Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1997/11/22

[Author Prev] [Author Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Author Index] [Topic Index] [Home] [Search]

Subject: Dating Yourself & Languages
From: Bill Barrett <>
Date: Sat, 22 Nov 1997 00:21:41

What's going on here? I teach photography & digital imaging, but also a
Freshman Seminar called "Art & Politics." (I don't expect you're interested
in that, but the syllabus is on line at my URL below if you click on
"courses I teach" then on "Art & Politics.") (Mandatory Leica reference:
when we discuss the film "Under Fire," I point out the foolishness of a
photojournalist wearing Leicas like jewelry, but shooting 50 frames a roll
with a Nikon motor drive through the window of a moving car. But I digress.)

When I correct my students' papers, I correct grammar, spelling, etc., as
well as whatever the ostenstible topic of the paper is. Sure, some ask if
this is a grammar course in disguise, and I reply that command of a
language is fairly essential to success. I also ask who speaks a language
other than English (our language of instruction), and make sure to say that
they are better poised for success in virtually any field than those who
are monolingual. But what's this about getting sued. I've been teaching in
higher ed environs (NYC, Paris, & now St. Louis almost 20 years, and I've
never encountered it. Must I give up the LUG to pore over the Chronicle of
Higher Education? No, please...!)

>> Wonderful saying, though probably not politically correct enough for
>> today's world.  And it dates you:  I cannot see an English teacher of
today saying such ...
>English (or any subject, for that matter) teachers of today venture into
>correcting their students' spelling and grammar with some trepidation,
>viz., that they will be sued by said students. At least this is so in
>some higher ed environs.

When I did get my web pages going a while back, I was determined not to be
limited to English, my first language, from the start. From the first day,
the front page of my site (not much, but at least that) has had French &
Spanish versions (the 2 languages I keep working on).

To hear that "some LUGGERS have been complaining about English
language usage by LUGGERS who are writing in English, which is their
second or maybe their  third or fourth language" is indeed sad news. I echo
what has been well-said today: If English is not your "mother tongue," and
you are part of the English-language LUG, thank you for being here. If
anyone comments that your English is less than perfect, remember that most
of us native-English-speakers wouldn't dare joining a list in any other
language. (I am on one -- only one -- and I lurk even more than I do here.)