Monday, June 02, 2008

Where's Yours' Apostrophie's?

In a break from the DC Meters story, let's take a look at a story from the Sun in Great Britain, about cab driver Laurence Kirk who couldn't get a renewed license because he didn't pass a new test. Not on geography, or fares, or how to treat passengers -- things that might be important to know as a driver. But on English grammar.
Laurence Kirk whose cabbie licence from six years ago had expired, was quizzed about apostrophes in a story on football.

But he only got 60 per cent of the questions correct – and a pass was 70.

Stunned Laurence said: “When I got my licence six years ago I filled in some forms, had a medical and a driving test to prove I knew the area and they passed me.”

He said the new rules of Bournemouth Council, in Dorset, were “barmy”, adding: “No one has asked me if I know Bournemouth or what I would do if approached by a drunk person – just where to put an apostrophe.”

Laurence, from Poole, must go on a GCSE English course before he can reapply.

Last night council licensing chief Steve Wright defended the test, saying it “allows us to assess candidates’ abilities”

We're no strangers to panic over language here, of course, although I have to say as long as the driver knows the city streets and how to get me where I need to go, I'm ok with him not knowing the finer points of English grammar.


At 9:30 PM, Blogger Philip said...

It is good to know that it is not only the Demokratik People's Republik of New Kolumbia has such bone-headed ideas about licencing and enforcement.

Here, they issue a summons for being 'inappropriately dressed' if your socks do not match.

They are more interested in if the driver put one little pen stroke on his trip sheet than if the driver actually has a licence.


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