IN a world where ‘wicked’ is acceptable and ‘sick’ is good, we can’t help but have sympathy with teachers who are trying to encourage pupils to speak correctly and understandably. For in the mouths of teenagers, ‘sick’ means good and ‘wicked’ has been adopted as a favourable expletive of choice.
The issue has come to a head at Sheffield Springs Academy in Arbourthorne, where pupils are being reminded of the importance of good language skills and told to keep slang and local dialect from the classroom.
But we would hope that this is something which every school has concerns over as they strive to produce articulate young people who are able to make themselves understood to as wide an audience as possible.
Let us be clear. This has nothing to do with a local accent, which is hot-wired into everyone’s vocal cords from the moment they begin to mimic the spoken words they hear around them.
Rather, it is targeted at the corruption of words and, in some cases, the substitution of words with completely different meanings, creating a secretive language understood only by the initiated.
That is fine when speaking to those in the know but in an increasingly competitive world, children need to learn the value of communicating with people who may interpret ‘sick’ at face value.
Healthy service’s good prescription
CONGRATULATIONS to Sheffield’s hospitals after scoring near-top marks in a survey conducted by health watchdogs the Care Quality Commission. Only in the areas of waiting times and providing information for outpatients is there major cause for concern.
But the overall impression is that hospital staff have a good and respectful relationship with patients.
Results of this nature do not come about accidentally and are down to staff understanding patients and acting on their concerns.
This is a clear prescription for a healthy service.
Majority to prevail
IT is reassuring to learn that the ballot over who should manage council homes in Sheffield – the council or Sheffield Homes – has not been compromised by the fact that some people received more than one voting document. To many the issue at hand may seem hypothetical but we cannot stress strongly enough how this is a highly important issue. And to know that the democratic process is progressing suggests that the view of the majority will prevail.