Overuse of the exclamation mark: You’re having a laugh!!!! A little strict?!!

I’m sure you’ve heard today in the news – about the implemented changes to the use of the exclamation mark for primary school children. The newly introduced educational exclamation law means that for pupils across England, only phrases starting with “what” or “how” merit an exclamation mark.

I think that it’s always good to educate children on punctuation – it moulds our language and creates meaning. Without punctuation, people write extremely comical yet disturbing sentences.

“Let’s eat Mum!” & “Let’s eat, Mum!”

“I live for cooking my family and my dog” & “I live for cooking, my family, and my dog”

Unless you want to sound like a disturbing family orientated carnivore, knowing how to use punctuation is key!!! (Sorry!)

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I support punctuation education, but I don’t quite understand the specific focus on the exclamation mark. Of course, there needs to be limited use of exclamation marks and even question marks when it matters most – two examples being in education or professional  writing, such as copywriting. People alter their writing and even their speech in certain situations, and I believe that for children it is the same; they will accommodate their writing when at school compared to when writing on say, social media, text or messenger. But even if they don’t, then it is up to the teacher to educate them.

Anyway, I thought this was interesting and definitely has much more needed to be said on the matter.

My latest article ‘How has technology affected the relation between speech and writing?‘ I believe has a great cohesion with this subject, so have a read of that too!

Also, this news is all over the Internet, have a read about the new exclamation mark rules on the BBC and The Guardian.

BBC – http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p03lrtwd

The Guardian – http://www.theguardian.com/education/shortcuts/2016/mar/07/new-exclamation-mark-rules-proof-the-government-wants-to-penalise-enthusiasm

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/mar/07/children-use-exclamation-marks-department-education

Thanks for reading, feel free to comment and share this post!

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Finally Graduated… Even though I did look like a student of Hogwarts

After three years of writing fiction, screenplays, radio scripts, stage scripts, poetry, short fiction, flash fiction and studying the many theorists within the English Language, I have finally graduated Kingston University with a BA(Hons) degree in Creative Writing with English Language and Communications.

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Education was very difficult for me at first; especially for a child who had speech therapy and attended extra classes for handwriting, spelling and mathematics.
I had a tough time learning throughout the school years of my education. I think a huge effect was that I was put down by a number of teachers along the way; always predicting me mediocre grades. I remember one teacher told me that I would be lucky to get a ‘D’ in English Language and completely doubted my ability to attend university to study English.
Well here I am, around 3 years after you told me I wouldn’t go to uni; with a mortarboard on my head, and a degree in Creative Writing with English Language & Communications added to my CV.
I am confident that I’ve proved you wrong, but I do have to thank you for spurring me on to do so.

From this post you can take the belief that no one should have the right to tell you that you can’t do something. Do not let anyone tell you that you can’t achieve something. If you want to attend university, then you can do it!

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Back to University today!

Today is the day I had to return to University after a good few months of relaxing and writing my next novel The Author.

I will be doing Poetry and Prose with some dramatic writing for the stage and radio in my Creative Writing course, and Sociolinguistics in my English Language part of the course… So maybe I will stop writing novels and become a poet? I certainly do not plan to, my poetry is probably as appealing as watching paint dry and as creative and poetic as the language that people on the Jeremy Kyle show utter… but we’ll see.

I may even post some of my poetry on here, to see what you think.

Google Translate

I’m sure you have all used Google Translate to translate something whether it’s homework or to send a crude message to someone else in a different language on Facebook, Twitter or E-mail…
Having it as an app on your iPhone is brilliant. Get it if you don’t have it, you can have some great entertainment.

If you don’t know what Google translate is then… you ARE missing out!!  I will try and explain it. What it is, is a feature on Google that allows you to translate from English to another language, it has a voice recognition which means that the voice can say what it translates onto, so you’ll need your sound switched on when you’re playing around it.

So, play around with it and get used to it and then have a go at the game I do. What you do is type something in and translate it from English to English (or whatever language you speak) and the voice will speak it in English with a very ‘posh’ accent. I’ve done this many times and every time me and others have had a good laugh. You can do this by typing out funny or rude words or sentences. So give it a go.

Good thing is that you can do this with any one really. I’ve done it at school, people at work and even my family with different ages and everyone finds it funny.

Have a go on your phone on the browser or an app or on your computer at http://translate.google.co.uk/