle! Shades of my own son, now 46, and still a bit of a stickler for such things .... especially if he thinks he can get my goat.

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