If you thought children these days weren’t taught to the standard they used to be, look out. The new curriculum will dumb down classes even further, and could see studying Shakespeare dropped in some schools in favour of studying blogs. Much as we all like blogs, I’m sure we can agree that there is a lot more to be learnt about the English language from studying Shakespeare than studying the English you often confront in the blogosphere… Furthermore there is a lot more scope to choose blogs that reflect the political or moral views of the teacher and subtly indoctrinate the children, we had enough of that when I was at school through the selection of heavily feminist literature to study, this just opens the door even wider for abuse.
This erosion of the standards of English is strongly reminiscent of Orwell’s “Newspeak” (from his book “1984”), where the language was being dumbed down heavily, a bit like text language, in an effort to suppress free thought in the population. For example, instead of the words “good”, “excellent”, “great”, “bad”, “poor” etc, you had “good” and “ungood”. This limited vocabulary made it more difficult for people to express dissent. Although I doubt there is any blatant plot to do the same here, and Orwell’s example is obviously extreme, the effect is still concerning. Shakespeare expands the vocabulary in a way that blogs are unlikely to.
This is why we need to encourage private schooling and home schooling, rather than allowing the State to indoctrinate our children.
Hat tip: NZ Conservative