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Monday, 16 August 2010


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Well this Guardian commentator (at ) doesn't agree with you. In our state "education" system, when it comes to a battle between luvvies and irredeemable, polically motivated ignorance, ignorance wins every time.

Alas, Ms. Mahoney only gains a'C-' from me! Apart from anything else, her English is clumsy and thoughtless:

"It all went a bit awry, though, when she wheeled in her two guinea pigs"

'A bit awry'? It's either awry or not.

And does one 'wheel in guinea pigs'? I think not.

I bet she has a First in English from one of our finer universities, Doncaster, or Milton Keynes, perhaps.

Of course this perspective is from your cousins across the sea but it may help in 'splaining:

I read this article and concluded that, easy as the exams have become, you still get penalised for failing to answer the question. Ms Stubbs then attempts to obfuscate by bemoaning the narrowness of the examiners for failing to give credit for a load of irrelevant (and probably pretentious) waffle.

Sorry, 'H', can't agree. I suspect that perhaps you are of a scientific or technological bent rather than English drama. The question Trevor Nunn was asked came from a recent exam paper and was as follows: Hamlet avenges his mother rather than his father: how far and inwhat ways do you agree?"

There is no objectively correct answer to that question. You simply have to know the text well enough to deduce any sub-text and support your argument accordingly. I think the 'answer' is 'no' but were I an examiner I would look favourably upon any candidate who put forward a cogent argument in favour provided it was supported by text. In other words, it is not for the examiner to seek confirmation of his or her theory, only to ensure that the candidates display a thorough knowledge of the text.

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