A lecturer from Dublin City University was on the radio a few days ago speaking about a planned course in spelling and grammar.  He described the falling standards of grammatical accuracy among first year undergraduates and said that although the students were capable of expressing themselves, their sentences lacked clarity.  He believes in obeying the rules of grammar, spelling and punctuation.

Have a listen here if you’re interested.  Just scroll down to find the correct podcast:


Others disagree.  For them, accuracy is not so important, and those who insist on accuracy are pedants.  Here’s an article from The Guardian blog:


Let us know what you think?

Another punctuation related controversy raged this week over the “Oxford comma”.  This explains what the comma was, is, and does:


It comes in handy from time to time:

1.  I talked to John, a gentleman and a teacher.

2.  I talked to John, a gentleman, and a teacher.

The Oxford comma is in the second sentence.  How does the meaning change?  How many people did the speaker meet in sentence 1 and how many in sentence 2?