Posted by: Admin | June 27, 2011

Sign of the Times?


Is it me or has “dumbing down” accelerated lately? I’m sure I’m not alone when I get frustrated when I read (in London’s Evening Standard) that a frightening proportion of youngsters are leaving primary schools unable to read, or that companies are reporting that some of the new graduates that apply for their training schemes are simply not the right material. I was watching a film last night, Somebody’s Hero. Aside from the wooden acting, the storyline was atrocious. It simply didn’t add up and I would have thought that a first year film student would have been slated if she’d presented this as a first assignment.

There’s a TV series showing at the moment (and clearly, I’m watching far too much TV!) called Camelot. In it, Gawain is struggling to read a book in some ancient language. (Just as an aside, did they even have books in Arthurian times?) When challenged and asked why is he bothering, he answers: “to be better”. As I get older I find that to be my motivation more and more. I always used to attach the value of learning a new skill or gaining new qualifications to the chance to progress at work, or as part of a route map to something else. It’s liberating to feel that the things I do are, finally, for the satisfaction of becoming “better” for it’s own sake.

Meanwhile, Marie sent this to me. Apparently, this is what can happen when road signs are ordered by email. Quite apart from the Quality Control failure, where on earth was the common sense?




  1. Don’t get me started!
    There was a similar sign that turned up in Wales a while ago, where some had translated the whole of a conversation about a sign into Welsh rather than just the directions on it. Very funny but somehow depressing.

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